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Thirteen Reasons Why
Written by Jay Asher
Published in 2007
Book Essay : By Allison Langer
Forest Heights Collegiate Institute

     Hannah Baker was a high school student who committed suicide. No one saw it coming, no one expected it, no one noticed or determined the signs of thoughts of suicide that Hannah portrayed. Before she committed this tragic event, Hannah left behind thirteen recorded messages that explained the thirteen reasons to why she killed herself; the reasons to why she was driven over the edge. Each of these messages were copied to tapes, each side of the tape was directed towards one specific person in which caused one of the reasons. The tapes went in order, from the beginning of Hannah's problems, to the end. Hannah mailed the tapes to the first person the day she ended her life. Afterwards that person was asked to mail the set of tapes to the person mentioned on the second tape (or other side), and so on and so on. Many people have many different outlooks on what this book teaches us, or what this book is about or has to say and many have different opinions on what story of Hannah's is the worst or caused the most impact in her death.

     Justin Foley, Alex Standall, Jessica Davis, Tyler Down, Courtney Crimsen, Marcus Cooley, Zach Dempsey, Ryan Shaver, Clay Jensen, Jenny Kurtz, Bryce Walker, Mr. Porter; all people listed on Hannah's tapes, all the people that connected to the issue's in which led to Hannah's suicide. Would Justin have affected Hannah's life the most? He was her first kiss, in a way he began everything. If not for Justin, the rumors about Hannah would not have started. Perhaps it was Marcus Cooley who impacted Hannah's life the most, And I couldn't look away as your fingertips caressed my knee...and started moving up (Page 142, Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher), quotes Hannah Baker as Marcus moved his hand up her leg, the first person to ever do that do Hannah. Marcus touched Hannah in that way without her permission, without any sign of her wanting him to. Maybe it was Bryce Walker who held the most reason to why Hannah broke down, And then, just like that, I let go. My shoulders went limp. My legs fell apart. I knew exactly what I was doing. (Page 264, Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher), These were Hannah's words to what happened between her and Bryce Walker, he was the first one she let do anything to her like that. However, even though there were many people to blame Hannah's death on, in reality, it was everyone. Hannah says 'Not once did I give in to the reputation you'd all set out for me. Not once. Even though sometimes it was hard. Even though, sometimes, I found myself attracted to someone who only wanted to get with me because of what they'd heard. But I always said no to those people. Always! Until Bryce. So congratulations, Bryce. You're the one. I let my reputation catch up with me-I let my reputation become me-with you’. (Page 264/265, Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher). Although Hannah let what people saw her as, become her with Bryce, she only let it happen because of what had happened before Bryce, because of the people that led up to Bryce. Hannah gave up, by becoming what people thought she was. Once Hannah gave up who she saw herself as, there was no point in living her life anymore, because in a way, it was no longer her life.

     Mr. Porter, the one Hannah tried reaching out to before she completely gave up. Hannah attempted to talk to Mr. Porter about what was going on with her life and the suicidal thoughts going through her head. You need to consider the possibility of moving beyond this (Page 278, Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher) was what Mr. Porter told Hannah when she told him about some of her problems. Mr. Porter was Hannah's last chance for receiving help; he was her one last try. All Hannah had to say to Mr. Porter was I need to get on with things, Mr Porter. If nothings going to change, then I'd better get on with it, right? (Page 279, Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher). A lot of readers who have read this book and whom have been in a similar situation in which Hannah's been in, knows that if you ask someone for help and they do not give you the help you need or want, you see yourself as done; over. That is exactly how Hannah felt when Mr. Porter did no help her in the way that she needed to be helped. Instead of sitting there and talking with her and giving her all the time she needed to talk about what was going on, he pushed her to tell him and then told her to move on. Many would say that it was too late for Mr. Porter to help Hannah that she had already had her mind up about ending everything for her. Few would say; it was not too late. One thing to know is that it is never too late. Hannah could have been helped, she was not helped in the right way, Mr. Porter made it appear as if he did not want to help her, and so she gave up. Hannah had already given up on trying to fight her reputation of who the students thought she was. She felt like there was no one to help her find herself again, this drove Hannah to do the one thing no one expected her to do until the end.

     On the tapes in which Hannah recorded the thirteen reasons to why she committed suicide, Clay Jensen was included. A lot of people say that Clay Jensen did not belong on the tapes, due to the fact that he was not exactly a reason in Hannah's death. For some people, however, Clay did belong on the tapes, not because he played a part in her suicidal thoughts and actions, but because he deserved to know the truth. It was clear that Clay had strong feelings for Hannah, and so it was only right for Hannah to create a tape directed towards him, so he would know the reasons to why she ended her life and to why she did not accept Clay's help. Hannah's tape dedicated to Clay was a way for her to apologize to him for freaking out at him randomly at the party in which they began to really talk and get to know one another, also in which they kissed for the first time. Clay's tape allowed him to know how Hannah felt at that party with him and how she felt before and after the party. Clay, honey, your name does not belong on this list. You don't belong in the same way the others do. It's like that song: One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong. And that's you, Clay. But you need to be here if I'm going to tell my story. To tell it more completely. (Page 200, Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher) Hannah says herself that Clay Jensen belonged on the tapes, just not in the same way as the rest. He or she may say that maybe Clay did belong on the tapes because he could of prevented Hannah's death. Others will say that Clay did what he could, but Hannah did not want his help. The people who say Clay belongs on the tapes to know the truth about Hannah are right. He does belong, simply to know.

     In conclusion, Hannah's death was caused by various people, some could have prevented it, while others just continued to add to the reasons for her to make everything stop for herself. There is no one in specific to blame for why she killed herself; everyone had some part in it. From the people who were in little problems such as Justin Foley, her first kiss, to Bryce Walker, the first one she let touch her in a sexual way. Each person is connected and each of Hannah's issue's connected in some way. The main point of this book and of this essay though, is to show that little things, words and actions, can impact one person more than it appears it can.