13 Reasons Why

The October PBF Book Club selection was 13 Reasons Why and it’s time to discuss this novel today!

13 Reasons Why Jay Asher

If you’re in the market for some new reading material, you can find the reviews of past PBF Book Club books on my Books page.

Brief Summary

13 Reasons Why follows the journey of Clay Jensen, a well-liked high school student who arrives home one day to find a package of cassette tapes addressed to him in the mail. The tapes are from Hannah Baker, his classmate and former crush who committed suicide just a few days before. The tapes detail 13 reasons why Hannah decided to end her life and on the first tape she promises each recipient of her tapes that they contributed to her decision to commit suicide and must listen to her tapes to figure out their role in her decision.

My Review

It is clear from the beginning of this book that Hannah Baker committed suicide, so I’m not sure why I kept clinging onto the hope for a somewhat happy ending. Or at least an ending that left me feeling somewhat at peace. Suicide isn’t something that is accompanied by a feeling of peace.

While I didn’t completely fall in love with the book from the beginning, I plowed through it quickly and was intrigued the entire time. Hannah’s voice through the cassette tapes clearly conveyed her troubled emotional state and her challenge in dealing with a less-than-squeaky-clean reputation in high school. I found myself waiting for her to reveal one of the 13 reasons why she committed suicide that could cause her to feel like there was no way out and no way to feel at peace in her life again.

As I learned more about Hannah and the people who affected her decision, I felt the underlying message her reasons seemed to convey was that every decision you make and every action you take can have everlasting consequences. Many of the decisions we make in our lives are made on a whim without much thought, but a simple remark can affect someone very, very deeply. Hannah’s story made me think a lot about the people I interact with daily or the random stranger I pass as I go about my everyday life. So often we are unaware of what people are going through – even those close to us – and treating people with kindness and decency is so important.

The book itself was interesting to read in that it caused me to think a lot during my time away from the book. If anything, it’s the conversations that I had with people after reading 13 Reasons Why and the impact the book had on my actions that made it worth reading. It made me want to be a little kinder to strangers. To be more aware of the people in my life and challenges they may be facing. To recognize that what I say to the people in my life and how I treat others can have everlasting implications.

Blogger Link Up

You can find additional reviews of Thirteen Reasons Why on the following blogs:

Discussion Questions

  • What did you think of the ending of the book? Did you feel like it left you wanting more or did you feel satisfied with the conclusion?
  • Do you think one of the 13 reasons Hannah detailed affected her more deeply than others? Which incident do you think had the greatest impact on her?
  • What will you remember most after reading this novel?


  1. Pam S says

    I kept hoping that maybe Hannah actually hadn’t committed suicide, but it does really make you think about life and how little things may seem to us can really affect someone else.


  2. Jen says

    I thought the same thing in that it was very juvenile. As soon as I picked it up at the library, I thought it had to have come from the young adults section. It may be something good for middle schoolers or high schoolers to read as a way to approach the topic of suicide and how to best treat others. I think Hannah went though what alot of teenagers go through, but she did not have the coping skills to deal with them. An interesting look at a very serious topic, but definitely written for a younger crowd.


  3. says

    I really did enjoy this book – I have a long drive to school so I have been getting books on tape, which I think provides a different emphasis to books, especially this one. When I went to pick it up I was surprised to find it in the Young Adult section and didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into. But I really enjoyed it – I feel like it raised really good points about suicide, especially with teens. Like you, Julie, I found myself really thinking about this book when I was away from it, and it made me think about how I treat people because I don’t know everyone’s personal story or day-to-day life.

    I thought I emailed my review in, but guess not! 🙂 Here’s a link to my review:


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