Review Thirteen Reasons Why

Sabtu, 14 April 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher, Mery Riansyah (Goodreads Author) (Translator), Endah Sulwesi (Editor), Lulu Fitri Rahman (Editor), Tisa Anggriani (Proofreader)

Kau tak bisa menghentikan masa depan, tak bisa mundur ke masa lalu. Satu-satunya cara mengetahui rahasia itu adalah...
terus dengarkan kaset ini.

Clay Jensen kembali dari sekolah dan menemukan kotak misterius untuknya di teras rumah. Dalam kotak itu dia menemukan tujuh kaset yang direkam Hannah Baker--teman sekelas sekaligus gadis yang ditaksirnya--yang bunuh diri dua minggu sebelumnya.

Hannah sudah meninggal. Rahasia gadis itu seharusnya terkubur bersama jasadnya. Namun, Hannah menjelaskan tiga belas alasannya memutuskan mengakhiri hidup. Clay salah satunya. Dengan mendengarkan kaset itu, Clay akan tahu mengapa dirinya termasuk dalam tiga belas alasan itu.

Sepanjang malam, Clay mendengarkan kaset itu. Clay mengikuti petunjuk dari kaset Hannah menyusuri kota kecilnya... dan apa yang dia temukan mengubah hidupnya selamanya.

Penerbit Matahari 2011

Djehan: hmm... Masih ngerasa ajaib, tepatnya aneh yang tak berkesudahan saat selesai membaca buku ini. Bayangkan aja, ada seorang gadis yang rela mengakhiri hidupnya hamya karena nggak bisa berdamai dengan dirinya sendiri. memang sih, dia punya alasan untuk melakukan itu. Tapi bagiku, tetap aja itu konyol dan hal yang teramat bodoh. Tapi, ya mungkin itu adalah pilihan dia.

Hannah, kenapa dia harus repot-repot bunuh diri dan meneror belasan teman-temannya setelah kepergiannya? Kasihan teman-teman Hannah, tapi mereka mungkin pantas mendapatkannya setelah apa yang pernah mereka lakukan kepada Hannah.
so, apakah ketigabelas alasan itu yang membuat Hannah 'harus' mengakhiri hidupnya?

Ceritanya bagus, dari awal saja atmosfer suspense-nya kental banget. deg-degan, takut dan kadang clingak-clinguk saat membacanya, takut tiba-tiba Hannah ada di depanku :D Thx buat Matahati ats nuku kerennya. Ummm, kovernya aku suka, keren, keren, keren..

Natha: "Meninggalkan buku ini di kantor, kemajuan membacanya sangat lambat banget. Belum nenemukan 'klik'nya juga seh."

Nina: Before I get into the actual review, watch this AWESOME fan-made trailer. It is so amazing it made me read this book, damn it.

WARNING: I did not like this book. If you did, and would hate it if someone (me) ranted and bitched about it, then DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW.

REVIEW: I don't know why this book is so popular. And I honestly don't know what all the rave is about. I heard so many great things about this novel, that's why I read it. While this was a good book, well written and all…the plot was just not good enough—no, the reasons leading to Hannah Baker killing herself were not believable enough for me. I mean sure, they did some horrible things to her in high school, that doesn't mean you should just go off and commit suicide. As far as I'm concerned, those kinds of situations happen to everyone. And I don't believe for one second that no one noticed that she wanted to commit suicide. What about her haircut? Didn't the author mention that the teacher passed out a flyer called "The Warning Signs of a Suicidal Individual?" And wasn't there "A sudden change in appearance" on top of the list? What about "Giving away possessions?" Didn't they discuss suicide in the same class? Didn't Hannah leave an anonymous note telling the teacher that? After she told Mr. Porter? And he didn't stop her? Come on, they couldn't have been that dumb! Hannah, above all, just sounded whiny. And I just couldn't sympathize with her character. And committing suicide and then blaming people for it is just a stupid excuse for killing herself. She was the one that decided to kill herself, not them—not anyone. She just needed someone to blame. And poor Clay! If Clay wasn't one of the reasons Hannah killed herself, then why put him through the agony? Why give him the tapes? She could've just written him a letter. And Tony! Hannah put even the ones that had nothing to do with her in pain. For example: what did Tony do to her? Because I know he was hurting, too. He felt helpless because he couldn't have saved her.

