Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
YA fiction. 288 pp.
Razor Bill. 2007.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
Hannah's voice explains that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself—a truth he never wanted to face.
This book is rather haunting. Good, but haunting nonetheless. I first came across the book on The Hidden Side of a Leaf and was intrigued by Dewey's description of it.
It's been a couple months since I read it now, so I'm a bit vague on the particulars of the book except the impression that it was really good. As I think about it, I have the same residual impression of this book that I have for Speak. Suicide is a difficult topic, and Thirteen Reasons Why manages to discuss it in a way that brings in power through multiple voices and experiences.