Book Review: 13 Reasons Why

In 13 Reasons Why, an intense debut novel, author Jay Asher takes us on an all-night journey of discovery through Hannah Baker’s hometown. Hannah Baker is dead; she committed suicide two weeks before we meet her. We meet Hannah, and learn of her death through the novel’s other main character, Clay Jensen, who has received a collection of cassette tapes narrated by Hannah, and sent to him before her death.

The cassettes detail the thirteen reasons why Hannah felt she had no choice, no other option, but to kill herself. She names names, points out places where things happened, and describes how other people’s treatment of her affected her sense of privacy, security and self-esteem, pushing her toward making the only decision that made sense to her.

Now, about a month after having finished reading the book, Hannah’s story remains with me. Do we honestly think about how our words and actions affect others? How can we tell when someone feels so hopeless? What can we do to help?

There are lots of resources to help people contemplating suicide and also those who have had to live through the pain of losing a loved one to suicide. Access them here:
Hopeline of North Carolina

Mostly, I think about what everyone can do to help prevent others from feeling hopeless and suicidal. Be kind, be respectful, be aware. You never know how your words or actions may affect someone else. If you act and speak with kindness and compassion toward everyone, despite your differences, you just might make a difference!

Review by Katy @ Cameron Village Library


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