It was also very difficult and confusing to keep up with what Clay and Hannah said/thought. One second I'm reading in Clay's point of view, the next Hannah's. And sometimes I had to reread a whole paragraph because I got the POV wrong in my head.
Also, I think suicide is a very serious issue so I didn't really buy Jay Asher's portrayal of Hannah's feelings. If someone wanted to commit suicide, their emotion had to be deeper, stronger than just hatred and petty resentment for having a bad reputation in High School. Therefore, I thought Hannah's emotions weren't very serious, even childish and overly dramatic at times. And after finishing the books I was like, "seriously?! That's why she killed herself?!" I honestly felt like Asher was making fun of the teens who have been through terrible things in their life and are still trying to stay strong after everything they've been through. This was like telling them, "what the heck, end your life if you're so miserable."

UPDATE: Just found out this is going to be a movie. Starring Selena Gomez.

Also, if you want to know more about Hannah's reasons,

Stephanie: eta 2: this is also the perfect book to listen to on audiotape. usually i am annoyed with audiobooks, but i enjoyed listening to this one almost as much as reading it, because i was hearing hannah while driving in my car, much the same way clay was. still love this book and it's boldness.

eta: for everyone that thinks hannah's suicide was unbelievable, or that the reasons were just stupid and petty, take a moment and think about how what happened could have been the impetus for suicide. it's not the whole story, of course. hannah tells us that herself. but people who commit suicide aren't just people that have been raped, abused, are poverty stricken, gang members, or sufferers of PTSD. too many adolescents kill themselves out of a depression that spirals in the SAME WAY hannah's does. too many adults do. and look at the suicide statistics if you don't think this is an important book.*

yep, i broke down and bought it. and i am SO GLAD that i did. you guys, ALL OF YOU, read this now. i'm so not joking. this is one of the best books about adolescents and real life and how things can snowball that i have ever read.not to mention this is the best, best, portrayal of true suicidality that i have come across - in all genres. here's clay jensen, with a stack of tapes that arrive on his door. seven tapes, with a number painted in nail-polish on each corner. seven tapes from the dead hannah baker, who was clay's total crush. hannah baker, who killed herself with pills. the genius is that the act of suicide itself is not glorified. at all. it's not an impulsive suicide, despite what people may have thought, and that's part of why i think i appreciate this book so much. for people that are truly, and deeply, and clinically depressed, it's not really impulsive. it's a series of things that lead one to believe that it's just not going to get better.

and that's exactly what happens to hannah. things that seem small and petty or not even memorable build in the head of someone who is already fragile. she isn't melodramatic about it, she's to the point. sometimes she's angry, sometimes she's sad, and sometimes she's brutally honest with herself - she knows that her actions are selfish, she knows that there were places she could have made things different and didn't. she knows where she closed the doors that might have been opening, and where she opened the ones she should have left shut.

i love hannah baker. i love clay jensen. i love these characters for their emotional vulnerability and honesty, for the way the story is told in pieces that all weave together in the end, for the fact there is no pandering to the reader, or condescension. that even in the end, even after hannah decided, there was one last chance. that this was thought out and thoughtful and not just a look at how people deal with the aftermath of a suicide, but how a suicide might be the end point.

i really cannot say enough about this book. i want to quote whole passages, i want to make so many people read it. it is SUCH an accurate portrayal it breaks my heart.

when hannah wants to disappear into the mist, and the decision for the way she wants to kill herself - her difficulty in even saying the word "suicide" in the beginning - it's just. not wanting her parents to find her hanging. thinking about making it look like an accident by crashing a car.

people may think what hannah did, by leaving the tapes, was super vindictive and mean. i do think there was an element of that to her recording everything - it's true to her character. but more than that, i think hannah wanted people to know how things spiral so far out of control, and how seemingly small interpersonal interactions can have such amazing consequences.

more than anything, i think hannah wanted to leave her own answer to "why do people commit suicide" and "signs to watch out for".

and i think she did a pretty damn good job. this is amazingly brilliant. Jay Asher just completely blew me away. so go read it. now.

Annalisa: I liked the idea of this book more than the execution. Clay received a package in the mail with audiotapes narrated by Hannah because he is one of the thirteen reasons she committed suicide. As he wanders through town visiting the monumental spots in Hannah's life, he listens to the tapes waiting for the one that accuses him. The suspense was good. I liked Clay and applaud Asher for bringing to light the tragic subject of teen suicide, but there were things about it that bothered me:

I didn't sympathize with Hannah. I really wanted to. From the get go, I wanted to pity the wrongs done her, but she started off the tapes laughing, taking her impending suicide as a joke, which comes off as spite. I know Asher did this to show a character arc of someone who was fun and outgoing until the stupid cruelties of teenagers destroyed her, but where she started these tapes after she decided to kill herself, the humor is jarring. We should only get depressed Hannah on the tapes and the outgoing Hannah through Clay's memories. And we don't even see the transition from happy to ruined, only the word of Clay that she changed. I wanted to see it in Hannah's story.

