Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Review: TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY by Jay Asher (2007)

I actually intend to write this around last week, but because of the busy schedule (school, UGH), I ended up late with the new review and I couldn't wrap my head around that fact. I wanted to blog but school deprives me of it... ACK!

But here I am, as promised at least from my last book review, I will be posting this new one. Hope you guys enjoy it... And somehow you fall apart as I did...

(Hopefully, there won't be harsh reactions to any of my reviews... THANK YOU!!!)

I've read the book almost a month ago. It was the time of the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda struck the Philippines and my province, Batangas, was put into a storm signal of 2. I was bored. There was no electricity which means there's no TV, no WIFI and no laptop to plug in. You really couldn't go out because of the weather. It's like risking your sweet, simple life.

So, I cooped myself in my room around 5 PM; when the sun was down and you couldn't really see anything. But I was really into the idea of reading the book to let it pass without turning a page and I was in a "bookish" mood , so I lit up a candle, perched it on the side table next to my bed and read away. And while the remaining hours of day turned to night, I suddenly realized that I could not put the book down, even for a sec. I was too engulfed by the story that I was not worried about the fragility of my eyes.. (I wear glasses guys...)

I've had a few share of tears (actually, buckets of it), from all the Young Adult and contemporary teenage novels I've read. Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher is one of those books that made me cry, worked it's miracles, and made me dysfunctional.

Here's my brief description of what the novel is about:

"Clay Jensen receives a box of tapes  from an unknown sender on his doorstep. He thinks it's a prank but listens to it anyway out of curiosity. He is shocked to hear Hannah Baker's voice, a girl who went to his school. Clay did not expect to hear Hannah's voice. Hannah is dead.
And the worst thing about it is, Hannah blames him for her death. And not just him, but 12 other people included in the 7 tapes she sent; 13 sides all in all. While listening to the tapes, Clay discovers things about Hannah that he wishes he didn't ever heard of: her pains, sufferings, all the thoughts running through her head and the people that lead her to her demise."

Th1rteen R3asons Why is a gut-wrenching and heart stabbing debut novel from author Jay Asher. The book is a New York Times Bestseller and is still published up to this day. The book showcases a girl's thoughts relayed through sets of tapes. The tapes cover her whole high school life, from the bullying to the simple pleasures, to the people who ruined her belief in life. The tapes were recorded before she ended her life. It served as her eulogy.

Mr. Jay Asher! ALL HAIL HIM!!!

I remember crying so hard at one page that I had to stop for a minute, grab a pillow, hug it and shove my face into it and cry my heart out... I've had thoughts of taking my life like Hannah did because life was not always sugary-sweet. But, unlike Hannah, I had  few good friends and family to help me through my pains and shortcomings. 

There are times though that we're all alone and can't find anyone who could help us. It's not a choice to be weak. And for the past 13 years of my life, I've learned to shield myself from criticism. I wish I was there for Hannah... 

The words in the book are relatable to teenagers especially to those who felt what Hannah did and felt what Clay felt too...There are symbols in the prints of the book that suggest the stopping and playing of the walkman/tape. Hannah's voice is italicized in print while Clay's is in the normal font, making it easier for the readers to understand who's perspective it is. Each side of the tape is a stab to the heart. Each word Hannah uttered, resonates to your brain and you end up questioning yourself if you've met someone like that, or whether you'd even learn to get over the situation if you were in Hannah's shoes. A world in which Hannah saw no beauty... No beauty within the tiny world she lived in.

I wanted to hate Clay, I really do. But it was also Hannah's fault anyway, why she didn't ask for help, even from Clay, who was always there for her. But then again, Clay is frustrating! You could definitely call him the boy-next-door type of guy: cute but has self-esteem issues. I was crying over his guilt  and the pain of him realizing all the things Hannah had gone through. And his frustrations over so many things he heard, hurt me like a bullet to the heart. I'm sure that for those people who have read the book , you've been punching and screaming at your books and Clay. 

I actually heard a clip from the audio book over on Youtube, and my booknerd goosebumbs went straight to the roof. The eeriness of Hannah Baker's voice as she tells the story? Priceless.

Jay Asher truly made this book a masterful artwork of teenage pain and frustrations and also the fragility of humanity and ones mind. Though Asher did intend to write a suicide story, he does not want his readers to think like Hannah or act like Hannah afterwards. In fact, we are the manifestation of Clay. The Clay who cares enough to help someone. But we should be the Clay that never faltered when the situation needed it... We need to be tougher at times when we see someone being bullied or someone who needs some emotional support. We could be Clay towards ourselves by getting rid of the pain within... We cannot be Hannah... Let us be the Clay that helped Skye. I suggest that you really read the book for you to understand what I'm talking about and who I'm implying towards. 

Th1rteen R3asons Why is a book that will open your eyes about the fragility of our world, the people we meet and the trust that we implore upon others. Trust is easy to give out but a true friend is hard to find. Learn to speak because there will always be an ear to listen. Don't be afraid to hold someone's hand, especially if you know that someone's there who cares for you. These are definitely the lessons you'll learn, though indirectly...

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.”

Th1rteen R3asons Why is available at all National Book Store and Fully Booked outlets. for 385Php.
Follow them on Twitter: @nbsalert and @_FullyBooked

Follow Jay Asher on Twitter: @jayasherguy
Also check out his blog: jayasher.blogspot.com

OH BY THE WAY! Here's a tweet from Jay Asher when I asked him if he wants to come to the Philippines for a book signing... MY FEELS SOARED TO THE HEAVENS ABOVE! Lezz petition for it!!!

Here's a shout out to my Twitter buddy and fan of the novel as well, Trexia (@GreysonDementor). I love you Trex! My hand is here (as well as my Twitter account) to hold you always. 

A big shout out to all the book and movie fandoms out there on Twitter and my other friends who loves books out there! And of course, all of you MISFITS!!!

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