Writer: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razorbill (2008)
Pages: 288 p
Bought at: Peri Plus Setiabudhi Bandung (Rp 128000)
Clay Jensen is a regular schoolboy from a small town. Or so he thought. Until one day, he received a box full of cassette tapes. In those tapes, Hannah Baker recorded her voice, on the last day of her life, before she commited suicide. And it’s not just ordinary records, because Hannah’s voice told the listeners about thirteen reasons why she ends her life.
And Clay Jensen becomes one of those reasons.
So begins the journey of Clay, following Hannah’s voice around the town, visiting the places Hannah mentioned in the tapes. One by one he discovered the secrets of Hannah, along with the secrets of some of the fellows at school, who also became the reasons of Hannah’s suicidal act. But still, he is wondering, what has he done that made him one of the thirteen reasons? He couldn’t accept the fact. Until he finished listening all the tapes.
At first, I couldn’t really connect with Hannah. I mean, I’ve been in high school too, and some of Hannah’s problems were exactly what I faced in those past days. But it didn’t make me want to commit suicide. False rumors and cheap gossips about myself? Checked. Popular crowd who took advantage of me? Checked. Insecurity and the feeling that I didn’t belong anywhere? Checked. But I survived.
Not until the last pages of the book, or the final stories Hannah told in the tapes, I could understand her feelings. The snowball effect, that’s what she called them. The burden she held day by day, people she tried to trust but always betrayed her, and nobody she could talk to.
This is a depressing book, but fortunately Clay as the narrator is someone I could easily connect with. His guilt, his confusion, his panic, were things the readers could also feel with him. And his thoughts, which go between Hannah’s stories, are something to distract the readers a little bit from Hannah’s dark secrets.
I’m glad I finished this book, because this is my first book for Twenty-Ten Challenge, for Young Adult category. So..19 more to go!