Thirteen Reasons Why
Theme One: People are hidden by assumptions.
Hannah Baker was a new girl to Crestmont. It's a small town with big talk. People always suspected that they knew her and everything about her, but really, they knew nothing. Everyone assumes everything and that's what you get from a small town, but what they all assumed about her was wrong. Rumors were spread about who she was; what she liked, what she did, etc. However, no one actually ever asked her if anything was true. It was too late when they found out about the false information. She had killed herself because she was exposed in a way that wasn't fair. Her personality and who she actually was was hidden because several people decided that they knew who she was when they didn't. Others followed with what everyone said and she didn't have the choice to speak out.
Theme Two: Speak out while you can.
Hannah Baker liked Clay Jensen. Clay Jensen liked Hannah Baker. They were both too afraid to speak out and admit to their feelings. If either one of them had admitted to it, then a lot could be different. With mutual feelings, it would have made it easier on the both of them. Hannah wouldn't be so focused on the rumors and and wouldn't have a problem with no "nice guys" liking her. Clay wouldn't have had to hear that awful tape she made of him explaining how he wasn't a reason she killed herself, but a regret she had before she committed suicide. Clay appreciated her even before he knew anything about her situation and she appreciated him back, but they had a lack of communication which made it all too late.
How the themes relate:
Everyone is so quick to judge a situation that they claim to know everything about just because they heard it from someone else, but if you actually took the time to get to know the person and what's going on with them, then you might have a different perspective about the situation. The person that is in the situation sometimes needs to speak out too, though. If they know what others are saying, then they should mention something if they know it's false accusations. Hannah Baker always had rumors going around about her and she was hidden by it, but if she spoke out and told people what was true before her incident, she wouldn't have had to do what she did. It's true that people aren't always going to believe what you say, but at least people would know there are two sides to a story.