I thought that this sounded very interesting, so I decided to give it a read.
First off, let me say that the premise is definitely unique -- a depressed youth commits suicide and leaves behind recordings for a select few to hear. The book flips back and forth between Hannah's story (via her recordings) and Clay's, as he listens to them. This isn't something I've seen before.
However, having said that, this book was a huge miss for me. As someone who suffered from depression and anxiety in my early to mid-teens, even spending time in the hospital for treatment, I actually found this book to be offensive. We the readers are supposed to sympathize with Hannah, as she explains what she's been through and what pushed her to the edge. I found that impossible. The series of events leading to her suicide are so small and insignificant, her attitude so overdramatic, and her solution to blackmail her classmates so soulless, that I just couldn't like her.
The fact that Hannah made the tapes in the first place shows that she blames others, not herself, for what happened. She was angry at everyone else, not sad. Plenty of people were kind to her, but she turned them away, citing that she felt "so alone" and bullied. It's a poorly-written depiction of mental illness in youth and far from realistic.
I read this book when I was younger, and reading it now, I realize that these themes of suicide, depression, and anxiety were so close to home, and I'm glad that this book was so successful. This book really gets the dirty and gritty bits of abuse and mental health, and how it ended someone's life in the end. Love the story and the reasons behind it.
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.