TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY by Jay Asher
This book is haunting. Hanna Baker committed suicide, and thirteen reasons led her to do it. All thirteen reasons and interconnected, and Clay Jensen is one of the reasons. Clay has practically been in love with Hanna ever since she first came to his school, so he has no idea what he could have done to affect Hanna so much. Hanna left a box of cassette tapes explaining why she did what she did. The tapes get passed around, and we find out the thirteen reasons are thirteen people. The story is told by both Clay and Hanna's tapes. We get to see the reactions of Clay and feel his pain.
When I first started reading this book, I was immediately hooked. There is something so horrifying yet appealing about reading about suicide. When I started the book, I loved it, but I also thought Hanna was crazy. How could someone kill themselves over someone not saying goodbye, someone using you, or someone starting a rumor about you? I thought "Wow, she doesn't have it that bad. People go through that stuff everyday. Heck, I've been through almost all of what she's been through.". I don't think that anymore.
But her decision wasn't just based off of these things that had happened to her. It was a lot of other stuff that resulted from each happening. I still cannot fathom actually following through with ending my own life, and I'm sure many other people cannot either. I've had fleeting thoughts about it when things got really tough, and I'm also guilty of thinking things would be easier for people, but I would never follow through. But I also empathize with Hanna and anyone else who has been pushed to that choice. I'm not sure how a person gets so far where all they think about is ending their life. This is such a sad prospect to me. You would think that there would at least be one person to make all the difference and reach out to them.
I am a person who is very very understanding of others. I do not judge, I try not to judge unless given multiple reasons to, and I always see the good in people. Despite all of this, this book made me want to be a much better person than I am now. I want to be that one person who can make a difference in a person's life. If that difference determine's a person's choice in ending their own life, I want to be the thing to keep them grounded and provide them with a little happiness. A smile can make someone's day, and some people lack that simple act of kindness in their lives. Even if you can't understand how someone can not stand to keep living, at least try to understand the reasons that would push them there. Try to be a better person. Reach out to everyone you can, and touch their minds, their hearts, and bring them happiness. Even if just a little. A little might make all the difference in the world.