Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

3 Stars

“You don’t know what went on in the rest of my life. At home. Even at school. You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mes with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life.”

Suicide. What does it take for a person to take his or her own life? How bad can it get for someone to resort to that one final act?

Enter Hannah, your seemingly ordinary “new girl” in school. Only, her life didn’t turn out as ordinary as she had hoped. One rumor. It took one false rumor to spiral her life into complete chaos, to the point of collapse, that her only visible exit was death.

I loved this novel. Not for the way it was written but because of what it said. Its relevance: the story it told and how much truth it held, especially in today’s teenagers.

To us, readers of the book, Hannah’s reasons for killing herself must’ve been shallow. One can easily say, “Some people have it a lot worse”, or “That’s not enough reason to kill yourself.” But we’re not on that side of the coin. Each person deals with life differently. Some are stronger than others, while some, like Hannah, are more vulnerable. Teenagers like her who have less to worry about in life than adults have more time to ponder on the bad things, and have experienced less hardships to be able to differentiate what’s “bad” from “really, really bad”. I’ve heard many suicide stories and I know some of the reasons I’ve heard for the deaths aren’t that serious enough, but we can never judge because we weren’t in their shoes.

“I guess that’s the point of it all. No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”

It’s true isn’t it? None of us know how much impact we have on others, or on how our simple actions might influence the decisions of others, and so on and so forth. We are all in this world of massive domino-effect. Every single thing we do have repercussions, for good reasons and bad. A simple tap can send something plummeting down into the abyss.

I guess the point that this book was trying to get across, or at least what I got from it, was that we must be responsible for every action that we do no matter how miniscule. Think before you act, because you have no idea how one mistake can seriously hurt another. And that suicide is never the answer.

I think this book can help a lot of people. Not for its literary merit or whatnot, but for its content. Teenagers should read this book, especially those having difficulties with their lives.


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