I read this book based on an interview with the author in Entertainment Weekly, but was unfortunately disappointed. First of all, the main character, Hannah, isn't very sympathetic. As she begins her narration on the tapes, she comes across as whiny and spiteful, expressing a need to hurt from beyond the grave, despite the fact that throughout her narration she indicates she's forgiven the guilty culprits.
"When you're done listening to all thirteen sides--because there are thirteen sides to every story--rewind the tapes, put them back in the box, and pass them on to whoever follows your little tale. And you, lucky number thirteen, you can take the tapes straight to hell. Depending on your religion, maybe I'll see you there."
Secondly, while I can see how a young, sensitive teen would be hurt by the incidents or reasons Hannah cites in her story, none of them individually or even as a whole are earth shattering or horrible enough to logically serve as the impetus for her suicide. Being used for rides, and being listed as hottest ass in the freshman class don't quite pack the emotional punch I expected. Throughout the tape Hannah complains of the wrongs done to her, but twice when she has the chance to make a difference, and in one case stop something truly heinous and criminal from happening to someone else, she stands by and does nothing.
Even with all of the above comments, I'd recommend that people--especially parents, teachers, and teens--read it, because any book that spreads the message of suicide prevention deserves a read. The message and not necessarily the story is what makes "Thirteen Reasons Why" a compelling read.