I recently read the book, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The two main characters of this book are Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker. At the beginning of this story we immediately find out that Hannah Baker had killed herself. She left behind seven tapes with thirteen stories on them and a map. Each story was about one person and how that person changed her life, up to the point of her suicide. The book details how Clay feels when trying to cope with her death and it follows him around the city to the places Hannah put on the map.
One of the biggest ideas that Asher incorporates into this book was acceptance. Clay had a huge crush on Hannah when she was alive and he had no idea why he was on the tapes which listed mostly people that influenced her life for the worse. He had to come to terms with the fact that the Hannah he thought he knew was actually very troubled. He also had to accept that he couldn't change all the horrible things that people had done to Hannah. Through this book, I learned a lot about acceptance and how much harder it is to accept things than I previously thought. Suicide is a very heavy topic and it is very important that people get educated on it. This book does a great job of giving this topic an instance that is relatbke to many teens today. It showed me that acceptance isn't always easy and sometimes to accept things you need to let yourself feel the pain and not push it away.
When we hear the tapes we see that Hannah experiences man vs societal pressure. Since she is in the “popular” group many people expect her to drink and do drugs, including others in the group. She feels that to fit in she has to do these things. I think that this aspect of the book makes the book very relatable to teens today. Lots of teens feel the need to drink at parties to be “cool.” Teens still have developing minds and so when asked if they want to have a drink or do drug some don't know whether to keep their own values and say no or do these things so that those people won't judge them. That then goes into the whole topic of choosing friends that have the same values as you. That's one huge reason why I like this book because it makes you think about the people around and it makes you think about your choices and which ones are going to be better for you in the long run. It shows that peers can pressure you into little things too, not only drugs and alcohol. The book helped me open my eyes to the situations around me and now I realize when I try and pressure my peers and/or when they pressure me.
Overall, I think that Jay Asher did a really nice job of getting teenagers to think. This is definitely why you should read this book. I also think that he handled the very sensitive and important topic of suicide nicely. The book had lots of room for emotions and he did an amazing job and bringing these emotions out and helping you feel the hurt, and loss that Clay felt. I recommend this to anyone who wants a good book and a change of pace from what they normally read.
Thank you so much for reading my blog post, feel free to comment below and let me know your opinions about this book!