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13 Reasons Why - Review by Anonymous

“Why would a dead girl lie? Because she can’t stand up,” – Hannah Baker.

13 Reasons Why Book CoverThe snowball effect is one that gets larger and larger as a result of the actions of others and how you react to those reactions but most of all, this effect can be deadly. Hannah Baker understood just how well the snowball effect affected herself and everyone around her. With one conflict came another and then another and another, like a giant snowball, until the madness overwhelmed the person at the center of the conflict and they chose to put an end to their suffering. As one who could relate to how Hannah felt in the midst of all this drama, the novel hit a little too close to home. But, as a result, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher turned into a life-changing novel which inspired me to take a different path than the one Hannah Baker chose.

13 Reasons Why is a story inside a story. It is a story of suicide and how so many people’s actions contribute to one’s death and also how these people react to the death by suicide. In this novel, we follow the journey of one boy who follows the story of Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide and gave her story out to 13 people who supposedly contributed to her death. Through the Novel 13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher captures the situation of suicide so perfectly. As disturbing as this may sound, it helped me understand how one is able to tell whether or not they need mental health help and that if they took drastic actions they would not only be affecting themselves and the people closest to them but also the people who played as minor characters in their life. As Hannah Baker continued with her story and began discussing the actions she took which made her realize she was suicidal, I began seeing myself in her footsteps. Although the situations for both of us are extremely different, we both took the same approach in realizing what we were leading ourselves to do. In all honesty, this scared me quite a bit because I never considered myself as being one who would take such actions. But, the truth is, you never know given the circumstances. Out of fear and realization of what I could potentially do to myself and others, 13 Reasons Why motivated me to reach out for help to ensure my safety and I can strongly say that this is a decision which I will never regret.

There are several ways for one to reach out for help. I personally do not enjoy opening up to people face-to-face so I had called an anonymous hotline, Kids Help Phone, and they had advised me to find a way to record how I felt. So, as a result I started up my own blog. On this blog I don’t only record the bad times and my breakdowns but also the good times to remind myself that there is so much more yet to come in my life and that I have to be patient and in control of myself to experience these adventures yet to come. Other ways of getting help include speaking to a guidance counselor, opening up to friends and family, visiting a clinic and looking at a few online resources. Editor’s note: if you need an emergency number or health services resources, please see: www.halifax.ca/Youth/HeathInfo.php.

I would advise anyone and everyone to read this powerful novel because it will help them understand the results of such small actions, both positive and negative. If you take an interest in books like 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, you might also enjoy books like The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Following are links with more information about the author and the book: http://jayasher.blogspot.ca/ and http://www.thirteenreasonswhy.com/. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher is available at the Halifax Public Libraries.


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