"And at some point, the struggle becomes too much--too tiring--and you consider letting go. Allowing tragedy...or whatever...to happen." Hannah Baker

I recently read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  This book was amazing!  This book talks about a controversial issue, suicide.  The word isn’t used until the end of the book when the main character Hannah finally makes the decision to end her life because even she can’t grasp the fact that, that is what she wants to do.  First a summary of what this book is about.

SPOILER ALERT:
If you don’t want to know how this ends I would skip this part.

Hannah Baker was a normal high school student.  One day she didn’t show up for school.  Then Clay, the other main character, gets a package with no return address.  Inside the package is 7 cassette tapes.  Before Hannah killed herself she made these tapes and asked the 13 people she talks about in them to listen to the tapes and them pass them on to the next person.  She said that if you got the package you had a part in her killing herself.  Some of the reasons were serious things and some of them were little things that you wouldn’t think would bother someone.  But, all of these things happened so fast in Hannah’s life that she didn’t see any other option.  The last person on Hannah’s list was the school guidance counselor.  She went to him for help and even he didn’t help her.  The next day she was gone.  The last words that Hannah Baker spoke were, “I’m sorry”.

This book tugs on your emotions but I highly recommend it.  This book shows you that the little things you do or say can have a HUGE impact on someone’s life.  Some of the kids in the book started rumors, others did inappropriate things to her, and then there were some that didn’t do anything at all.

I like the concept of this book. You hear Hannah’s side of the story as you listen to the tapes and you hear Clay’s thoughts about what she is saying and what he was thinking the whole time.

Clay wasn’t one of the people that did anything wrong, he just didn’t do anything to stop her and she noticed that. This changed Clay forever and in the end he takes a step forward and tries to help someone else he sees in trouble.

The sad thing is as you read what Hannah is going through and you hear Clay talk about her you realize that Hannah showed ALL of the warning signs for someone contemplating suicide, but no one steps in.  NO ONE.  In fact one person takes away the only thing that Hannah was holding on to.  She even warned him that she NEEDED what he was taking away, but that didn’t stop him.

As a Resident Assistant I am trained to look for the warning signs and I know how to help people or get them the help they need, but what I don’t think about is how one little comment, that joke that was made about someone’s hair can cause them to do something so drastic.  In most cases it’s not the little things that actually cause it, it’s everything piling up, but can you imagine if you were the last person to say something to someone and what you said is what pushed them over the edge.  I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I knew that.  And that’s what this book is about.  It’s about paying attention to your words and your actions because they might have a bigger impact than you think.

In the words of Hannah Baker, “You can’t go back to how things were. How you thought they were. All you really have…is now.”

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