Number one: You listen.
Number two: You pass it on.
When Clay Jenson, Hannahs classmate and crush receive the tapes, he listens to Hannahs entire story in one night. It is a night that changes his life forever. From her first kiss, to her last days on earth, Hannah describes life through her eyes for her listeners. All of her listeners played a role in her death. They are the thirteen reasons why she decides to commit suicide.
She wants them to hear her story, to understand why this happened. By creating these tapes, Hannah forces her listeners to come to terms with what they have done, and the ramifications of their actions.
Thirteen Reasons Why is the most realistic book on suicide that I have ever read. In many cases, when someone commits suicide, people who care about that person are left wondering what happened. What drives a person to decide to end their life? Jay Asher attempts to answer this question in his debut novel. Unlike most suicide victims, Hannah leaves her story behind, sharing her deepest, darkest secrets in explaining why her life was not worth living anymore.
More than anything, Thirteen Reasons Why has helped me realize how much of an impact I have on the lives of others. Some of the people in Hannahs tapes could not have realized how their seemingly small actions had such a powerful impact on Hannahs life, and without the tapes, they never would have known. In Clays case, it was what he didnt do, rather than what he did, that had the biggest influence on Hannah. Every day, I unknowingly touch the lives of other people through our interactions, and it is up to me to make sure that I have a positive impact on their lives. The most important lesson that Clay learns is that no action is too small, and that he can truly make a difference to somebody else if he only gives himself a chance.