Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Two weeks ago, Clay’s first love, Hannah, committed suicide, leaving him with many questions. The answers come in an anonymously delivered package containing tapes recorded by Hannah, detailing the events leading up to her death, and placing the blame on thirteen people. Including Clay.
This isn’t a bad book, but Asher has tried a narrative experiment that hasn’t worked. Alternating quickly between Clay’s first-person narrative and Hannah’s narration of the tapes (in italics) isn’t on the face of it a bad idea, but Asher’s decision to only slowly reveal the depth of the two characters’ connection to each other falls down. At the beginning of the book – simply because it isn’t mentioned – we have no idea that they were more than casual acquaintances, and when new elements are revealed it isn’t a big shocking revelation, it feels more like Asher simply forgot to mention it before.
I can think of worse ways to kill a day or so, but I can also think of much better. Speaking of which, back to that massive David Icke tome that I’m plodding my way through…