Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Published: October 18th, 2007

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.”


This book was pretty heavy to read. I can’t even imagine having to listen to tapes from a girl who committed suicide. I’d be too much of a mess emotionally, especially if I was like Clay who was actually close to Hannah. That can mess with a person’s head just as much.

This book was extremely quick to read because I wanted to know what was going to happen with each tape. Who was going to be on it? Which one of her friends? Who bullied her? What happened? What caused her to commit suicide? There were so many questions that needed to be answered.

Thirteen Reasons Why mainly focused on Clay listening to the tapes. Unfortunately, I think that’s where I had to keep a five star rating from. I was a little confused. There were some scenes that I believe should’ve been more detailed but were left too vague. Where were Hannah’s parents? I know they own a store, but they never had any conversation in the book. It was Clay. Clay listening to the tapes in one night. I think that it should’ve been over a few days. Therefore, over a few days, the author could’ve added dialogue or more details about what happened.

I read the book right before the show debuted on Netflix. Honestly, I didn’t like the show at first. It strayed too far away from the book. However, when I got later in the season, the show became better than the book for me (which rarely happens). There was so much more detail and the act of “sitting on the edge of your seat”. The scenes that I felt were vague in the book were a lot more detailed and visual in the show.

I think this book should be mandatory to read in middle school and high school. Bullying occurs so much in today’s society, it’s disgusting. I live in New Jersey where the bullying laws are some of the strictest in the United States, and it still happens to kids in the school district every day. There was recently a boy that committed suicide in my town at the young age of 12. He was bullied every day. I think having this as a mandatory book would show kids that it’s not okay to bully and make others feel bad.

Rating: ★★★★