Reviewed by Dillon Tauzin
“13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher is narrated by Clay, an all-around good guy who finds a package of cassette tapes on his doormat. The voice on the tapes belongs to a girl named Hannah Baker, who had moved to his town the previous year and recently had committed suicide.
Clay is an aspiring valedictorian for his senior class and is characterized early on as a nice guy. When he receives a package of thirteen tapes blaming thirteen people for the suicide of Hannah Baker, he cannot figure out why he is on the list. The book tells Clay’s story while he listens to Hannah’s. The book tells two narratives at the same time, switching between Clay’s story in print and Hannah’s tapes in italics. It successfully intertwines the stories and delivers a message of awareness that needs to be heard.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading “13 Reasons Why.” I was forced more than once to put the book down and muse for a moment on some idea it had introduced. After reading the book, these ideas have stayed with me and have even affected some of my daily decisions. Jay Asher wrote the book in clear, easy language, and I would recommend it to anyone who would take its message in earnest.
Dillon Tauzin recently completed his sophomore year in the academically gifted and talented in theatre programs at Hahnville High. He participates in theatre and sports, and enjoys writing, swimming and playing the piano.
Editor’s note: Book reviews are published weekly in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.