Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
reviewed by Sofia Gutierrez
We never get to experience someone’s perspective of something first hand. Rarely can we ever know how someone takes hardships in their perspective.
In the heart-wrenching story Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, we experience the point of view of a sophomore in high school who had recently just killed herself, Hannah. In the story, she records her final words cassette tapes and sends them out to one person. There are thirteen tapes. Each tape contains a different reason why she decided to end her life, hence the title.
It wasn’t an average day when our protagonist, Clay Jensen receives these tapes. He wonders if he could possibly be one reason why his acquaintance, Hannah Baker, killed herself.
Jay Asher captures us by putting us in the perspective of Hannah speaking through the tapes and Clay listening to the tapes and seeing Hannah’s perspective on her hardships. Throughout the story, Clay is introduced to all of the situations Hannah was put in that led her to make her decision to end her life.
Even if you haven’t have had cassette tapes sent to you door saying that you are one of the reasons leading up to someone’s death, you can still relate to this story in many ways. For example, we all don’t completely know how our actions can affect someone. We all have those “Courtney Crimsen”, a character in Thirteen Reasons Why, moments in our lives. Courtney started a small rumor of Hannah not knowing that it would end up the way it did. We sometimes don’t realize that the small things we do can really affect a person.
Asher does an excellent job at opening our eyes to see that our actions can affect people whether we know it or not. It gives you a new perspective on life and can evidently change your point of view on your actions.
I would recommend this book to anyone but mostly to the teenage readers. Usually teens don’t realize what they say or do can really affect someone. I overall enjoyed this story because it really taps into all of your emotions and will make you realize how precious life really is even with all of its obstacles.