By: Jay Asher
Book Review By: K. Carson
Characters: The book focuses mostly on Clay, from his first person POV, the other half of the book focuses on Hannah, and her first person POV. As you may or may not know, I'm very adverse to first person. I feel it's very limiting. I like to dig into secondary characters heads, which is something you can't really do in first person. But this book had to be told in first person, and so I was totally okay with that.
There were so many characters in this book that it should have been confusing, but Asher handled himself beautifully. Clay and Hannah were wonderfully constructed. They were just normal kids. You didn't get to see all the reasons for Hannah's depression and need to turn to suicide, which left delightful hints and room for exploration into Hannah's character. (I love ambiguious anything in a book!) Clay is the perfect example of someone who goes through that kind of pain-- he's lost, he's scared, and he just wants to understand what happened.
I decree: 5/5 stars.
Plot: Oh my god! The plot in this book is so devilish! It keeps twisting and turning and every time Hannah went to name another person, you could feel the tension. It made me want to skip lines just to figure it all out! The story is about a dark subject-- suicide-- but it's not suffocating. Asher wrote it to tell a message, not to drown us in teenage sorrows. I adored that aspect. The book was mostly about the characters and the consequences of their actions. Every choice a character made, it came back to haunt them in some way. It made for a very inter-connected read.
I decree: 5/5 stars.
Fundimentals: The tension was wound so thick I read it straight through, from the moment I bought it to the moment I finished. The tension is what makes this book wonderful. The only real problem I had with the book's writing style was the fact that BOTH Clay and Hannah were in first person. I understood the necessity, but half-way through the book it was sometimes difficult to tell who was talking, since it went back and forth rather rapidly. Sometimes I would have to stop and re-read to understand who was speaking. I believe that one of them-- probably Clay-- should have been written in third person just to make it clear.
I decree: 4/5 stars.
Overall: A fabulous book I would recomend to anyone. Besides the mention of rape, I think it's not at all inappropriate for younger audiences. It spreads a good message at the end, I believe. Hannah may be angry, but she does do some good. Buy it for someone on your christmas list, I guarentee they won't be disappointed!
Final outcome: 14/15 stars.