Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Brandon Wood – 9/15/13 – 5th p.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 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.
Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
How would you feel knowing that you are partly responsible for your crush’s death? This is how Clay Jensen, a quiet high school student, feels until he finds out what really happened. In the novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Hannah Baker, the girl who everyone thought they knew, took her own life, and now the ones who caused it are finding out that they each are partly responsible. The book makes you think about how you are treating others and gives you motivation to treat everyone with respect. Although I loved the entire novel, my favorite aspects would have to be the interesting storyline, relatable characters, and powerful theme.
The interesting storyline of Thirteen Reasons Why made it hard to put the book down. As many times as I have heard about self-harm and suicide, I have never seen it presented in such an interesting way. Usually when someone commits suicide, no one gets a full explanation as to why it happened. In this novel, Hannah states this in great detail. From easily believed rumors to inappropriate actions, she explains just what sent her over the top. The way this information was presented is what made the book so entertaining. Having someone who cared so much about Hannah be the storyteller made it much more personal. The storyline of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher made the book one of the best I have ever read.
The characters in the novel were the second element that made the book so wonderful. Jay Asher described them in a way that made me feel as if I knew them personally. The way they related to some of the students who go to Logan High was almost creepy. I know and see students on a daily basis who are just like Hannah. They are portrayed as the bad girls, but once one gets to know them, really aren’t that way at all. There are also students who act like Clay. They are smart, quiet, and have never been known to do anything bad. Since there are people like Hannah, Clay, and the others who caused Hannah to commit suicide at Logan High, these things could be happening right in front of our faces. The relatable characters in Thirteen Reasons Why really opened my eyes to what is happening around me.
The third element that I loved about Thirteen Reasons Why was the powerful theme. To me, the book stressed to be more cautious of how you treat others, because you never know what they’re going through. After I read the novel, I started to question myself and the way I treated others. Could I possibly be partly responsible for a fellow classmate’s suicide? I hope not. We all need to take into consideration how we are treating others. After all, one small action could either save someone or send someone away.
To sum it all up, this novel has to be the best novel I have ever read. It opened my eyes and taught me to be more observant of my surroundings. The storyline, characters, and theme were the main things that helped the book achieve this effect. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy stories about real issues that are presented in an exceptionally entertaining way. Jay Asher hit it out of the park with his debut novel Thirteen Reasons Why.