"Thirteen Reasons Why" — a book that makes you think
Published: Friday, October 10, 2008 - 10:22pm
"Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher is a deep book that really makes you think.
The book follows Clay Jenson, a high schooler who comes home one day to find a box of tapes sitting on his doorstep. He is shocked to find that the voice on the tapes belongs to Hannah Baker, a girl at his school who comitted suicide. Hannah left 13 tapes to be passed along to the 13 people who she feels are responsible for her death.
The book really makes you question the limits of people. How far can someone be pushed before they break?
In today's high schools people are constantly bullied and gossiped about. Everyone does it but no
one stops to think about the victim, about how they feel.
At what point does it become too much? What would you do if you were treated cruelly and you had no one to go to for help?
Personally, I feel that suicide is an extreme way of dealing with your problems; killing yourself does not change the bullies into better people. If anything, it encourages them by making them feel like they've achieved their missions.
But I feel that we, as human beings, should all make a conscious effort to help others. You never know how your actions might affect another person.
Sometimes doing nothing is just as bad as doing something. At first, Clay feels that the tapes are a mistake because he liked Hannah; he never did anything to hurt her. But as he continues to listen to the tapes he realizes that by not doing anything to help her, he wasn't acting much better than those who hurt her. In fact, he was actually helping the bullies by not doing anything to stop them.
A message that the book really conveys is the need for reaching out to people and being there for them. Just taking the time to say hello may just change someone's life. In the book, Hannah says that she never wanted to do what she did and if just one person had reached out to her, she would never have killed herself.
So think about it. What have you done today that affected someone else?