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Thirteen Reasons Why
Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Death

Death creeps into every line of Thirteen Reasons Why, which centers on the audio-taped suicide note of teenage Hannah Baker. We listen along with Clay Jensen, Hannah's almost-true-love, as Hannah t...

Guilt and Blame

Hannah Baker isn't kidding around where this theme is concerned. No doubt about it, the tapes in Thirteen Reasons Why are a huge guilt trip – she admits this freely. She wants her listeners to fe...

Respect and Reputation

Rumor-mongering is part of every high school experience. Hannah doesn't delve into her pre-high school past, but she does hint that she had a problem with her reputation in middle school. She consi...

Betrayal

Thirteen Reasons Why has enough betrayals to fill up a daytime soap opera. Loyalty is noticeably absent from this story. Characters – at least as they're depicted by Clay and Hannah – rarely ge...

Sex

Sex is deeply connected to themes of both violence and respect and reputation in Thirteen Reasons Why. Unfortunately, it's not well connected with the theme of love. Rumors that Hannah is a "slut"...

Violence

Everything in this novel has a violent, painful edge to it. Hannah's tone on the tapes could even be described as violent – she is trying (and in Clay's case, succeeded) to inflict pain on her li...

Choices

In an interview, Thirteen Reasons Why author Jay Asher says, "even though Hannah admits that the decision to take her life was entirely her own, it's also important to be aware of how we treat othe...

Love

Thirteen Reasons Why is most certainly not a love story. In fact, as much as she craves it, love is what's missing from Hannah Baker's life. Girls betray her friendship and guys play mean games wit...

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