Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Tess DeGayner, Assistant Editor

What would you do if a box of tapes just appeared on your front porch one day? What would you do if the voice on the tapes was a dead girl’s? What would you do if this voice was telling that you are one of the reasons why in fact she is dead?

I discovered this book in Mrs. Grady’s IB Literature class. Every marking period we do a ‘book pass’ which is where our table gets six books each and we have about a minute to read, or what most people do, zone-out.

Now Mrs. Grady always tells us “never judge a book by it’s cover” but that is exactly what I did. I simply ignored “The #1 New York Times and International Bestseller” on the top left of the cover. I looked at the young girl sitting on the swing and I thought to myself, “This is probably some stupid book about 13 reasons why some stupid girl fell in love with a stupid boy.” But I am never one to fuss, so I participated in the book pass.

The first page enticed me. Jay Asher’s writing turned into a voice in my head. The first chapter consumed me. Grady called time and it was my turn to pass the book. I gripped tighter, I couldn’t put it down. I hid it from my group.

Hannah’s story is heartbreaking but at the same time, eye-opening. This novel puts suicide awareness into young minds. According to the Center for Disease Control there is one suicide death every 12.3 minutes in the US. Most students won’t realize what happens in their peers daily lives. This book reminds people of how their actions have an impact on the people who surround them.

One student was so empowered by the message in this book that she made a statement for the community. On Nov. 7 junior Erica Kolanowski lead a group of 20 or so people who held signs with positive messages. She called it the Suicide Prevention Walk. Some wore shirts in memory of loved ones who have passed from suicide.

This is a true example of the power of literature. Thank you Jay Asher.