I listened to this audio book with a car full of teenage girls and although there are some graphic parts that made me uncomfortable there was so much to take away from this book and so much discussion , it was a powerful , gripping story with so many life lessons a must read for you and your teen.
I am a middle school reading teacher who loves to show students the wonder and joy of reading.
I was worried this would be another teen drama fest but I was wrong. As an educator it made me hyper aware of the power our words have. I think everyone should think about how their actions or lack of action affects others around us.
Worth the read.
Based on several reviews I read on this book, I am guessing I am one of the people who thought it was just ok, well maybe not even that. I wanted to love this book, this look at how bullying and peoples everyday decisions affected others, how off handed comments and actions can be taken to heart and the unforeseen and unexpected outcomes of those decisions on others. I wanted to understand Hannah and her choice, to understand how what some see as little things could be so very serious to her, enough to kill herself. But honestly, I just found, I didn’t like her. I thought she was being spiteful and vindictive in her tapes, they did not read/sound like a person saying Hey, this really hurt me and here is why. No, it was like you didn’t invite me to prom and you suck, now I killed myself and it was all your fault…ha! Ok, so I exaggerate, but honestly I felt worse for Clay and some of the others than Hannah herself.
Now, I am not suggesting that some (all 2 of them) of the “13 people” that are addressed in the book are not deserving of such hate and disgust. I hate to think that these things really happen and I know they do because I was in high school once too, and honestly for people to be so cruel and sick at such a young age is not only sad but scary. But most of the 13, Clay included (Why was he even included, I still don’t get that. He was good and kind and I have to say part of my resentment and dislike towards Hannah is her choice to involve him.) did nothing more than what happens every day to everyone in life. You get embarrassed sometimes, you get annoyed, and people say things, but to kill yourself over it, it just felt so shallow of a reason. And maybe it was because to me, what some of those included said or did were so, not a big deal, for the most part I did not truly feel most of them did anything really bullying at all. I think that really is what really sums up my dislike for this book overall. There are people out there who are getting verbal abused with such cruel cutting words, I want to cry for them, who are being physically assaulted, we see it in the news and displayed on you-tube all the time, yet Hannah’s upset her kiss that she wanted was not like that in a love story? Also was it just me or did it seem that she started to act in ways that put herself in more danger of bad things happening…but then was mad and blamed others because if two months ago you had taken me to the movies I would not have gotten in the hot tub naked with him that night…really?!? So now all the kids (yes children) have to live with Hannah’s tape to them because God forbid, they did not treat her like the world revolved around her, she is just as guilty for her lack of caring and cruelty towards them with these tapes as she claims they were toward her.
I will say I like the duel narration of the story and very much like Joel Johnstone’s voice, so much so I have looked into other books he has narrated, simply because he’s reading them. I thought the narrators were clear and crisp in their execution and did what they could emotionally with the story they were given. I liked the author’s decision to write the story in this way, even if I did not love what he was writing. The overall performance of the narrators was one redeeming quality.
I apologize in advance if my review offends, it’s not my intention. I just felt like this book took a very sensitive and serious topic and sent a horrible and confusing message to those teens who are struggling with true bullying and thoughts of suicide. I wanted to love it, to cry with it and to find some deeper understanding, but it fell short for me in almost all aspects.
A well crafted story and well produced audio, this is the type of book that teens and parents of teens need to read. It offers a chain of events which illustrate the impact each action we take or don't take has on our communities and the individuals in it.
A long and drawn out suicide note, this story ends with a positive step forward. However, Hannah is still dead and the people who will receive her story will always carry that death with them. The people she did not share her story with will always wonder why she did what she did.
For the lessons on the impact we each have on each other the value of each life, I will share this story with my kids.
I love it when I have no idea what's going to happen next.
This book is perfect as an audiobook, and the narrators did a wonderful job. It makes you feel as if you are moving along with the male character and that you are actuLly listening to the tapes with him. I love books that play with point of view, and this one does it creatively. It's not a classic, but it's certainly worth a credit. You will be moved.
This is really a one gimmick YA novel. I am a teacher and one of my students said it was her favorite book ever, so I gave it a shot. The gimmick is that a high school girl had committed suicide and left a series of tapes meant to be listened to by the people who caused (in some way) her to take her own life. The novel switches between the girl's tapes and a boy who is listening to them. The boy is not one who treated her poorly, but rather her "almost love." I just never got past the gimmick, and it just sounded to me like someone trying to write a heart-wrenching YA novel. I think a lot of kids, especially girls who like sad romances, will like this. It does touch upon the important issue of teen suicide. As an adult, I was not drawn in, and stopped about an hour from the end.
Listening to audiobooks is a guilty pleasure. I travel a lot so listen to about four per monthly. Biographies are a favorite.
Unique story - written from the "grave" by dead teenager
I think that I liked the uniqueness of idea. Sad, though. I think that even though you know the end...it still has a component of mystery.
Hmmm, interesting question. Maybe a male/female perspective? I felt sorry for the guy in the story.
The guy listening to the tapes. Felt very bad for him. Wished the entire time that it would end differently.
Yes! This tale takes the readers on a heartbreaking journey.
The interesting way it was written.
I came across this book three years ago and aways wanted to read it. I'm glad I finally did. This tale had me questioning my actions. The saying: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me are not good parental advise.
Student who doesn't listen to audiobooks often, but I'm giving it a shot now!
I love this story. I've loved it for years. However, I did not connect to the woman who did Hannah's narration. She seems too old, too cynical, or both to be voicing a distraught high school junior; personally, I always imagined her voice to be higher or softer than this. Her Hannah just didn't have much personality beyond being angry. The man who narrated Clay was just fine; he captured Clay's confusion and anger and sadness well. But, like the woman who voiced Katniss in "The Hunger Games" (which I only listened to for one disc before I got sick of it), this woman was just not a good fit for Hannah. Maybe if this is re-recorded at some point, they'll cast someone younger.
I can't think of any one specific thing but I think they both did an amazing job with this story, I was kind of disappointed not to hear them when I started my next one!
I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was set up brilliantly so that you were hooked pretty quickly and felt the same compulsion to listen as the narrator who was just hearing it too.