Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
No, I'm not going to do a "Thirteen Reasons Why I liked the TV show more than the book" as that's just a little too cliche for me, but I am going to start off by saying that - sure, the book is good; The TV show is better.
To be perfectly honest I probably would have liked the novel a bit more if I had read it in high school (as opposed to reading it for the first time at 21), but for what it was, and at this stage of my life - it was good. Just good. I never found myself identifying with Hannah (maybe that just says something about my personal experiences) and I found Clay to be a bit... passive? Boring? I don't even know how to put it other than dull. I am refusing to do a comparison of the two formats, but I will say that Asher did his best to make the story work. With the straightforward content Hannah gives us (the dialogue recorded solely on the tapes) if Clay's listening experience had been over the course of a couple weeks it wouldn't have worked. But at the same time, having all 13 reasons revealed and reacted to over the course of one evening, with Clay wandering around town, it felt almost impersonal and rushed. I feel like this format of story was flawed from the get-go, (limited character interaction, Clay barely knowing Hannah, such a short timeline, mostly dialogue) but I do respect Asher for what he attempted (and for the most part succeeded in) doing with this book.
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