How would you react if you thought someone you knew was feeling suicidal? Would you try and help them? Attempt to dissuade them? Or would you shrug it off, deeming it as an elegant attempt at attention?
One day after school, Clay Jensen returns home to find a package addressed to him sitting on his doorstep. When he opens it, he finds insides seven cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker- a girl at his school who committed suicide a few weeks earlier. On the tapes, she explains her decision to take her own life with thirteen reasons, each involving thirteen people. In one night, Clay's life is changed forever as he is sent on a journey traversing Crestmont, California, uncovering the secret suffering of a troubled, lonely girl.
If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would have to be sobering. A major theme of this book is the snowball effect; how every action you take has a reaction, every decision has its consequence. Jay Asher does a very good job on effectively portraying the voice of a young girl spending her final moments telling her story.
I read this book in a matter of two days- not because it was boring, or I wanted to get through it like "Witch and Wizard". The only reason I finished it so quickly was that it was next to impossible to put it down. I do remember putting it down twice in between a few games on Matchmaking (I was downloading several torrents, so naturally it would take longer than usual), but that was it. I feel like a bad person because I can't give it the lengthy, in depth review it deserves.
So if your in the mood for a sobering, realistic story about loss, heartbreak, betrayal, and reconciliation, "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher (his first book, by the way) is the best choice for you.