Asher, Jay. Thirteen Reasons Why: A Novel. New York: Razor Bill, 2007. Print.
This book is about a girl who commits suicide, but before she does, she records her reasons why on 13 tapes and instructs the listeners of the tapes to pass them along to the next person. In the tapes, she explains what these listeners did or didn't do that helped her make the decision to end her life. The listener we hear the story from is named Clay. When his story comes up, Hannah explains that really, he shouldn't be on the tapes, but he needs to know how all of these other people and events shaped her decision.
This is a powerful book. It really makes the reader think about how a small comment or action (or even lack of words and actions) can affect others. I think Asher's message to the reader is you just never know what others are going through and how you affect them. Very powerful message.
UPDATE June 27, 2013
I taught this novel to my Upward Bound students. I thought it would take us the full 4 weeks. My students DEVOURED this book! It spoke to them on many levels. We all know the people on the tapes; the names & gender might be different. I'm so glad for the opportunity to reread this book and share it with teens. They got it, and we didn't have to pick it apart for that to happen.