Jay Asher, "13 Reasons Why": book reviews, main characters, summary, film adaptation
Jay Asher, "13 Reasons Why": book reviews, main characters, summary, film adaptation

Video: Jay Asher, "13 Reasons Why": book reviews, main characters, summary, film adaptation

Video: Jay Asher, "13 Reasons Why": book reviews, main characters, summary, film adaptation
Video: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher Book Review 2023, September

Adolescence is a rather controversial period in the life of any person, when his worldview changes, his character develops, when there comes a turning point in his fundamental views on the world. At this age, teenagers are especially sensitive. What an adult is ready to let past his attention, a teenager sees in a slightly different light. And young representatives of this generation are especially susceptible to insults, misunderstandings, and ridicule from their peers. This problem is inexhaustible in its manifestations. It existed before, it exists now, and more than one generation will excite with its ornate, contradictory twists of fate.

One of these stories became the subject of a book called 13 Reasons Why. Such a simple and at the same time such a complex story of a girl who is confused in herself. The girl who got into the whirlpool of events, twisting and tightening round by roundher into the abyss. How did the world meet the work with a suicidal plot? What feedback from readers did the author of the book, Jay Asher, have to face? You will learn the answers to these and other questions in the article.

About the creator

Jay Asher became famous thanks to his long-selling book about teenage life. By and large, it is impossible to connect the topic he chose about suicidal impulses with his personal experience. Escher was born and raised in a family of loving parents. The father and mother encouraged any manifestations and desires of the boy. Having started his hard work with a shoe trade and a librarian position, Jay nevertheless got a job as a teacher in the lower grades. And later he finished his studies at the Polytechnic University of California and became a writer. True, so far only one of his novels has been released as a major publication, but it has become so popular among readers that the American author has become known almost all over the world.

Written by Jay Asher
Written by Jay Asher

About the main characters

The plot of the book revolves around the life of representatives of one of the American schools. The work is presented in a non-standard form: two time periods are described at once, the events of which are told by two different teenagers. Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen are the main characters in 13 Reasons Why. It is they who tell on their own behalf to the readers of the novel a story that happened to them at different intervals of time with a gap of literally a few weeks. Hanna's story is closely intertwined with Clay's thoughts and feelings about the same events. Uniquethe structure of the narrative was built by the author in the form of a parallel dualistic narrative. That is, it is essentially a story, which involves telling the story from two different perspectives - by two different people.

In addition to the two key characters, the novel gives significant importance to the guys from their environment - these are Justin Foley, Jessica Davis, Alex Standell, Tyler Down, Courtney Crimsen, Marcus Cooley, Zach Dempsey, Ryan Shaver, Sheri Holland, Bryce Walker and psychologist Kevin Porter. Each of them played a role in the fate of Hannah Baker. Each one of his actions caused the emergence of causes that became a catalyst for settling accounts with a girl with her own life.

Curse of Evil Rumors
Curse of Evil Rumors

About the plot

The unusual presentation of the material and the acutely problematic storyline became the starting point in the popularization of the novel. The year 13 Reasons Why was created was 2007. For 12 years now, she has been disturbing many with her pessimistic orientation - teenage suicidal impulses. The whole course of action revolves around many problems. But all this variety of events has a single center - youth, relations in a teenage team and with adults. Reviews of the book "13 Reasons Why" were divided into several radically opposite positions, but often this opposition in opinions is argued by different age categories of readers. The younger the reader, the more emotionally he perceives the plot of the novel.

The beginning of the book describes the events of an ordinary day in the life of schoolboy Clay Jensen. On the threshold of yourAt home, a young man finds a rather strange package. The same premise, by the way, is discussed in the prologue. As noted by many in their reviews, the book "13 Reasons Why" intrigues the potential reader precisely with a sad and mysterious brief announcement. It mentions this ill-fated package with the revelations of a girl who is no longer alive…

The box addressed to Clay Jensen contained seven audio cassettes. Each of the cassettes was marked with a blue nail polish number in the corner of each side. Seven cassettes, thirteen issues, thirteen sides of the tape, which contains the appeal of Hannah Baker, who passed away two weeks ago. But why did she address the package to him?

Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen
Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen

When Clay started listening to record number one, he realized that the box was not just for his personal listening. She, as a kind of passing lot, had to be passed from hand to hand to those participants in past events who played a key role in bringing the girl to suicide. When Hannah was brought to a critical point of depression, she prepared a not banal note with the words "please blame my death." She did something much more original - she wrote down a kind of confession, including a denunciation of all those who caused her death. Thirteen recipients, thirteen entries, thirteen reasons why she had to die at such a young age.

