Monday, July 25, 2011

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Sooo...truth? Okay. Part of this post is a re-post--meaning that I already reviewed this book months ago. But excuse #1- only 4 people read my blog back then:). and #2- some new and exciting things have developed in regards to this book and its author Jay Asher.

This book is going to be made into a movie by Universal, starring none other than Selena Gomez. I am so excited about this. Not only do I love this book, but I actually love Selena Gomez. Yes, I love her on Wizards of Waverly Place, and her music. Especially the theme song she sings for Tinkerbell. :) When stuff like this happens to authors, I get so excited for them. Jay Asher gets to go to L.A. and hob-nob with the Hollywood screenwriters, actors, producers, etc. It's so fun to read about. And you can read more here by following Jay Asher's blog.

Also Jay Asher has an exciting new book called The Future of Us, that he co-wrote with Carolyn Mackler, which comes out in a few months. I am really excited about that too.

So without further ado, here is the review of 13 Reasons Why:

I first heard about this book at the LDStorymaker's Conference in Utah last year. I attended a class by super agent Laura Rennert, and she went on and on about this book that she repped and sold. I had to read it. And I did.

It's about this girl Hannah Baker who committed suicide. But not before she recorded her voice on a series of cassette tapes and left the tapes for 13 different people who she considered to have contributed to her decision to kill herself. We follow one of those people through the story on the tapes, and it is creepy.

I loved it. It's no wonder its a best-seller. It's unique, daring, dynamic. Here's what I learned:

Male authors aren't so bad! (**tongue in cheek btw**) I don't often read books by male authors. Not purposefully of course. It just so happens that most of the books I choose are written by females. But Jay Asher is so different. He comes from such a guy place. It's enlightening and insightful to read what a contemporary young kid in high school thinks like.

Internal dialogue is a great way for a reader to get in the protag's head. This is a common tool, but the way Jay Asher does it is cool. Because he is listening to tapes, and hardly ever talking to other people, he is constantly talking in his own head as if Hannah was there. You might not get what I am saying here. But go read the book and you will see what a great technique he uses.

We need big issues in YA books. Suicide! Rape! Bullying! These issues don't always get approached so heartily. Jay Asher tackles them, and really explores their consequences.

Maybe I say this too much, but setting is so important. This story takes place in a small town in California (I think). West coast anyway. There is an awesome atmosphere as he walks around his town and takes in certain landmarks listed on a map that goes with the tapes. It is a haunting journey.

And that's all I have to say about that. (Forrest Gump accent included).


  1. he he I'm the opposite, I usually don't read books from female authors :) Since they seem to be much weaker and much more superficial in my experience, especially the more recent female authors and especially those who write YA books. In my career in the publishing industry I worked on a number of such books and they always left me deeply disappointed.
    One of the female authors who did leave me amazed and whose books I consider deep, profound and marvelously written is Beatrice Collin.

  2. Yay Jay Asher! And I too love Selena Gomez. She totally makes Wizards.

    I heard about this book at Storymakers last year too, but I didn't go out and read it. I guess I just thought it'd be depressing. It's that good, though? Maybe I'll give it a shot.

  3. Cool. I didnt know this book was going to be a movie.

  4. This sounds like a decent book. I might check it out next time I go to the bookshop. (Yep. I still shop at a book store.)

  5. Dez- its fun to hear from a different perspective.
    Pegs-you gotta read it. Though its a far cry from MG.
    Amanda- cool, eh?
    Jux- I know. I have it in hard copy too.

  6. I have been slacking so much because I've wanted to read this forever. I need to hurry and do it!

  7. Arg, I just saw this one on the quick reads shelf at my trailer/library (small town, no bookstore) and I had it in hand, and put it back on the shelf. Now it's going back to the top of the list to read. I love, love, love issue books. Great review.

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