Sample Book Review Thirteen Reasons Why The Book That Had the Biggest Impact on Me

The book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher discusses the life of Hannah Baker, a teen who took her life and left thirteen tapes detailing the reasons why she did it. In his book Asher deals with hot button topics such as rape, self-harm, and suicide head-on, he doesn’t avoid them, and he does it in a way that does not romanticize these things. While this is my favorite book and it has had a significant impact on my life I do not agree with all the aspects of this book. I read this book at a very low point in my life, I had been struggling with self-harm and thoughts of suicide, but this book helped me work through it.

Thirteen Reasons Why Controversy

To begin, I will discuss the shortcomings that I found in this book. The first would be the fact that Hannah made the tapes, she blamed people for her suicide; yes, there are events that lead to suicide, but it is incredibly messed up that she forces people to listen to the tapes and remember the events that led to her suicide. When Hannah made the tapes she made two rules, one was you had to listen to all the tapes, the second was you had to pass the tapes on to the person whose tape came after yours, “In case you’re tempted to break the rules, understand that I did make a copy of these tapes. Those copies will be released in a very public manner if this package doesn’t make it through all of you” (Asher). The twelve people who were mentioned on the thirteen tapes had to listen to what they had done either what they did or what Hannah thought they did. There are things that people did that definitely could have pushed someone to suicide, she froze at the moment that her friend needed her the most, she froze at the moment that she needed to be able to run, and she pushed away the people who cared for her. However, for every horrible thing that happened in her life that pushed her towards suicide, she did not need to record them all and force people to listen to them under threat of the tapes being sent to the police. Even with these shortcomings, this was still a terrific book that I believe people who are struggling with self-worth, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts should read.

Thirteen Reasons Why Characters and Their Bonds

Asher tells this story from two points of view, Hannah and Clay, Clay is a teenager who is angry about losing his friend and confused about why she did it. The dual point of view enhanced how the story was told in several ways, but mostly it helped to show the duality of the issue of suicide. The first side is seen in Hannah Baker, the suicidal person, struggling with getting through another day. The second is Clay Jensen, the friend of the suicidal person, trying desperately to help her figure out how to keep living. Clay was there for Hannah when no one else was. Clay fell in love with Hannah, and eventually, Hannah fell in love with Clay as well. The problem is a mentally ill person fell in love, and that made her start to feel whole again, she started to think that things could be okay, and then she lost that, she felt that Clay didn’t love her anymore. All the things that had made her feel whole and okay again were suddenly gone, she didn’t have anything to live for anymore. She thought Clay no longer loved her because he left her when she told him to, she wanted him to stay even though she told him to leave. A dual perspective in this book made it so that it could be useful for both those who are suicidal and for those who know someone who is.

How Thirteen Reasons Why Affected Me

This book had a great impact on my life because I read it at a time when I had been suicidal, and my friend helped me fight through it. This book helped me realize the carnage that I would have left behind, all the hurt I would have caused if I had gone through with it. A few weeks after reading this book my friend attempted to take her life, and I tried my hardest to be there for her, but it was hard. She needed constant support and have just been struggling with thoughts of suicide; our friend group decided that I was the best person to support her. The whole time I was trying to help her I just kept remembering the book, I didn’t want her to end up like Hannah, dead, feeling like all her friends had failed her. And I didn’t want to be one of the friends who had let her down. This book is hard to read, mostly because of what the book deals with, but also because most of us know someone who has struggled with self-harm or suicidal ideations, or we’ve dealt with them ourselves. But this is the book that has impacted me most and helped me get through some of my biggest struggles.

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