As many readers say in their reviews of the book "13 Reasons Why", from the very first pages the plot draws you in with itsoriginality, an unusual approach to narration, a terrifying theme, touched upon in the novel as the main idea that runs through the whole work. The book reveals the feelings and experiences of a young man who listened to the recordings throughout this sad story, in parallel with the presentation of the thoughts of a suicidal girl, her confessions, incriminating lies. Initially, Clay did not understand why he was on the list of these thirteen. But as he listened to audio cassettes, as he revealed meanness, hypocrisy, indifference and lack of the slightest sympathy in the actions of teenagers, he plunged into a state of devastating despair every minute. The young man realized that he had become an unwitting part of a tragedy that could have been easily prevented.

Hannah describes in detail the actions that were committed by her peers, and the pain that these actions caused her. That is why the novel becomes more and more interesting with each page, which is why the realistic plot of the book “13 Reasons Why” captivates. The summary of the work is based on a list of unfortunate events that gradually, one by one, grew like a snowball and turned into an irreparable disaster. To make it easier to understand what motives Hannah Baker was guided by, making her last tragic decision, we briefly outline the list of these unfortunate thirteen "human reasons".

Reason 1: Justin Foley

The young man was nice to Hannah Baker, she longed to meet him and dreamed of another kiss. But the young man turned out to be a typical "yap talker", "scribbler", who dismissed herrumors behind her back between peers. And the fact that Hannah was new at this school immediately contributed to the fact that there was an erroneous opinion of others around her as a frivolous girl and easy sexual prey for guys.

At this point, the author raises the problem of the relationship of the teenage generation, so young and already so mature in their physiological desires. A banal story of a loving girl and a mean young man is revealed, whose main goal is to show off to other guys. In their reviews, many identify this episode with stories from their teenage experiences and confirm the fact that such behavior of the object of sympathy causes serious injury and plunges into a state of unjustified shame.

Justin Foley
Justin Foley

Reason 2: Alex Standall

His "Chicks and Freaks" list, in which he divided the girls into two columns, played a role in generating unpleasant rumors about Hannah. And although she was classified as “chik”, and not “freaks”, this gave others a reason to talk even more about her accessibility and gossip about the outstanding forms of her body. The objects of general attention were "hot," as Standall wrote, buttocks. She even began to slap on the ass all and sundry. All because of Alex's ill-fated list.

This episode also brings up the herd instinct that is inherent in the teenage generation. Someone said something stupid, another picked it up, and the third immediately spread it throughout the school. And no one believes in your words that this is not so, that this is not true. You are massively despised and ridiculed for your exaggerated shortcomings, and sometimes even virtues.

Photos by Hannah Baker
Photos by Hannah Baker

Reason 3: Jessica Davis

Newly made girlfriend - the only girl with whom Hanna had a chance to get close initially, hit her in the face. Jessica heard gossip about Hannah's relationship with Alex, and she really liked this guy. Banal jealousy, distrust and another manifestation of the herd instinct made Jessica believe the public and insult Hannah for something she was not to blame.

Here, the author of the book "13 Reasons Why" once again points out the vulnerability of the younger generation and the unstable emotional state of adolescents at this controversial age. It can not only lead to uncontrolled aggression, but also threatens with physical violence.

Reason 4: Tyler Down

In one of her entries, Hanna talks about the sneaky surveillance of her under the windows of her own house by her neighbor Tyler Down. The young man secretly followed the girl and took pictures of her. So she couldn't feel comfortable even in a room in her own house.

The idea of an invasion of personal space is included by the author for a reason. Today's so easy to distribute photos on the web. The most personal information can be exposed to the public, and a person can not do anything. The problem is much more urgent than many others.

Reason 5: Courtney Crimsen

Disguised as a benevolent girlfriend, Courtney ended up at Hannah's house, and thenspread rumors that Hannah's dresser drawer contained "bad grown-up things". This, of course, could not but add fuel to the general fire of negative rumors about Hannah.

Here, the novel "Thirteen Reasons Why" once again denounces the duality of the standards of the current generation. Another problem is the desire of people to rise at the expense of others.

