YOUth Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why is a novel by Jay Asher. The story takes place in a town in America about three weeks after a young girl named Hannah Baker commits suicide. The story follows Clay Jensen, a fellow high school student of Hannah Baker, as he wanders around their small town after receiving a set of tapes she made talking about the reason she killed herself. The book is written from Hanna’s perspective as she talks about her life on the tapes, with Clay’s input and reactions alongside it.

One of the reasons that I liked the book so much was because of how it shows and describes how depression feels, something that I feel isn’t talked about or mentioned nearly enough. The book manages to raise awareness on how common this issue is, while also keeping you captivated and wanting to know what happens next by using the element of suspense.

One of the things I’d let people know before reading this book is how “heavy” the material is: describing some of the material in the book as “heavy” I mean that it covers some topics that can be triggering, or difficult to read for some people. (For example, suicide, depression, death, and sexual assault). I also think that the author handled these topics very well, and did his research to make sure that he wasn’t exaggerating anything or making anything seem less important or unrealistic.

All in all, I think that this book was very well written, and raises some much needed awareness and information on the topic of depression and suicide. I highly recommend reading this book if you are in high school and I think that it’s something more people should read.

– Eden

Interested in being a YOUth Reviewer? Contact Nicole at youth@tbpl.ca to get more info and to sign up.

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