13 Reasons Why

Written By: Jay Asher


Hannah Baker has recently committed suicide. Prior to her death she recorded on seven tapes, six of them double sided, the 13 reasons why she killed herself, or really 13 things that other students had done to her that made her want to kill herself. Clay Jensen is on one of the tapes and he wants to know why. He spends the night traveling to various locations that Hannah had told him to go to while listening to the tapes and discovering things that he would have rather left unknown.


Clay Jensen:


Male Protagonist

Clay is an average high school student. He is quiet and has a good reputation. Whenever his name comes up in a conversation nothing bad about him is said. One day when he comes home he finds a box of tapes laying on his doorstep. Upon opening and starting to listen to them he realizes that they are from a girl named Hannah Baker who was in his class. She has just recently committed suicide according to her he did something to cause her to end her life. He wants to know what he did to her to make her commit suicide.

~ Additional Information~

-Had a crush on Hannah

Hannah Baker:


Female Antagonist

Hannah Baker has recently committed suicide. She had unjustly earned a bad reputation due to high school rumors and drama. ("I know what you're all thinking Hannah Baker is a slut.") She repeatedly got bullied and fell subject to sexual harassment many times. After putting up with many uncalled for jokes such as being nominated for "Best A**" in the class and being peeped on while at home in her room, she finally had enough and she committed suicide. Prior to her death she records 13 tapes as to who/what made her kill herself.

Side Characters:

~The Other 11 Characters That Appear On The Tapes~


~Justin spreads rumors about his date and kiss with Hannah and he starts Hannah's low reputation. He appears on the tapes a second time as the tenth reason for not stopping Bryce from raping Jessica.


~Alex appears on the tapes for putting Hannah on a 'Hot or Not' list under the category of 'Best Ass' in the class.


~Jessica slaps Hannah for making it onto the 'hot' section on Alex's list when she didn't. Jessica physically and emotionally scars Hannah by digging her nails into Hannah's forehead. She emotionally scars Hannah because they were both friends before school started because they were both new kids and then she just dumps Hannah and starts hating her for something she had no control over.


~Tyler was a peeping tom and started taking pictures of Hannah while she was at home in her bedroom. The pictures were meant to be published in the year book under the category of 'student nature'.


~Courtney starts rumors about Hannah after they both stop the peeping tom. She then uses Hannah as a ride to a party to cover her good image but instead aggravates Hannah even further.


~Marcus asks Hannah out because a survey told him that they were best for each other. He arrives to the appointed location of their date late because he thought the date was just a joke. He then leads her to a corner booth and starts to touch her in inappropriate places.


~Zach tries to cheer Hannah up after what happened with Marcus but only on a dare from his friends. Then he invades Hannah's personal privacy at school by stealing from a paper bag system that was set up by Peer Communications that was meant for students to receive private note from other students.


~Ryan steals a poem from Hannah and publishes it for the whole school to see. The poem was private and Ryan said he found it but in reality he stole it from her.


~Jenny tries to drive Hannah home while she's drunk. She hits and knocks down a stop sign but then refuses to call the police. The accident then cause another accident in which a student delivering a pizza and an old man driving home after dropping his granddaughter's toothbrush off at her house cars collide and the student is killed in the car accident.


~Bryce takes advantage of Hannah when he sees that she is in a bad state and he sexually harasses her.

-Mr. Porter

~Hannah goes to Mr. Porter for guidance about seeing Bryce rape Jessica and for him sexually harassing her. Mr. Porter tells her to either press charges or let it go.

"A book you can't get out of your mind." ~Ellen Hopkins

"A mystery, eulogy, and ceremony." ~Sherman Alexie

Character Development:

Clay's major point of development is when he listens to his tape. When he listens he finds out that he was only on the list because Hannah wanted to apologize about what happened at the night of the party. Clay is relieved to find out that he did nothing to make Hannah want to kill herself but, at the same time he is angry that he had to go through and listen to everything that Hannah went through and said. He is super upset and for the first time he starts to really miss her.

Personal Thoughts:

13 Reasons Why was an original idea and it was unlike any other book I read before. The plot was dark, mysterious and full of twists. 13 Reasons Why handles a mature theme and requires a high level of sensitivity and maturity to read. Although the topics and aspects of this book were a little extreme I enjoyed it throughly. If you are into and if you enjoy a horror/mystery themed book 13 Reasons Why is a must read for you.

Report Written By: Vickie Catalano