By touching teens who are suicidal and making sure those who aren’t are more sensitive to their peers, Jay Asher has inspired a ton of people. The Thirteen Reasons Why Netflix series, is inspiring everyone who has watched it.
Clay Jensen returns home from school one day to find that he has received a mysterious package in the mail. It contains seven double-sided cassette tapes used by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Each tape details a reason that she killed herself.
The National Institute for Mental Health states that suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2007. But get this, it was the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of fifteen and twenty four. This is incredibly sad, but it’s our reality. And books/shows like Thirteen Reasons Why allows us to face that grim reality and hopefully do our part to make a change.
Dylan Minnette, who plays as Clay Jensen, a shy high school student, is one of our main narrators and guide through the frightening world of Hannah Baker’s last hours. Much of the action in this story takes place in Clay’s head, which means we have some pretty good insight into his character.
Katherine Langford, who plays as Hannah Baker committed suicide because of tragic events in her high school experience. We can almost hear Hannah’s voice as we read/watch her last words, recorded on seven cassette tapes the night before her suicide. Even though she makes us uncomfortable, we can’t help but feel for her, especially once we’ve heard all she has to say.
The novel and show starts a conversation about a controversial topic that many of us will face at some point in our lives. In her tapes Hannah complains, “a thorough discussion of suicide that did not begin in our class.” as quoted from the book.