“Thirteen Reasons Why” Book Review


This is the review I posted on my Goodreads:

I read this book my 7th grade year and loved it. I read it probably four or five times between then and my freshman year of high school (age 15). So, four years later, I decided to read it again to see if it was still one of my favorite books, and I’m sad to say that no, it is not.

While I enjoyed this book, I did not enjoy it as much as I did four years ago. The book has an interesting idea, but I found myself more annoyed by the characters. Maybe it’s my four more years of experience that has changed my mind, but I thought the characters had so little development and some were even pointless to the story.

I also think that this book can give a reader the wrong idea that just because high school was bad, you shouldn’t see what the rest of your life has to give. Obviously not everyone has a great high school experience (mine wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t the best either), and I think this book can promote some wrong ideas to some people. I was depressed for about two or three years of my life (8th grade through 10th grade), and now that I think about it, I was when I read this book. And then when I think more about it, it was books like this that made me think about self-harm and suicide. It made me think, “wow, I have problems like this too. Should I end my life?” And while I know not everyone has that immediate reaction, I did, and I’m sure others did and can too.

On the writing side of it, I was annoyed by the little inserts of self-dialogue given by Clay. Every time Hannah said something, there would be a little sentence showing us what Clay was thinking, but they all felt forced. I also was not that attached to any of the characters. Clay had almost no character development. The book started with him sad about Hannah’s death, but then stricken with grief when he gets the tapes. By the end of the book, he’s depressed and is constantly thinking on how he could’ve helped her and how this was partially his fault. EVEN WHEN HANNAH SAID NO, CLAY. YOU HAD NO PART IN THIS.

The book’s ending was also disappointing. Clay sees Skye, an old middle school crush, and notices how she’s similar to Hannah. He sees how Skye also cuts herself off from the world and had a change of appearance so he goes and talks to her. I understand how this was trying to be Clay’s huge turnaround, the part of the book where we see that “WOW! Clay has grown up a lot!” But all I see is Clay obsessing over Hannah’s death and quickly trying to fix everyone and anything he can so he can try and get rid of his grief.

While there are a lot of aspects I hate, I did enjoy the story. The idea was unique and I read the book in 2 days. It made me consider how my actions can affect people’s lives. I also like how Asher gave us a deeper look into the mind of Hannah Baker. While I don’t fully agree with the ideas the book promotes, it was still a decently written story and a good read.

I give this book a 3 out of 5.

Have you guys ever read this book, and if you have, what did you think? xx


4 thoughts on ““Thirteen Reasons Why” Book Review

  1. Ivy says:

    Great review! I read this book in middle school too and I remember I loved it. Now part of me wants to reread it to see if I feel the same way. I’ve grown a lot as both a reader and a writer over the last few years, so I wonder if my opinions have changed. I’ve noticed that a lot of my book reviews end up turning into revising sessions with authors. I was always the kid that pointed out the errors in books and fixed them myself 😄


    • kennedyolson20 says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! A lot of people still enjoy this book, but I just don’t like it as much anymore. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


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