Clay Jensen’s high school is shaken when one of their classmates, Hannah Baker, ends her own life. No one knows what caused her to do it, not even Clay until he comes home from school one day to find a shoe box of cassette tapes sitting on his front step. Each tape, recorded by Hannah before her death, gives the listener a reason why she decided to kill herself and the only people receiving the tapes are those who helped make her decision. Now Clay is frantically listening, trying to find where he comes into play in the tragedy all while learning more secrets than he could have expected about his classmates.
13 Reasons Why is a great book for teenagers, especially if they are at a big change in their life like transitioning to high school or moving to a new school altogether both of which can be very tough for a young adult. I felt it addressed issues that occur between kids in high school that may be hard to address by parents or teachers and that students may not want to bring up themselves. The book shows that to every action there is a reaction. Although you may think things you’ve said or done does not affect a person, it may have a bigger impact on them than you know. It also points out some of the signs of depression, which many people miss, and displays the impact committing suicide has on individual people, whether they were friends, family, or an acquaintance.
My only complaint about the book is I thought it felt a bit preachy. The author kept bringing up the way things people do impact other people and at first I thought, ‘OK putting one of the themes kind of out there. That’s interesting.’ But then it was reiterated a few more times throughout the book and I thought, ‘OK I get it.’ I think he could’ve been a little less forward with the main theme and still gotten the point across, but I still think the overall message of the book is important and meaningful. It’s a message most people don’t understand or realize until they’re in college or out of college and are no longer the inconsiderate teenager they once were.