Book Review: Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 754 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 6, 2019

Words: 754|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 6, 2019

The story starts with Clay Jensen, a high school student, coming home to find a really packed package waiting for him. Inside the package, lay seven cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker herself, the girl he likes and his classmate who committed suicide 2 weeks before. Clay doesn’t want to do anything with the tapes Hannah made. Because Hannah is dead so her secrets should be buried with her. Hannah’s only instruction was: listen to the tapes and find out how that person became a part of her death, then he must pass them to the next person on the list of 13 names that came with the package. 13 reasons, there are 13 reasons why Hannah Baker killed herself, and Clay Jensen is one of them.

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This story has no murder plots or typical dramas like in most clichéd stories. Instead, Hannah describes a series of unhappy, small incidents the type which could mark a young woman’s maturity. Mostly to do with minor bullying, like when Hannah kissed a guy in the park and that guy spread a rumor that she is “easy”, to a point where pictures has spread too. The time when she was sending signals that she was about to kill herself, the students, her so-called friends, and the staff failed to do much about it. Here, everyone’s a victim and an offender, and some of the characters are both, including Hannah Baker. Although some of the 13 characters are not showing much guilt, most of them are burdened with the “should haves” when Hannah’s tapes reached them.

As I continue reading, I found out the reason why Clay was on Hannah’s list. He likes her for a long time, but he let himself be affected by the society that kept him away from Hannah’s distress. While those people continued to violate Hannah’s trust not just in herself but in others too, Clay’s crime is “neglecting”. He has simple failed to step in and protect Hannah as what he was supposed to do.

For me, this book is really remarkable. On how the author made the story itself, and on how he did the characters’ point of view, especially Clay and Hannah’s point of view. If you don’t pay attention to the details of the story, you’d think that Hannah is crazy, but the truth is that she herself is guilty of some point in good citizenship. The suspense on who is next on Hannah’s list is quite a thriller too.

What Thirteen Reasons Why manages to effectively do is to effectively ask its readers, especially the teens, to think carefully on their actions and how being part of popularity/a high rank can mean stepping on the weaker ones. Teens will be able to identify the sometimes-cruel nature of high school.

Jay Asher was able to present the dark side of teen life: drinking, smoking, vices, suicide, depression, bullying, the cries of help, and much more. Through this, Hannah’s character is simply saying that: “Be careful on how you treat people, because you never know how it will affect them.” Readers also will realize that the inactivity on whether to stop a bullying, or a rumor, or a talk to a troubled student, friend, or child, can be just as damaging as purposely inflicting pain.

I recommend this book, not just for teens, but for parents too. This is quite an eye opener for the readers that a teen’s life isn’t just revolving around their studies and school activities. The parents, I’m not saying all, doesn’t get to spend that much time with their children due to their work and busy schedule so I think this might make them more open-minded of their children’s actions, to what might be the cause instead of blaming them and just jumping to conclusions.

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As for us, the teens, we can relate especially to this novel due to the rumors and teasing that occurs around us every day. Though the book is a bit long, the plot is very promising and keeps the reader’s attention. This could make them more aware of their surroundings and more careful of their actions. The topic is very realistic and could happen to anyone. I feel as if it is an important book to read, as it teaches us how small things such as teasing someone or making rumors about someone, affects people is such a big way. Because sometimes, you never know how much you impact someone’s life, until it is too late to take it back.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Book Review: Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. (2019, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
“Book Review: Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2019,
Book Review: Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 16 Jun. 2024].
Book Review: Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 May 14 [cited 2024 Jun 16]. Available from:
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