Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Bullying has long been an issue in schools worldwide. It is a problem that’s slowly been gaining popularity because of its repercussions. Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why is a novel that demonstrates the effect of bullying not only to a single individual but also to an entire school.
The novel is told through the eyes of Clay Jensen, a high school student, and set only days after the death of their classmate Hannah Baker. The story begins with Clay receiving a package containing seven tapes, in which Hannah tells thirteen reasons why she committed suicide. The reasons are mostly people and events that pushed her over the edge one by one.
Effectively, Hannah’s story is being told as well. Her reasons are different, but overall, Hannah had been branded by her schoolmates as a slut, even though she was mostly the victim of different men taking advantage of her. Her schoolmates see her negative image as a chance to invade her privacy and even abuse her.
In the end, the novel sees Clay becoming more sensitive to other people who seem to be depressed, which is ultimately the goal. The novel expresses the reality of not only bullying but also gender inequality and mental illnesses. The novel hopes that there is a Clay in all of us, one who’s willing to listen and accept people regardless of rumors.
The tapes are available for listening on YouTube. This adds a completely different voice and dimension to the whole novel, which makes Thirteen Reasons Why unique.
Paula Apolonio, a book worm and theater enthusiast, she hopes to one day pen an international bestseller.
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