Katherine’s Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Written by: Katherine Nocera

“When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.”

-Hannah Baker


Hello everyone! A couple of months ago, a good friend of mine lent me a book to read, suggesting that I would enjoy it. I do admit, I was unsure at the beginning, while reading the back of the book it did not seem like something I would normally pick up. So I opened the book and thought that I’d give it a try. If I did not like it, I could always give it back, right? Well, that was absolutely no issue. A page into the book and I was hooked. Hooked for good. I enjoyed the book so much that I thought I’d share my experience with you. Without further ado, here is my opinion on Jay Asher’s book titled “Thirteen Reasons Why.”


Quick Summary

The novel begins with, Clay Jensen, a high school senior, who finds a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his front porch. To his surprise, inside the box he finds thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate that committed suicide two weeks prior. Each tape describes the thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Anyone who receives the tapes is one of them. The rest of the book describes Clay’s journey of listening to each tape and discovering how he made the list.

My Personal Review

The book is written from the dual perspectives of Hannah Baker and Clay Jenson. I thought that this was an outstanding way of capturing the stories of both Hannah and Clay. As Clay listens to the tapes, the novel shifts into the perspective of Hannah from two weeks earlier.

Next, the overall message of the book really caught my attention. The book focuses on the importance of being aware with how you’re treating people because you never know how it will affect them. It made me step back from my life and realize that every action I take affects someone else, positively or negatively.

Also, this book was astounding at spreading awareness on the effects of bulling and teen suicide. It is fictional but very informational, the novel shares tips on how to recognize suicide warning signs and discusses common misconceptions about suicide. I am so thrilled that a book like this is popular among high school students and even adults because it is so vital to raise awareness on this ever-growing issue.

All in all, I highly suggest that you read this novel. I guarantee it will help you reflect on your actions in life and even persuade you to take a call to action.

On the “Katherine Book Rating” scale this novel gets a 5 out of 5!


Remember that TrentU Durham has great supports on campus for students who are suffering with bullying, mental illness and/or depression.  There is always someone to talk to!


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