Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

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Table of Contents

  • Overview
  • Introduction
  • Conclusion


This essay is about a novel titled “Thirteen Reasons Why”. It is based on a true story about how a teenage girl named Hannah Baker suddenly took her own life while going through psychological disorders. She sought for help but there was no one to help her overcome this issues in life. While in high school she experienced a lot in her Adolescence stage such as; peer pressure, discrimination, guilt, neglect, depression, betrayed, sexual harassment, fear, suicide and Anti-social behavior. In this essay I will point out the social themes that she faced in the novel and also explain more about the issues in regards to the psychosocial theory of Erick Erickson. And also explaining the themes that are relating the problems that we are facing today in our lives.

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Hannah Baker was a teenager in high school who faced a lot of social issues in her life. While she going through this issues in life there was no one there to help her to overcome this issues. The issues that she faced was to do with the early stage of adulthood and maturity in life, where we have some positive and negative influence in our lives when growing up. She faced a lot of negative aspects while she was in school and also with friends. This social impacts psychologically affected her state of mine and way of doing things in general and also socializing with peers. Which she was more depressed and was helpless in the time of need.

Hannah had faced a lot of challengers and difficulties in life, one of them is peer pressure or peer influence. As we are in our teenage stage life peer pressure or peer influence from friends is more likely to be unavoidable, this because we as young people try to enjoy our lives more than the limits that our parents gave to us. Because of this it may also contribute to some other factors which makes us go out of control that can lead us to death depends on the feelings and emotions that we have in us. Peer pressure is mostly more effective when we are in our teenage. In this stage many of us are misled by our peers into all wrong directions in life. There are kinds that teenagers face today is, Drinking, smoking, staying out past restriction, having sex when you are not ready.

In the one of the reasons of Hannah’s death in her “Thirteen Reasons Why” we see Hannah was guilty due the rumor that Jessica Davis had spread in school that made her felt depressed about what Jessica had said to her and Justin Foley. This painted a bad image of Hannah in the school. Also she was being seen as the trouble maker or as ghost where everyone did not want to be near or around her. She was also being sexually assaulted by one of her friends during a party one time. This made her felt bad about herself and was so depressed, she was seen as value less or a prostitute in the eyes of her peer group. Where they made jokes of her making her. Which add to the feeling of more and more depressed in her mine. As we are human beings we do feel guilt of our wrong doings. In the case of Hannah, she was guilt because the rumor that Jessica had told which made her to feel bad about herself (Stewart, 2016).

She was being discriminated in school. This lowered her self-esteem and self-confidence. Moreover, her public image was tainted when everyone started calling her insulting words. In the eighth reason Hannah says that she was betrayed by Ryan Shaver. Hannah trusted Ryan and was sharing her poems with him, her poems she wrote was all about her feeling that she was going through in life the challenges that she had faced. However, those poems where later published by Ryan in his magazine. Later she found out she felt she betrayed by Ryan (Stewart, 2016).

Discrimination is everywhere. Where people turn to judge people due to their social status in society, gender, and way of behavior or their specific worldview toward a person on their personality. This issues are seen as a biggest challenge in our modern society today. It also represents our threat to our democracy rights because it is based on our principles of equality. One way to avoid discrimination is to teach your child when growing up not to spoil other with descriptive words.

In her last reason she was neglected by her guidance teacher, where we see she tries to seek help from him. Mr. Potter has failed his part as a guidance officer to help students with their stress and depression. She was turned away by him because he was busy with some other stuffs to do rather than attending to her. And also in the fifth reason she feels that she was being neglected by Courtney Crimsen. During a party she had invited Hannah to attend which Courtney was avoiding her, and later she found out Courtney was spreading rumor of her. Hannah was over looked by her guidance teacher this is because depression is often over looked in children and adolescents. The way adult’s see the children is different from how the children express how they feel some of them are not able to show their feelings towards how they fee (Stewart, 2016).

All of this anti-social behaviors have affected Hannah Baker’s life both mentally and psychologically. This had made her lost hope in all works of life. This made people seen as a stranger and she felt that she was unacceptable to the people around her. It because of the false accusation they made over her. And she thought that committing suicide was the only get away in life to be free from these problems in life.

People see suicide as it no a major issue in life, but for the teenager’s suicide is a very big issue. Teenagers experience strong feelings of stress, confusion, self-doubt, pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty, and other fears while growing up. Most teenagers think or feel that suicide is the solution and answer to their problems and stress for them and also those who are around them as well. Boys and girls are different when it comes to suicide. Boys usually use weapons to hurt themselves on the outside. While girls usually use pills to hurt themselves on the inside (Stewart, 2016).


After figuring out the social themes in this novel “Thirteen Reasons Why.” I see that those challengers that she had faced are experienced by every other ordinary teenager in the World.

All throughout the story the author signifies and points out key areas that affect her emotionally, this maybe an eye opener to some of us to see that her search for reasons were based on her own desire to end her own life. It is human nature to look for reasons to hide our guilt from some wrong we have done, and to look for solutions to solve our own problems. But Hannah did not consider that. Instead, she chose to end her own life (Hughes, K., n.d.).

This novel is portraying or telling us that we should not stand by and see one of us do the same as Hannah did. We must help them look for solutions so that they can overcome the negative feeling in them regardless of the circumstances in life that we face. Moreover, we should advise them to see a guidance officer or a counselor nearby to seek assistance from them rather than allowing them to suffer from anxiety and end up like Hannah, taking away their own young, innocent life (Commonsense Media, 2018).

If a child says they want to kill themselves or don’t want to be here anymore, take it seriously don’t take as a joke and act like they don’t know what they are talking about that’s denial for the parent. Getting heavy into alcohol or drugs is another sign of depression leading to suicide. If we see someone like this suffering from depression one must consult a counselor or guidance officer for help so that we can save lives, not loose lives. In this novel Hannah Baker shares here story with us about how she experienced life in high school. Which is an experience that many of us face in life. She shares her story because she does not want anyone taking their own life, like she did.

There are many ways in helping and treating people to avoid suicide. First everyone is unique and different in their own ways. Therefore, every suicide case is going to be different, with different needs, and different causes. Be nice to other who are stressed and depressed show them that you love and care for them. Who knows, you might be doing more than love and care. you could be saving their life by showing that you care for them.

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