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Book Review "Thirteen Reasons Why"

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Book review on "Thirteen Reasons Why" focussing on the content, Hannah's character and the writing style.

The novel "Thirteen Reasons Why" written by Jay Asher in 2007 is about Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide and recorded thirteen tapes with the reasons for her suicide. She sent those tapes to the people she holds responsible for her decision. Clay Jensen, who had a crush on Hannah, is one of them. The novel is very popular but the opinions differ whether it is a good book or not. Three often discussed points are the style of writing, the character of on of the first person narrators, Hannah Baker, and the overall content.

One of the things that make this novel so interesting is the writing style. The novel is written in two perspectives. Hannah's feelings are written in italics, Clay's thoughts of Hannah's account in normal script. In the beginning of the novel it was odd and strange for me and I often had to read a page twice because I got the story wrong when I did not pay so much attention whether sentences were written in italics or not. However after a while I had no problems with exchanging Hannah from Clay and I started to like the style of writing. It makes the novel unique. In addition it is good to know what Clay thinks of Hannah's stories, because Hannah is a depressed girl and her view on things might be different to everyone else's. Furthermore, I liked that Clay's sentences were often so short and choppy because he is actually thinking. It would have been weird if his thoughts were written out. I had several times the impression I read a conversation between two people. Hannah addresses her listeners directly, she likes to play with them. I think Hannah's speaking style shows how desperate she is. For Instance she jokes about death.

Another point people argue about is Hannah's character some like her, others think she is a horrible person. I believe Hannah is a typical high school girl, she likes candy and hot chocolate, is smart, attractive and friendly. She also likes writing and reading, which is not that common for a high school student, but she is not a weird girl. Inside, Hannah is a deeply romantic girl that still waits for the love of her life.

But Hannah also has her negative sides, she is depressed. She is of the opinion that everything people do, they do because they want to hurt her. She thinks that she is in the center of every rumor and everyone hates her. Hannah also believes that everyone heard rumors about her and everyone believes them. I am sure that Hannah was not so infamous for her rumors as she thinks. Hannah distends. She blames people for her suicide, even if she cannot be sure that they actually hurt her. For example she does not know if she holds the right peeping tom responsible. I don't understand why she puts Clay on the list if he was not a reason, why does she hurt him? If she wanted to be sure that he knows he had not done anything wrong, she could have written him a letter. The same thing is true for Tony, she even hurts the ones that had nothing to do with her. Why does Tony deserve this? I am sure he was hurting, too. He felt helpless because he could not have saved her. I think that is unjustifiable and unfair of Hannah. Of course people had hurt her and were rude and mean but that does justify to hold people responsible for a decision of life and death? I do not think so. So on the one hand I pity Hannah because she is mentally ill but on the other hand I think her behaviour is not excusable, so I do not like her.

The content of this novel did not measure up to my expectations at first. I believe teen suicide is a very interesting topic. But after I read the novel I thought Jay Asher had not taken it seriously because the reasons seemed too tiny for me. I could not believe Hannah committed suicide because of such events.

But then I realized that that is the main point of teenager suicide, in this phase of life admission, acceptability and respect are very important. Hannah did not get those three things; in the end she had no self-assurance anymore. She even slept with Bryce because she did not care.

The first chapter of the novel created suspense and I was curios about what happens next but in the middle of the book I was bored of Hannah and her stories. Asher could have made it more interesting and clearer what Hannah's problems really were. In addition, I would have liked to know more about Hannah's life at home because. In my view that plays a big role in a young girl's life. This would have made it easier to understand. At first I was disappointed because I thought it would take more to decide to end your life but in the end I can understand Hannah. Only the way she handled her decision was heedless.

The themes Jay Asher chooses are partial awful for example sexual harassment and common teenager problems like rumors. I am of the opinion that is good that Jay Asher has written about sexual harassment, especially that sexual harassment is not only rape. Grabbing can be considered as sexual harassment, too. The themes were well chosen, but sometimes not well explained. At times it was not not clear to me what the actual problems were. Furthermore, in my eyes the end of the novel was really good. Clay recognized that Skye may be in the same situation Hannah was in and decides to help her. In my opinion this is very motivating and shows that from every bad thing that happens in your life you can learn from for the future.

However, I often think of it. "Thirteen Reasons Why was not a book that made me lose track of time, but I realized that different people interpret actions in different ways. Besides, now I question rumors I hear and I try not to label people for what I have heard about them. To put it in a nutshell, I do not regret reading it because it had a positive effect on my life and I would recommend it. Especially for high school students it is useful to read, because it deals with teenager problems.
Dies ist eine Rezension zum Buch "Thirteen Reasons Why". Sie geht auf den Inhalt, Hannahs Character und den Schreibstil ein. (1111 Wörter)
von piayoxd
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