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Review and Commentary on “13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

Suicide is a serious subject that not a lot of people like to talk about. Many people have lost someone to this sad act, and it leaves us broken and lost. I’m sure most wonder if they were a part of the reason why someone kills itself. This subject is what 13 Reasons Why is about. A girl named Hannah Baker commits suicide. Everyone is left to wonder why she ended her life, and some of the people who affected her get to find out her story. However, as they listen to what leads Hannah to commit such an act, they learn about each other’s flaws to get them on Hannah’s list. First, some information about the novel :

  • it is called “Thirteen reasons why.”
  • written by Jay Asher
  • and published in 2007 in the United States
  • the Novel is really famous becomes many awards

Storyline. Clay Jenson returned home from school and received a mysterious package. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker. His classmate committed suicide two weeks earlier. She believes that she has no needs to live anymore. Before Hannah dies, she had recorded tapes for the thirteen reasons why she decided to commit suicide. The book is typical for Hannah’s stories, which she recorded on cassettes. In the novel, they are written in an italic font for better understanding, and the thoughts of Clay are printed in normal font. The author switches between the story of Hannah and the actual experiences of Clay back and forth. Moreover, the reasons why Hannah committed suicide are getting more and more serious in the course of the book. Hannah gave the first tape listener instructions to pass down the tapes when they are done listening. ( � and now I’d like you to read out the first text passage)

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On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. Clay spends the rest of the day and long into the night listening to Hannah’s voice and going to the locations she wants him to visit. So he’ll find out how he made a list. So the novel Thirteen Reasons Why is narrated by two characters: Hannah and Clay. The first person who played a role in Hannah’s death was Justin Foley. He was the first kiss Hannah had. So she had a crush on him. However, Justin exaggerates the kiss he had with Hannah. Hannah was new to her high school, and since Justin lied about his kiss with her, this created a negative impression about Hannah. Justin appears in the tape two times.

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The second reason he appears is that at a party with Jessica Davis. He left her in a room, and Jessica got raped. Hannah was hiding in the closet and viewed the tragic event that happened to her “friend.” Because Hannah couldn’t do anything, she felt guilty for the rape. The next reason why Hannah killed herself is Alex Standall. He added on the reputation to make everything worse. Alex created a “Who’s Hot” and “Who’s Not”- list and Hannah are marked with the “Hottest Ass in the Freshman Class.” On top of the gossip with Justin, Alex decided to create the list where the whole school figures out. Hannah started to become the object of sexual harassment. Due to Alex and Justin, Hannah began to build a bad reputation at school.

Students began to create rumours about Hannah, and the rumours increased until Hannah wasn’t longer able to handle them. Jessica Davis, Alex, and Hannah were all once friends since they were new at the school. However, since Jessica was not under the hot section of the list, she was jealous of Hannah. Jessica liked Alex but thought he liked Hannah. So Jessica and Hannah would be able to talk about different stuff. However, Hannah was betrayed by Jessica. She believed that the rumours were true. Therefore she starts to create a distance between herself and Hannah. One day Hannah noticed that Tyler Down has been at her window stalking and taking photos of her while she was in her house. Courtney Crimson, a popular student, decided to help her. So Tyler stole Hannah’s safety at home. On the other side, when Tyler got caught the next day, Courtney didn’t talk with Hannah. Courtney wanted to keep her positive reputation, so she acted friendly to Hannah.

Hannah was listed on Marcus Cooley’s”Who’s Hot and Who’s Not-list”. Marcus and Hannah were to meet at a restaurant, but Hannah is alone, waiting for him. He showed up about half an hour later because he thought they were joking about the meeting. When they are at the Diner, Hannah went through sexual harassment. At the Diner, Zach Dempsey was a witness and saw the whole confrontation between the two students. Instead of helping her, Zach made the situation worse. Hannah’s hobby was writing poems. Through the poem, Hannah was able to express herself and reduce stress. Ryan Shaver, a member of the school newspapers, shared one of Hannah’s private poems. He steeled the poem of Hannah’s and published it. Because of that, he took Hannah’s pride to write poetry away.

