Clay Jensen arrives home to find a box of cassette tapes posted to him by the late Hannah Baker (a classmate of his, who recently committed suicide). The tapes come with instructions to listen and then pass on the tapes to the next person on the list (revealed in the tapes) if they don’t then a second set of tapes will be released and played to the entire student body. The tapes list the reasons why she killed herself (hence the title).
I really disliked this book, I didn’t enjoy the characters or find the stories behind each one interesting and the ending really irritated me (no spoilers!). I also felt the issues covered in this book (rape, self harm, guilt and suicide) were not often not covered well enough that they would more harmful than helpful to the younger audience this book is aimed at. It is extremely important that people do talk about these issues and have the space to do so, particularly when they themselves or someone they know are going through something similar, but this book doesn’t do that. If you’re going to write a book, article, memoir fact or fiction about sensitive issues then it needs to be done perfectly, to help not hinder. I guess the only positive thing I could mention about this is it could help people empathise more with others going through difficult situations, which is never a bad thing.
I really would not recommend this, made me feel uncomfortable about how the topics were covered and at times glossed over.