A must-read for teens & adults alike.

By now you’ve probably guessed that I am obsessed with young adult books. Yes, it’s true, they are generally pretty easy reads, and I like the plots and drama in young adult books. Even though these books are generally aimed at the 12-16 year-old crowd, that has not deterred me from constantly reading them. However, every once in awhile, I will come across a YA (young adult) book that has real literary merit, and leaves me thinking about the novel long after I’ve finished reading it. Jay Asher’s novel is one of those books, and I believe teens and adults alike will be enriched by reading this story.

Jay Asher’s debut novel, Thirteen Reasons Why has been a runaway best-seller since it’s first print run, nearly four years ago. This powerful young adult novel tackled the hard-hitting subject of suicide — taking a surprisingly authentic approach to such a taboo issue. Using well-defined, relatable characters and an intricate interwoven storyline, Asher was able to beat the odds — creating a massive best-seller even with three major factors stacked against him. In the four years since the hardcover publication of Thirteen Reasons Why, Asher has overcome his anonymity as an author by branding his name with the 13RW web-project. Additionally, by addressing the issue of teen suicide in such a raw, uncensored manner, he was able to successfully tap into the hard-to-reach young adult market.

With so much buzz surrounding this novel, I was skeptical that the book would not live up to its hyped-up reputation. After reading this book, I would say: believe the hype. As the number 13 has great significance in the novel, I’ve decided to stay with the theme and list 13 reasons why this particular book should be your next read.

1. The storyline itself is very creative

2. The characters are all very believable.

3. The main characters—Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker both resonated with me as a reader (and I bet they will with you too).

4. The issue of teen suicide was addressed in a very authentic manner.

5. The novel was very well-written.

6. This singular book is now a brand (a.k.a. 13RW Web Project). How many books have that power?

7. The book blends commercial appeal with rich literary elements.

8. The paperback version was released in July 2011, which means the book is now cheaper to buy and read.

9. Since it’s publication, the book has garnered a multitude of awards.

10. The book is paced very well, and kept me engaged and thinking from beginning until well after I had finished the book.

11. As a debut author, one should definitely give Jay Asher’s first novel a chance.

12. This book is great for group discussion, and almost demands one.

13. The film adaption is currently in production. Thus, you should probably read the original before you see it portrayed on the big screen.

There are many more reasons you should check out this book! Let us know what your reasons are for others to read Thirteen Reasons Why.

♥AUTHOR: ANDREA WHITLOCK