Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

October 19, 2009
After reading Thirteen Reasons Why, senior Ashley Wiltrout realized that the topic of teen suicide was one that needs to be discussed more freely, rather than to be avoided.
“I think at this point in time, it’s almost crucial for this topic to be discussed,” Wiltrout said. “It’s all too often that you see something about a teen killing themselves on the news.”
Author Jay Asher has taken the writing world by storm with his debut novel Thirteen Reasons Why. This New York Times bestseller is a great read that teaches a very important lesson every teenager should learn.
Thirteen Reasons Why brings to light a very controversial topic for a young adult novel, teen suicide. Through its duel narration we learn that the main female character, Hannah Baker has committed suicide before the book even begins. She tells her story through a set of cassette tapes she recorded before her death.

Hannah reveals to the reader her 13 reasons for ending her life, but more importantly the 13 people she holds responsible. Through Hannah’s stories, Asher shows how petty high school cruelty can really affect someone negatively. “Hannah was just an ordinary girl with ordinary problems, it was the lack of understanding from her peers that drove her to her breaking point.” said senior Brittany Myers.

Hannah teaches everyone who reads that kindness is key. You never know how someone may be feeling, or what they may be hiding behind a smile. Someone may have bigger problems then you could ever imagine. The things you say really do make an impact.
All Hannah needed was for someone to care, someone willing to listen, but instead she found nothing but hateful people and cruel words. “(After reading) I couldn’t stop thinking of how other people see me,” said senior Katie Siwula, “and if I have, in any way helped or hurt someone the way Hannah was.”
Thirteen Reasons Why is a book for all ages. Though it was written to target young adults, parents and children alike can take away from Asher’s brilliant work. Its pages are filled with such suspense and raw emotion that even the most skeptical of readers would be hard-pressed to find a flaw in its message.

Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

oliviarose said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm
I read this book in two days, which means a lot since I read slowly and I usually don't read for long periods of time, but I found this book very, very interesting. Although, I have to admit the parts where the boys is talking about things he does is somewhat boring, but without the boy it would be weird because all it would be was a string of tapes. I though Hannah Baker's story was fascinating and I really understood some of her feelings, much like other teens. Her story was very sad... (more »)
nagrombackwards said...
Oct. 26, 2009 at 6:36 pm
I actually DIDN'T like this book all that much. I did enjoy the character development, and there was a lot of suspense. But I felt like Asher really drug the book out, and i found it uninteresting in parts. I've read a multitude of suicide novels, and to be honest, this was one of the worsts. It was a good idea for a book, but a bad author.
Good article, on your part! I'm sure the student body will enjoy it.
pictolover replied...
Nov. 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm
WHAT??? i read this book 4 times in two weeks. i couldn't get enough of it. i think it was beautifully written. I think she achieved everything needed for a good book.
Sfarias said...
Oct. 26, 2009 at 4:53 pm
I read this book
It was really good
KarianaGold said...
Oct. 25, 2009 at 4:14 pm
I read this book for the school paper too so i had two days to read it. honestly it was amazing i couldn't put it down. I finished it @ my little sisters basketball game and i was crying and my makeup smeared and i felt so stupid, but that made it worse because i really got into what hannah was feeling and I could already relate but...
cutietothemax58 replied...
Oct. 26, 2009 at 12:25 pm
what did you mean? I read your comment a few times and I'm still confused. Was the but... supposed to mean that you loved the book but that my review was less than par? or?... I value others opinions and would like to know what you meant. Thanks.
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