Reason 6: Marcus Cooley

Hannah's failed date with a young man who, as she thought, had only good intentions, ended with his harassment and the words: "I thought you were easily accessible." Once again, the girl sobs over the injustice of accusing her of frivolity.

And again in the novel 13 reasons why, the topic of the detrimental effect on the lives of people (especially teenagers) of false rumors is raised.

Reason 7: Zach Dempsey

The episode opens with another dirty trick of Hannah's peer who steals her messages from the Revelation Box. Zach not only stole Baker's letters. He took away a piece of what made her little world happier and more carefree. He took from her a corner of her peace and doomed her to even greater experiences.

Reason 8: Ryan Shaver

How would you feel if you trusted a person to read your poems, deeply personal and sincere, and he would distribute them, make them public? This is despite the fact that people around you are already quite critical of you. For young Hannah Baker, this was another blow to her soul. Every day the girl began to close herself more and more.

Image"Chiki and freaks"
Image"Chiki and freaks"

Reason 9: Clay Jensen

The second key character, who, in fact, tells about how he listened to the records of the deceased girl, got into the list almost by accident. Hannah just wanted him to know about everything that was happening to her. And yet she somewhat reproaches him for the fact that on the day they kissed, he did not stay by her side. Of course, she herself asked him to leave. But the young man could have been firm and stayed. Perhaps if he hadn't left then, things would have been different…

In the 13 Reasons Why reviews, most readers condemned Hannah for this episode. After all, Clay, who had real feelings for her and did not intend to offend her in any way, hardly deserves criticism from her. Besides, he couldn't read the girl's mind. The guy will fulfill her wish, you can’t blame it.

Reason 10: Bryce Walker

Hannah was an unwitting witness to how a high school student raped a drunk Jessica in a state of complete unconsciousness. Justin Foley once again showed cowardice - he did not stop the crime.

This scene caused a wide resonance among readers, which is also noted in reviews of the book "13 Reasons Why". The summary does not fully convey the essence of the events described in it. As one of the climactic moments, this episode reveals Hannah's heartbreaking emotion, which is tormented by remorse for not trying to stop Walker. Which means she's as unworthy as Folly.

Reason 11: SherryHolland

Another weight has fallen on Hannah Baker's soul. She kept silent about a road sign hit by a car by a classmate Sherry, later because of this, their classmate died. A new dose of soul-destroying self-criticism, a new dose of self-loathing and self-loathing swept the unfortunate girl with a wave of endless despair.

Reason 12: Bryce Walker again

Disappointed with herself, with the attitude of those around her, Hanna decides to justify the vile rumors that have spread about her among her peers. She falls into the clutches of the rapist Walker and, without much resistance, is subjected to another violence on his part. Another screaming scene, touching the reader to the quick, causes a storm of mixed emotions among readers. This is written in reviews of the book "13 Reasons Why".

The suffering of the main character
The suffering of the main character

Reason 13: Kevin Porter

The climax of this story takes place in the school psychologist's office. Mr. Porter is so negligent in his attitude to the problems of teenagers, so indifferent to youthful experiences, that without realizing it, he pushes Hannah to the most fatal step in her life - suicide. Instead of giving her support, he invites her to come to terms with what happened.

The global issue of adults and children, touched upon in this episode, finds a particularly emotional reflection in the reaction of older readers to Escher's book. Here, readers represented by parents, educators, and teachers realize the essence of their main purpose. Adults must protect their own children from worldly injustice, provide assistancewhen teenagers need it. Here Jay Asher puts a bold and meaningful point, as if hinting to the reader about what to think about after reading this book.

"13 Reasons Why" Awards

The book has become widely known, because it touches on the really important problems of modern society. The novel was named "Best Book for Teens" (YALSA award) and recognized as an absolute longseller on Amazon.com. The English language of the original work, written by an American, was translated into Russian by many domestic publishers, and the rights to the book were sold to more than twenty countries around the world.

Film adaptation of the book
Film adaptation of the book


The screen adaptation of the novel "13 Reasons Why" was presented to the world on March 31, 2017. Selena Gomez was originally supposed to play the lead role of Hannah Baker. But it was subsequently decided that she would become the producer of the series. Directed by Tom McCarthy. Dylan Minnette, Kate Walsh, Christian Navarro, Miles Heizer, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, Derek Luke, Justin Prentice, Devin Druid and others played the roles of thirteen "human causes" of the death of young Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford). But many viewers note that the film is not as deep as the book.