Friday, March 5, 2010

Gossip Time...13 Reasons Why

I had the pleasure of listening to Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why on Audio CD. As I listened, I kept thinking, how does someone come up with something like this? And I frequently marveled at the many storyline threads that Asher wove together.

13 Reasons Why opens with Clay Jensen, high-school-senior-all-around-good-guy, receiving a shoebox of tapes on his doorstep. The tapes were recorded by Hannah Baker, a girl in his class, who he also happened to have the hots for, who committed suicide two weeks ago. I don't want to give too much away, because its pretty intense. But, at the same time I must warn there is teenage angst. But, it's justified teenage angst. And Jay Asher does an incredible job showing how one seemingly insubstantialy teenage angsty event can build upon another insubstantial teenagey angsty something or another, and then when something substantial does happen, how that teenage world literally crumbles.

Some writerly things to note about the story:
1. It is written in first person present tense (except when we are listening to Hannah's voice on the tapes- I believe this is past tense)- which I think is pretty neat.
2. He manages to tell Hannah's story through the tapes, but is able to write in Clay's interjections and reactions to what she is saying, and it flows very well. In fact I want to pick up a copy of the book just so I can see how this was done on paper.

Jay Asher also has a blog that I will definitely be following. I want to read more from a guy who can create a plot as unique as 13 Reasons Why. In fact, I think it would make a stellar movie. Throw in some hot teen actors and I think it would be a blockbuster hit. So if you're looking for a good read or listen, I highly suggest 13 Reasons Why.*

*I in no way was compensated to write this edition of Gossip Time nor will I receive any kickbacks if you go out and buy/borrow this book.


  1. It does sound like an interesting plot. I'm heading over to peek at his blog.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Sounds like a fun book - definitely worth checking out!