I thought that this book was a pretty new release but I’ve just checked and it was released in 2007! Only 9 years behind BUT in my defence it seems to be doing its rounds again now, so after seeing it for again and again and again decided that I needed to pick up this book (or in my case listen to the audiobook on Audible, read fabulously by Debra Wiseman & Joel Johnstone). If you want to check out this book here is the Goodread’s page; https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1217100.Thirteen_Reasons_Why where I stole the picture from (thank you Goodreads).
My first observation was that this audiobook is eight hours long, which doesn’t sound long in comparison to the actual reading of the book but I do read really quick so I selected a faster reading option. This ultimately lead to me wildly missing huge chucks if I zoned out but even with rewinding this book took me just over 6 hours to finish and I managed to listen to it in a couple of days so I didn’t forget about it.
The cover is interesting. I’m not a huge fan of books with people on the front but this one was somehow intriguing. The title emphasises that interest, Thirteen Reasons Why… What? From the synopsis I knew this book was about a girl who had recorded tapes about why she decided to commit suicide, but thirteen reasons? I needed to know what these reasons were.
Now I’m once again not going to go into great detail because I think this is a book you have to experience and I don’t think it would be as enjoyable if you didn’t get to witness the unfolding having gone into it blind. I will though express how good I thought this book was.
I rated this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I feel like 4 star ratings is like shouting this book was good but not good enough, I don’t think that’s the case with this book and not the intention of my scoring it only 4 stars. I believe anything over 2.5 stars is excellent, its above average and trust me where there are so many average (or worse) books out there, above average is freaking good.
I found the story flowed really well, there were very few moments that I found my mind deviating which is a miracle when it comes to audiobooks. I found myself believing in every character to the point where it was hard to imagine that only one person had written them. They were well developed, as was the plot that constantly pulled you down a corridor you weren’t sure you wanted to go through but one you ultimately couldn’t stop walking towards. The descriptions were good but not too much, which I really appreciated.
I found myself with my heart in my throat throughout this book, constantly waiting for the next revelation that would make me feel terrible and hurt. I felt like the emotions of both the main characters were ever present, you were never unaware of how they felt and I could genuinely imagine what it would be like to be in their situation.
I did feel the synopsis was a little deceptive and I won’t go into detail here but I think the blurb set out to add a level of drama that wasn’t in the book and I don’t think would be needed to sell the book anyway. I look back at the write up on Goodreads before I wrote this review and I was pretty shocked at how different the tone of that is when I think about the tone in the book. This is not a fast passed thriller, this book is a long, hard, slow reveal that will drive you mad waiting.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the darker and more realistic side of YA fiction and mental health. Its also a good guide on how depression is so quickly brushed under the carpet, or ignored or not just recognised.
I can’t see this being a book that I would pick up again but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Have you read this book? Loved it? Hated it? Comment below and let me know what you thought.