January 28, 2012
Book Critique: Thirteen Reasons Why
Genre: Fictional mystery, suspense & drama
Thirteen Reasons Why is a heartrending, fictional story written by Jay Asher, his first published book. It is filled with mystery, drama and suspense. Hannah Baker commited suicide. Clay Jensen, a classmate of Hannah’s is still trying to digest the sudden and heartbreaking news. When Clay returns home from school one day, he finds a mysterious box with his name on it. His entire world and the thoughts about a girl he thought he knew were about to change. Inside the box, he discovers seven cassette tapes recorded Hannah Baker before she had killed herself. On the tapes, she reveals there are thirteen reasons why she ended her life and Clay is one of them. The series of seven audio tapes are mailed to classmates with instructions to pass them on from one student to another, like a chain letter. If you were one of the unlucky people to receive the tapes, you find out why you became another step closer to Hannah’s suicide. Clay is desperate but frightened to find out how he made the list – what could he have done to drive Hannah to such a drastic end? Through Hannah's recorded voice, her classmates learn the reasons why she decided to take her own life. Besides Hannah, the reader also sees the story through the eyes of Clay Jensen, creating a more intense viewpoint.
I became curious as to why Hannah would have killed herself over a sequence of embarrassing but not quite devastating events, however, I began to recognize that it was part of the point. I started feeling sympathy for Hannah when I realized her depression had to do with the psychology of adolescence. Hannah’s events of what she thought was torture revealed her underlying assumption that every action of other kids in school was about her and that she was somehow central to the student’s attention (in a bad...