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Being a Teenager and Attending High School Is Difficult. Review of Thirteen Reasons Why

Being a Teenager and Attending High School Is Difficult. Review of Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How well do you really know someone, have you taken the effort and extended yourself to get to know them on a personal level, or have you let others opinions and perceptions influence your own? Clay Jensen thought he was familiar with Hannah Baker, but upon receiving a series of tapes recorded by Hannah before her suicide, Clay discovers the truth he never knew about Hannah and realizes just how much others manipulated and tattered her reputation. 

Being a teenager & attending high school is difficult. A #review #13ReasonsWhy #book by @jayasherguy http://ow.ly/LpFM30aEd4q @lenaebaker CLICK TO TWEET

Being a teenager and attending high school is difficult. Consider the Virginia Tech article “Adolescent Growth and Development” and how each of the developmental areas and changes associated with each effect teens. Not only are teens dealing with numerous and profound changes themselves, but they are put together in an environment with others also going through challenging changes thus creating a sometimes hostile and contentious ecosystem. What this novel does well is portraying this atmosphere and the challenges associated with it which are appealing first and foremost because of its truth. Many teens, especially newbies, girls, or pariahs, can relate to Hannah and some aspect of her plight or know someone similar to a character in the book. 

Integrity is fundamental in the novel.

A person's integrity, especially a female's, matters extensively, and once lost, it cannot be regained. Hannah finds however that one's integrity can be decided not based on reality, but on rumors which can completely change the perception of reality. Other teenagers' words and actions form the whole school's perception of Hannah's integrity and she realizes that she cannot change that perception. Thus, throughout the majority of the text, Hannah’s experiences continually debase her idea of integrity to the point where she finally lets go of her rectitude.

At this moment, Hannah finally loses herself. 

No character in the book exemplifies integrity, not Hannah, and she knows this, and not Clay the narrator. Through Hannah’s words, each character's lack of integrity is showcased and it is this uncovering that causes each receiver of Hannah's tapes to pass it along to the next person. No one wants their good character out for scrutiny. The narrator Clay, though a more upright character in the novel, still is without guilt. His role is one I know I have played before, and I believe many people have,

he did nothing.

Clay heard the rumors about Hannah, noticed that she was going through something, but because of fear, did not reach out to her. I believe this is the most powerful statement of all.

The book’s overall portrayal of integrity is that of its importance and that perceptions of integrity can have profound collateral effects on others. Yet, the book ends with a definite illustration of integrity and growth as Clay calls to the outcast Skye. 

13 Reasons Review Quote

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Yours Truly, LeNae

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Huebner, Angela. May 1, 2009. “Adolescent Growth and Development.” Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University. http://www.nvc.vt.edu/mft/mft2_files/huebner/Adolescent_Growth_and_Development.pdf

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