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Jay Asher’s Illustration of Harassment and Self-murder in "Thirteen Reasons Why"

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Thirteen Reasons Why Summary / Review

Thirteen Reasons Why, written by Jay Asher was easily the best book I have ever read. With bullying and suicide as the theme, the book takes you through the final straws of Hannah Bakers life, concluding with her suicide. This book takes you through the lives of teenagers in high school and the type of bullying we go through. Although many of the events were small and not too hurtful, Asher shows how they all build up to cause pain and problems. Every type of bullying, no matter how small is harmful. It can cause a person to become depressed, feel lonely, and in extreme cases like Hannah’s, it can result in suicide.

The book begins with Clay Jensen, who was one of Hannah’s classmates. He comes home from school one day to find a package on his doorstep with no return address. Curious, he opens it up and finds 7 cassette tapes inside. Each tape was narrated by Hannah herself. She recorded them before she took her life. The purpose of the tapes was for Hannah to explain the thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Before she died, she stuck a map in the lockers of the people on her cassettes. The map had points on it that they followed as the story went on with the tapes. The rules that Hannah tells them on the first tape is that they must listen to each and every tape, following the map, and once they are done with the tapes, they must anonymously mail it to the next person in line’s house. If they failed to follow the rules then the second set of tapes, who Hannah left with someone, would be released to the entire school. If that happened, that would mean that the whole school, including teachers, would know what these people did that caused Hannah to kill herself.

The first tape is sent to a guy who basically is the cause of everything else that happens to her. His name is Justin and he was her first kiss. Justin starts a rumor that it was more than a kiss. At the time, Hannah was the new girl in town and Justin was the popular, cool guy; of course everyone’s going to believe Justin over Hannah. Justin was not only reason number one, but he was reason number ten as well. He was the only one on the list to be named as two separate reasons. Besides starting the rumor, his other reason is that he allowed a girl to get raped at a party who was too drunk to even keep her eyes open. Hannah accidently got stuck in the room and had to watch the whole thing. She was too shocked and scared to stop the guy from raping her, but she was fully aware that Justin allowed him to do it. In fact, he watched the door to make sure no one knew.

The next reason is also a big reason for why everything else followed. Hannah was put on the “hot or not” list as “best ass” and was compared to her best friend who made the “not” list. She was the following reason because she slapped Hannah and dug her nails above her eyebrow, scaring her face. Another guy receives the tapes because he would peep into Hannah’s room at night and snap pictures of her. Hannah invites her friend, Courtney, over to help catch him in his action. The two girls gave each other massages and then planned on catching him while he took the pictures. Courtney was the reason after the “peeping tom” because she tells everyone that Hannah has dirty things in her room. After that, she uses Hannah just so she can transport her to and from a party. The rest of the reasons involve a guy who stands her up on a date, and then tries to take advantage of her, a guy who takes all of the slips of nice things that people wrote to Hannah, people mocking the poem she wrote, a car accident that knocks down a stop sign, causing another accident and the death of someone from their school, and a teacher/counselor that doesn’t do much to help Hannah when she reaches out about wanting to kill herself. There’s also Clay’s reason, but I won’t give that away as well.

Each reason may not have seemed so great, but as it all piles on, it becomes too heavy for Hannah to handle and you follow her as she explains it all, leading up to her breaking. I would for sure recommend this book to anyone. It is a good novel to be read by teenagers who can connect to it, and adults who should be aware of what takes place in high schools. It also opens your eyes to warning signs of someone who is depressed and thinking about suicide. By reading this book, it can completely change your views on people. It made me become aware of the things I say to people and about other people. Everyone should read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, at least one time in their life.

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Jay Asher’s Illustration of Harassment and Self-murder in “Thirteen Reasons Why”. (2019, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from
“Jay Asher’s Illustration of Harassment and Self-murder in “Thirteen Reasons Why”.” GradesFixer, 26 Apr. 2019,
Jay Asher’s Illustration of Harassment and Self-murder in “Thirteen Reasons Why”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2021].
Jay Asher’s Illustration of Harassment and Self-murder in “Thirteen Reasons Why” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Apr 26 [cited 2021 Sept 24]. Available from:
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