Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Review 

I decided to purchase and read this book because I’d seen everyone talking about the Netflix series and I wanted to read it first. 

Thirteen Reasons Why is the story of a teenage girl called Hannah Barker who kills herself. A week later Clay Jensen a teen boy who loved Hannah receives a package on his doorstep containing a bunch of cassette tapes which Hannah recorded before her death, to provide Thirteen Reasons Why Hannah was driven to do what she did. 

For obvious reasons it’s a very emotive novel. Suicide, teen or otherwise is a trigger subject and very upsetting. I suppose I half expected it to be very dramatic, which it wasn’t. 

But wait… that’s not a criticism, far from it. As someone who was bullied all the way through high school I understand what this book is trying to say, and what I hope is that other people do too. I hope this book and for those who don’t read, this series, achieve what it has set out to do. That is, the way that things which some people perceive to be ‘small’ or insignificant things, can really affect other people’s lives. 

It highlights how bullying is more than just attacking people physically or verbally. How it can be small things like spreading a ‘little’ rumour, or stealing something which would have made that persons day. 

But what this book is also about, is the people left behind. There is a lot of focus on blame but also on the things that the person themselves could have done differently, the way that Hannah towards the end almost sets herself up to make her life as terrible as possible in order to finalise her decision. It explores the complexity of the depressed mind and how reason can go out of the window when life becomes so terrible and you feel so alone. How one chain of events can cause you to make a decision about ending your life. 

What I hope this book, and this series does is reminds people to be nice to other people because you don’t know how much that person needs just one smiling face in their day. 


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