Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher Review

After all these years, it’s still one of my favorites.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”

“A flood of emotions rushes into me. Pain and anger. Sadness and pity. But most surprising of all, hope.”

Wow. This was my second time reading 13 Reasons Why, and it was just as impactful the second time as it was freshman year. I picked up 13 Reasons Why again, because I saw it while strolling through the library, and was reminded how much it impacted me— I had to check it out. Now I’m glad that I reread the novel, not only because it is a meaningful novel, but also because the Netflix show is coming out Friday, and I await it in cautious optimism.

13 Reasons Why is a very sad and dark novel, and I understand if some people don’t like that, but for me it just makes the message twenty times more impactful. It makes situations seem more real and serious when the author refuses to sugar coat things. The realism makes the characters far more relatable and the themes more believable. Due to the realism, you truly feel for Clay throughout the novel because he truly cared for Hannah and, only now, is he realizing that she cared too. He could’ve been the one to bring hope back into her life, but fear held him back. This, for me, really pushes the idea that you should never let fear rule your life. If you see someone hurting and feel the urge to say something, say it. Don’t let fear of embarrassment keep you from doing something that could change one’s life. For me, it all comes back to the idea of Carpe Diem. You never know when a moment with someone could be the last moment you spend together, so leave no regrets.

Please go check out 13 Reasons Why if you haven’t already read it. It will forever be one of my favorite novels and I believe everyone should read it

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