Many Reasons to Read 13 Reasons Why

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Bella Borgese, Staff Writer

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a compelling mystery that shows readers the true effect bullying could have on a person. This isn’t the most uplifting story — with heavy themes and a teen’s story of torment — but it makes the reader think. Told in the first person, readers can put themselves in the teen’s shoes and the message is received loud and clear: Be more aware about how you treat others.

In the story, a misunderstood girl named Hannah Baker commits suicide and leaves behind cassette tapes in her place. Each one was recorded by her, and each contains a reason she decided to end her life — 13 reasons total. Clay Jenson, a boy who had feelings for Hannah, finds the box of tapes on his doorstep just two weeks after Hannah’s death. As he listens to the tapes, he gets a cold dose of reality and learns that Hannah was putting up with several things. Among those things were rumors that she was sleeping with someone, as well as being mocked by classmates for a poem she wrote.

Clay hears on one tape: “A rumor based on a kiss ruined a memory that I hoped would be special. A rumor based on a kiss started a reputation that people believed in and reacted to.”

Although a lot of people were mean to her, Clay was kind, but Hannah pushed him away. So, another message of the book is that people should try to recognize kindness in others and not assume the worst about them — no matter how badly they have been treated in the past. Clay’s passiveness, too, teaches a lesson that people should not be afraid to reach out more to others.

This book overall is intense and emotional but gives a great message and appeals to a wide audience. Those who don’t get a chance to read it might have a chance to see it as a mini-series. Netflix plans to make the book into a miniseries starring Selena Gomez. The release date has not been determined.

 

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