Junix Jerald's Reviews > Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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May 18, 12

Read from May 16 to 18, 2012

“Everything… affects everything.” Jay Asher’s debut novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, focused around this theme. Asher showed how one thing could lead to another through Hannah Baker’s story.

Hannah Baker took her life through suicide before Clay Jensen’s narration started, and that is where the story revolved around: why did Hannah Baker commit suicide? Clay arrived home and discovered a package containing seven audiotapes waiting for him. In these audiotapes, Hannah Baker tells stories of significant events that lead to her suicide. The cassette tapes were sent to all the people who Hannah Baker thinks are responsible for her death, and each one of them had one side of a cassette tape dedicated to themselves. Each of them must send all the audiotapes to the next person on the list, or else these tapes are going to be released to the public.

The audiotape on Clay Jensen was bittersweet. It was the chapter that took me the longest time to read as compared to the others because I just could not absorb all the things that Hannah Baker was saying. It was just so sweet and heartbreaking at the same time.

Thirteen Reasons Why is engrossing and was written very intricately. Jay Asher managed to make a connection to all the persons involved in Hannah Baker’s death—or the persons she believes contributed partly on her death.

Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why is so influential that it managed to address a very sensitive issue—suicide, and was still able to reach its readers whether they were survivors or not. Thirteen Reasons Why made me evaluate all the interactions I had with people, how I treat people around me, and how greatly I can affect them. It made me realize that my words, my actions, and even the smallest of gestures could have a great impact on other people’s lives.

Aside from our own actions, another thing that Thirteen Reasons Why depicted is our tendency to get too absorbed with ourselves that we forget to be sensitive enough for other people and take them for granted, most of the time. Hannah Baker’s actions were screaming that she was going to commit suicide and take her life, but no one took notice of them: (1) drastic change in appearance, (2) giving away of significant items owned, and (3) sudden detachment or withdrawal from others.

People like Hannah Baker needs to be understood and not mocked nor ridiculed. Imagine yourself being in these people’s shoes: having to face disappointment every single day, having people label you, and the like.

Overall, I commend Jay Asher for coming up with this powerful novel. It can serve as an eye opener for everyone and I highly recommend this book.
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