Book Review: “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

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Book Review: “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

Allie Russell, Co-Editor-In-Chief

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Rating: 4/5

“And in the middle of the room, one desk to the left, will be the desk of Hannah Baker. Empty.”

Hannah Baker, who seemed like your average girl, suddenly disappeared from her high school and never returned. As it turns out, Hannah overdosed one night after school, and now no one can explain the reasoning behind it. Hannah’s story is shared as seven loose audiotapes are sent to thirteen people. Thirteen people who played a role in Hannah’s death.

One of those people is Clay Jensen. Told from Clay’s point of view, he journeys through the tapes, and finds out who people really are. The term, “looks can be deceiving,” proves its point throughout the book. Unfortunately, one thing isn’t answered. Clay’s a good guy, he didn’t do anything wrong. So, why is he on the tape and what did he do for Hannah to commit suicide?

That night, Clay listens to all seven tapes, and discovers information that changes his life forever. The truth unravels as friends become foes, and relationships go completely wrong.

It turns out, that Clay doesn’t belong on the tape as one of the reasons. Instead, he’s put on there as an apology. An apology from Hannah that she completely ditched him at the party. An apology that she is going through with her plan. An apology that he doesn’t understand, but everything will be okay in the end.

Personally, I think every teen should be required to read this at some point in their lives. This book not only has a good story, but also has several realistic points that involve today’s society.

In my opinion, the book is used to represent the effects bullying has on people. In this case, the effect was suicide, and the victim was Hannah. Leading up to the decision to end her life, Hannah encountered harassment, stalking, and several people turning their backs and making sexual remarks about her. She finally tried to seek help from one of her teachers, Mr. Porter. Hannah eventually breaks and explains everything, starting with the very first incident. His only comment was, “try to move on.” Disappointed, Hannah walks out the door, with the decision final. The final tape, Hannah records herself saying only two words: “Thank you.”

Overall, I think the author is describing what the victims of bullying are going through, whether it is getting made fun of, or getting stabbed in the back. Words and actions can hurt, and sometimes there’s no one there for them to talk to. Instead of joining in and joking with others, we need to be that one person that they can rely on. You never know if that one person that sits by themselves at the lunch table are debating on making that decision as well.