“I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one the reasons why” -Hannah Baker, 13 Reasons Why, By Jay Asher. Imagine you were listening to this. How would you feel? I would imagine you would feel startled to be listening to a voice of a person that has committed suicide. but you mainly feel like you shouldn’t be listening to the tape. You would think “I didn’t do anything that could have caused this”, but what if you did? The story of 13 Reasons Why is devastating, eerie, captivating, and beautiful. The story starts with Clay Jensen comes home to find a mysterious package. He opens the package to find 7 cassettes with 13 tapes recorded by Hannah Baker- his classmate and crush who has commited suicide 2 weeks before. No one saw the suicide coming, no one expected it, no one noticed or determined the signs of thoughts of suicide that Hannah portrayed. Before she committed this tragic event, Hannah left behind thirteen recorded messages that explained the thirteen reasons to why she killed herself; the reasons to why she was driven over the edge. Each of these messages were copied to tapes, each side of the tape was directed towards one specific person in which caused one of the reasons. Justin Foley, Alex Standall, Jessica Davis, Tyler Down, Courtney Crimsen, Marcus Cooley, Zach Dempsey, Ryan Shaver, Clay Jensen, Jenny Kurtz, Bryce Walker, Mr. Porter; all people listed on Hannah’s tapes, all the people that connected to the issues in which led to Hannah’s suicide. The tapes went in order, from the beginning of Hannah’s problems, to the end. Hannah mailed the tapes to the first person the day she ended her life. Afterwards that person was asked to mail the set of tapes to the person mentioned on the second tape (or other side), and so on. 13 Reasons Why’s story is mainly surrounding the characters the Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen. Hannah Baker was a simple girl at heart but the “reasons” changed her until she was just broken. In the starting of the story, Hannah is shown being sardonic, quick-witted and outgoing, accompanied with a sarcastic sense of humor. Funny, easy-going, kind, displaying good self-esteem, and availability to meet people and make friends, Hannah was the extroverted-yet-thoughtful girl we all love to have in our lives but as certain events transpired in her life, her personality changes. Hannah shifts unconsciously, changing in an overall manner to a more edgy, keep-to-self kind of person. This reflects her mental health and emotional state as her whole self-decays. This is shown repeatedly by her pushing the people she might have known could’ve been there for her and cared for her, an example being Clay, or by being quieter and more reserved and closed person. Clay Jensen would a pure opposite of Hannah. Clay is quiet, surrounds himself with only close friends, kind, and honest. Clay has a spotless reputation. Hannah is attracted to him because he really does seem as genuine and wholesome as what people say about him. One way Clay keeps his reputation clean is by playing it safe and keeping things drama-free. He’s certainly not a risk-taker. He prioritizes schoolwork over parties, and he doesn’t get publicly involved with girls with bad reputations – like Hannah Baker. The tapes also have an effect on Clay. It’s more of a reality check for him, he learns to take become less of a reserved guy and more open to new opportunities and experiences. This story takes place in the little town in the United States called Cresmont. The small, snug town that has only one high school, one park, and everyone knows everyone in some way. The town is full of spots that are significant to this story. The book describes different stores, shops, parks, and neighborhoods through the perspective of Clay or Hannah. One of the places most talked about in the book is the high school. Hannah and Clay both describe the school in their own way. Clay says it’s your everyday ordinary high school, while Hannah tells about her torment within the walls. Hannah experiences a lot of her bullying at the high school because it is the breeding ground of rumors that ruined her reputation. Another area in the book is Monet’s cafe. This was where Hannah met her best friend turned tormentor. Clay also goes there while listening to the tapes. He describes it as a cozy, little cafe. There are many more areas that show significance to the story, like the candy shop, the movie theatre, and the houses of her classmates in the neighborhoods. The book gives the sense that the town is safe, innocent, and peaceful but Hannah’s story shows that the darkness is there hidden behind how the town is presented.