Thirteen reasons to speak up

Suicide – it’s a scary word, one many of us cannot even muster without crinkling up our faces. It forces us to think about experiences that wipe the smiles from expressions. Suicide – just the word has the ability to make the strongest person’s heart sink.

“Thirteen Reasons Why,” a novel by Jay Asher, is the story of a girl named Hanna Baker and the tapes she left behind after she committed suicide.

Now hold up; before you completely throw the possibility of reading this book out the window, you should know one thing — you’ll be turning through the pages so fast you won’t notice the tears rolling down your face.

Hanna Baker had a plan before she died; she made a set of thirteen tapes, a map, and a list of all the people who the tapes should be sent to. One by one, the tapes will cycle through the intended listeners. She even had a second set of tapes created that could be sent out, this time to the public, if any of the beholders decide to destroy the tapes.

The tapes feature Miss Baker spilling her guts about why she feels the way she does, why she believes she has no other way out but to end it all.

Clay Jensen, the current tape-listener, actually cared about Hanna; he can’t help but wonder why she would include him in her version of a blame-game. But as he begins listening to her story, he can’t stop. Clay decides to play along; he follows her map and quickly becomes caught up in the tragedy of Hanna’s life.

“Thirteen Reasons Why” is more than just a story about a girl who faced one unfortunate event after another. This book opens your eyes to how your actions may affect the people around you.

Have you ever told someone you would meet them somewhere, but then completely stood them up? Did you ever think of intervening when someone probably needed your help, but instead you just walked away? Or maybe you decided to believe a rumor about someone instead of what they claimed to be true?

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue,” expressed Hanna Baker in “Thirteen Reasons Why.”

Each one of our lives is precious, everyone is important, and your actions matter. “Thirteen Reasons Why” simply helps to reiterate this concept by making us face one of the hardest realities of all – suicide.

Clay Jensen cared about Hanna; despite all her flaws, he really cared about her, but he was just too scared to admit it to her. This book reminds us that there are always people out there who give a damn, who want to see you happy and that’s something we should never forget.