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Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why: A Compelling Novel About Mental Health


"Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher follows a high school student named Clay Jensen who receives a series of cassette tapes from his classmate Hannah Baker, explaining the thirteen reasons why she committed suicide. The novel deals with themes of bullying, mental health, and the consequences of our actions, and has generated significant controversy for its graphic depiction of suicide and sensitive subject matter.

About the book:

 Title Thirteen Reasons Why
Author Jay Asher
Publication Date October 18, 2007
Number of Pages 320
Recommended Age 15 years & older


Our Review

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a novel that deals with sensitive and heavy themes of suicide, bullying and mental health. The story is told through the perspective of Clay Jensen, a high school student who receives a box of cassette tapes recorded by his deceased classmate, Hannah Baker. The tapes are her reasons for why she committed suicide, and Clay is one of the thirteen people who played a role in her decision.

The novel is written in a straightforward and easy-to-follow style, which makes it accessible to a wide range of readers. The story is engaging and emotional, as the readers follow Clay's journey as he listens to the tapes and reflects on his own actions and those of his classmates. The pacing of the story is well-done, as it builds up gradually and keeps the readers hooked until the end.

The themes of the novel are heavy and impactful. Asher explores the consequences of bullying, harassment and mental health issues in a powerful and honest way. He shows how small actions and words can have a big impact on a person's life and how important it is to be kind and understanding towards others. He also highlights the importance of communication and how it can help prevent tragic outcomes.

The characters in the book are well-developed and relatable. Clay is a likable and sympathetic protagonist, whose journey of self-discovery is relatable to many readers. Hannah, the deceased protagonist, is a complex and multi-dimensional character, whose story is slowly revealed throughout the novel. The other characters in the book, such as the classmates who feature on the tapes, are also well-crafted and their actions and motivations are believable and understandable.

Overall, Thirteen Reasons Why is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that deals with heavy and sensitive themes in an honest and compelling way. It is an important read that can help raise awareness and start important conversations about bullying, mental health and suicide prevention. The themes, characters and the story line are well crafted and the writing style is easy to follow.


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