Review of Thirteen Reasons Why
By Axel Dahlman
I would recommend the book Thirteen Reasons Why because I think young readers would enjoy it. Some of the reasons that I think might spark their interest include immersive storytelling and helping others.
First, I think that young people would enjoy the book because of the drama and how they might be able to relate to some of the circumstances and interactions between the characters in the novel given that they’re going through high school at the moment. An example of some drama that they might find interesting in this novel could be this quote by Hannah Baker, “My name was in the Hot column. You wrote Jessica’s name in the Not column” (53).
Second, any young people who are the type of people to help anyone in need might find this book meaningful. This book can show them examples of others in despair and their silent cries for help. An example of someone in despair is the quote by Clay where he is saddened by the content of the tapes created by Hannah, “He wipes away tears from his own eyes and then wipes a hand across his upper lip. ‘I should have done something.’ The signs were all there, all over, for anyone willing to notice” (234). Also, in the following quote Clay feels that he wasn’t a good friend to Hannah because he missed the signs of Hannah’s cries for help, “Why did I leave her there? She needed me and I knew that” (p. 216). Sometimes you don’t know what to do for a friend until it’s too late. l
Third, I think that readers who like to get to know the characters in books on a personal level to the point where they can tell you their life stories would enjoy reading Thirteen Reasons Why. This is illustrated well when Hannah talks about her encounter with Courtney, who is not a real friend to Hannah but wants to use their friendship to gain popularity and as an ego booster. These deeper levels of personality traits are well conveyed in this quote, “See, Courtney thought she could jerk me around wherever she wanted. But I didn’t let that happen. I jerked myself back on the road just long enough to push her off… if only for a moment” (125). Another instance that shows a person’s inner thoughts and emotions is a statement by Clay in this quote, “With my face pressing against the bars, I begin to cry. If anyone is walking through the park, I know they can hear me. But I don’t care if they hear me because I can’t believe I just heard the last words I’ll ever hear from Hannah Baker” (280). This quote describes Clay’s internal battle and devastation while listening to the tapes and trying to make sense of what’s happening.
To summarize, I would recommend Thirteen Reasons Why to young adult readers because how touching and well written it is along with its focus on story and character development.
The tapes play a large role in the book because they are the last connection that anyone will have with Hannah Baker.
Major Theme: Sadness
Sadness is a key contributing factor to the plot in the book. Hannah commits suicide because she is sad. She creates the tapes to make other sad. There is an emotional warfare going on and sadness is the ammunition.
Major theme: Friendship
Friendship takes many different forms in this novel. Some of the different kinds of friendship include temporary, insincere and undiscovered friendship.