The official synopsis is: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
This book was well-written and very powerful. The author does a great job capturing teen angst and insecurities. I was initially concerned the author was blatantly trying to emotionally manipulate his YA readers, and ultimately $$profit$$ from their angst. However, the final message is one of hope and empowerment so I guess manipulation isn't necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, while this is a YA book about suicide and two rapes and a death in a traffic accident, the author does have the bad stuff happen "off screen". Phew! More importantly, the author is encouraging students to talk about their thoughts in book discussion groups with counselors, etc. Kudos again, Mr. Asher.
We should all write so powerfully.