Asher also played it too safe with Clay. He was a bit of a Gary Stu (view spoiler)

I get that the point is that we never know how our deeds affect those around us--even the smallest cruelty can destroy someone--but where Hannah had the chance to show us how these thirteen faults add up to something, I expected more connecting the dots. All I got was a mention that their weight on top of everything else is the whole story. I wanted the whole story. Story nine was built up as the big event, a turning point that expounded the prior incidents to a climax that was too much, but after that I just became frustrated with Hannah and wanted to hear her name as one of the thirteen. She was given plenty of lifelines but refused them and then pulled people down with her. Like the last story. What was the point of that unless she wanted to ruin someone's life? Hannah deserved to be on some of these people's lists more than they deserved to be on hers.

In the end, I think that it is a plus that Hannah isn't portrayed as a victim but fleshed out to both good and bad. It doesn't make suicide the natural answer. As I said before, the message in the book is good and I was into the story, breezing through it quickly. It was clever and different and will make you think or get angry or sad or proactive. I loved the play, pause, and stop icons too. I think it's an important YA novel and despite my nitpicking would recommend it. I wish Asher had taken a few more risks with his characters, but all-in-all a great debut novel.

Mike: Thirteen Reasons Why,Jay Asher's Song of Suicide for Duet

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.--Robert Frost.

The facts are grim, but true. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged fifteen to twenty-four. It is the fourth leading cause of death for children aged ten to fourteen. The statistics are compiled by the United States Center for Disease Control. Although contributing factors may vary from case to case, the most common factor is depression, the belief that life is overwhelming and that death is a welcome escape.

But statistics are nothing but numbers. Jay Asher with his novel Th1rteen R3asons Why, has brought a mere number to life in Hannah Baker's story. Hannah commits suicide by taking pills. She has reasons--thirteen of them. And she has left no doubt as to what those reasons are by recording her reasons and naming the people who are responsible for her decision.

It is ghoulish in a way. Hannah has mailed her cassette tapes to one person with explicit instructions that after listening to the tapes that person mail them to the next person on the list. If her audial chain letter is broken, she's made a backup copy which will be made public. It's unlikely anyone will break the chain because Hannah tells secrets no one would want revealed.

Hannah's story begins simply enough. She's the new girl at the local high school. She's pretty. Her parents have opened up a new shoe store in town. But Hannah's problems begin quite soon. She's put down as number one on the "Hot" list being circulated around school. Never mind it's not true. Now, Hannah's the girl with the reputation. She is the constant target of snubs and snickers.

But then there's Clay. He's the boy who is known school wide as the good kid. Why would he be on Hannah's list of thirteen reasons? Perhaps it's because he folded to peer pressure and didn't ask her out because of what "they" would say. However, Clay's conduct comes nowhere close to approaching that of his classmates, including stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment, and out and out rape.

It is through Clay that Rash makes his story so compelling. Rash has written two distinct narratives, one for Hannah and one for Clay. He has intermingled Hannah's voice on the tape with Clay's immediate reaction to what he has just heard. It is effective. It works. And it is this technique that makes Thirteen Reasons Why read like a bullet.

Rash has done a good deed writing this book. It carries a strong message that our behaviors, no matter their degree have an effect on the feelings of others. This novel is a plea for empathy and respect for each other. As Hannah tells us,"I guess that's the point of it all. No one knows for certain how much of impact they have on the lives of other people. Often we have no clue."

Rash has hit his target audience. Just take a quick visit to the Thirteen R3asons Why Project and peruse some of the comments from young people who have read this book.

Is Thirteen Reasons Why perfect? No. Rash falters in a few crucial areas. Hannah's parents are non-existent. We never get to know them, nor have any inkling of Hannah's relationship with them. Nor does any villain ever seem to suffer the consequences for their behavior, not even a rapist. Finally, this could be a dangerous story in the hands of a troubled teen. For Hannah plays the ultimate game of "Gotcha!" Unfortunately, to win, you have to die.

This is a good read. It's tough, sad, and tragic. But it carries a message more positive than negative. 3.5 Rating