Thirteen Reasons Why

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher Distributed in South Africa by Van Schaik Bookstores
ISBN: 978014138772

You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret… is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school one day to find a mysterious box with his name on it, outside his front door. Inside he discovers a series of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush. Only, she committed suicide two weeks earlier. On the first tape, Hannah explains that there are 13 reasons why she did what she did – and Clay is one of them. Over the timeframe of a night filled with mystery and emotion, Clay listens to all the recordings while wandering around town.

If he listens, Clay will find out how he made the list – what he hears will change his life forever. There are more than 13 reasons why Jay Asher’s debut novel is a must-read. First, the premise is brand new. On cassette 1: side A, Hannah says, I hope you’re ready. I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why I’m not saying which tape brings you into the story. But fear not, if you received this lovely little box, your name will pop up – I promise. The rules are pretty simple. There are only two. Rule number one: You listen. Rule number two: You pass it on. Hopefully, neither one will be easy for you.

The author does a flawless job of building the story with the unique structure of alternating Hannah’s voice on the tapes with Clay’s as he listens in real time. The reader is immediately drawn in and, like Clay, wants to uncover Hannah’s secrets – and, more importantly, the reasons why she felt her life had to end so tragically. 

Book can be purchased from Van Schaik bookstores countrywide.

Category: Book Reviews, Winter 2017

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