Clay Jensen, the co-narrator, is the ninth one of the thirteen reasons Hannah decided to commit suicide. (–> so now I’d like you to read out this text passage) This is the most significant section because Hannah could have survived her pain. Clay had a secret crush on Hannah, and she also fell in love with Clay. However, Hannah was unable to manage her emotions towards everything and acted cruelly to Clay. Unlike the other characters, Clay is on the list because Hannah regrets not knowing Clay. On the other hand, Clay feels guilty about not being able to be on Hannah’s side. After Hannah kissed Clay and pushed him back away at a school party, if Clay did not leave, he kept believing that Hannah would have had a reason to survive. Clay goes through all the points that are listed on the tape to have a flashback of Hannah.

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After the party with Clay, Hannah was walking back. Jenny Kurtz (a cheerleader) spotted her and asked if Hannah needs a ride since Hannah is drunk. Jenny hit a stop side and resisted contacting anyone. Hannah got kicked out of the car and witnesses an old man getting injured and the death of a high school student peer. One night there was an after-party at Courtney’s house, and Bryce Walker had invited her. She did not want to go to the party because Courtney was hosting it, but then she decided to go as the last party she would attend. At the party, she was sexually harassed by Bryce. After this activity, Hannah forced herself to conclude to commit suicide. The last person who could help her was her English teacher and counsellor, Mr Porter. She hesitated to ask the counsellor for help, but then she went to him. (–> so now I’d like you to read out this text passage)

So you can see that Hannah didn’t easily discuss the events, which made her life miserable. However, after the counsellor asked questions, Hannah spoke up. She didn’t gain any advice. When Hannah left the office because of anger, the counsellor didn’t stop her. This was when Hannah figured out it is the correct decision to commit suicide. Through the tapes, Hannah expresses her pain, thoughts, and expressions towards each person. She explains how each reflected a reason to take Hannah’s life away from her. Through the tapes, Clay realizes that nobody knows what will happen to someone. Therefore each person should care with love. At the end of the novel, Clay approaches to talk to somebody he met but never talked to. Clay can learn through the tapes.

The Main Characters: Hannah Baker Hannah Baker is an attractive and pretty girl with long hair. She used to be an ordinary new student until she had her first kiss with Justin. Although all she did with Justin was a kiss, Justin spread a wrong rumour that they did something more than just a kiss. Due to this rumour, her reputation started to fall, and when Hannah’s friend, Alex made a list of the “Hottest Ass in the Freshman Class” and put Hannah’s name on the list, her reputation drastically falls. Due to the rumour and the list, she became an outcast, and many terrible incidents started to happen in her life. As Hannah baker is a normal girl with a weak mental state, she slowly thought about committing suit; however, she lost all of her friends. She was sexually harassed for the second time, her will to continue living collapsed, and she decided to commit suicide.

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Clay Jensen. Clay Jensen is the novel’s narrator, who only has a good reputation, just like his handsome appearance. In the novel, he is a student who is always polite and kind. Also, he is such an emotional boy who truly regrets Hannah’s death. In the novel, he slowly and carefully approached Hannah. And when she rejected him, he cautiously stepped back for the next chance. However, there wasn’t any next chance, as Hannah committed suicide. So Clay regretted his hesitation and recalled that he could have saved Hannah if he had been more firm.

Author. Jay Asher was born on the second of September in 1975, and he grew up in a family that encouraged all of his interests, from playing the guitar to his writing. He worked in various establishments, including as a salesman in a shoe store, in libraries and in book stores. As a result, many of his experiences had an impact on some aspects of his writing. Today he lives in Arcadia in California and is married. “Thirteen Reasons Why” is his first published novel, and he got the idea for it at a museum. While taking an audio tour, he was struck by an eeriness of the voice in his ear – a woman who described exactly what he was looking at but wasn’t there.

I Choose this book because it is sad, thoughtful, heartbreaking, and emotional at the same time! Hannah Baker gives you the idea of what can happen if rumours go their own way and what they can do to you. Hannah Baker just wanted to get her first kiss. And after getting her first innocent and sweet kiss, the boy who kissed her tells everyone that a lot more has happened – that Hannah is a slut. And this is only the beginning of something which ended in suicide. I think that the reason for this book is to show that even little things that you do to a person, even if you don’t realize what you’re doing, can really mess with a personal life. So, the moral of the story is to watch how you act and say to others because what you do can be positive or negative to that person’s life.

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Review and Commentary on "13 Reasons Why" by Jay Asher. (2021, Aug 16). Retrieved September 30, 2022, from