Bullying is an epidemic in our society in which we only see two sides the victim and the bully. “Thirteen Reasons Why”, is a New York Times bestseller by Jay Asher that brings to life a victim’s journey through a personal pain-stricken story and while her story unfolds the stories of the people who caused her pain, her bullies, unravel before us as well.
Hannah Baker was a High School student who was not able to adapt to the constant attacks she was being faced with from her peers, thirteen of them to be exact. She sincerely believed that there was only one way out of this rumor-hollowed deception filled lonely life, so she decided to commit suicide, but before putting an end to her raw and aching life she wanted the thirteen people who influenced her choice to know exactly what role they played, and have to deal with the consequences of their actions rather then avoid it. Therefore, Hannah recorded her story on cassette tapes, labeled them 1-13, wrapped them up within an empty shoebox, and shipped it to her first bully who would ultimately deliver it to the rest of the people on that tape all before fulfilling the final step of her story, her death.
Clay Jensen is one of the bully’s that received this unusual wrapped box with no return address. It is his journey we witness as he follows Hannah’s struggled story on the old school cassette tapes. As he listens to each tape awaiting his own name to come up in her story he slowly starts to grasp why the other people were mentioned but he still did not want to believe that he was rightfully put in Hannah’s final goodbye because he had a huge crush on her. Throughout the story Clay refuses to acknowledge the fact that he could have caused her any kind of pain that would have triggered her to end her life…that is until he hears how he fits into her last tale.
This book is particularly relevant to todays society, it discusses bullying in a way that would not bore the audience but actually intrigue them into understanding the depth and complexity that lays behind the word, “bully”. It also helps us see that there is more then one or even two sides to the same story and each perspective is just as important, unique, and essential to decipher.