Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time there was a girl. A girl like every other girl, nothing too special about her. She looked like the others, smiled like the others, laughed like the others, but inside she was dying. This particular girl was miserable inside. People around her couldn't see it - she was hiding behind her fake smile, but she herself felt how the sadness ate her away from inside, tore her apart, and she knew that some day she would be no more. At least, she started playing with the thought.
But somewhere she wanted to be stopped. Somewhere she didn't really want to die. She started cutting - in the beginning just small cuts that didn't draw blood but it all evolved and soon she had scars all over her body. Scars that nobody appeared to notice because they were too wrapped up in themselves. She wanted to cry for help, but she felt that nobody saw her. Nobody saw her bleed. Nobody saw how she slowly withered away until she was only a shadow. A shadow hiding behind a fake smile.
So she took her own life. She had tried to yell for help but nobody was there to see the signs, so she did the only thing she found reasonable - removed the shadow from the living world.
Now, this story is not true. It's only a made up story but it's a fact that things like these happens every single day - both boys and girls take their own life and people is left standing in wonder why?
They always seemed so happy, so contend with their lives so why did they have to end it? There really was no reason!
But there are reasons. There are almost always a reason behind why a person would take away their own life. Bullying, feeling left out, depression, stress, feeling like a failure. There are hundreds of reasons for why people take away their own life, but that's just the thing. There are reasons. And most of the time, it's the snow effect that does it.
The first time I read Thirteen Reasons Why it blew me away. I was hooked. I didn't know what to say because really - words couldn't describe my feelings. I got so wrapped up in Hannah's story that I just didn't know what to say. It was hard, because we got insight in a girl who had lost the will to live. When she made these tapes, she wanted help. She still wanted to live, but she was playing with the thought about taking her own life. We already know she ended up committing suicide - it is no secret - but we don't know why? Why did she have to do it?
We are placed in the head of Clay Jensen who ask himself the exact same question - why did Hannah Baker kill herself? And it is through his eyes that we listen to her story. It is through him that we hear and feel the impact of knowing how a suicidal person feels and their reasoning. And it is through his eyes and his thoughts that we get a better understanding of how small, seemingly indifferent things can turn into something bigger, grow large and expand.
Now, Jay Asher explains that very nicely himself. He tells us about the snowball effect through Hannah's voice, about how the snowball started rolling and rolling and just kept on rolling until it grew so large that when it finally hit a three it exploded.
It was nice hearing the story from both Hannah and Clay's side. Through the tapes we get to hear how Hannah felt and what she experienced, and through Clay we get to hear the minority's side of the story - how they saw Hannah. Clay is a little different though, because he was actually in love with her and he payed her a lot of attention when she was still alive, so while we hear both the minority and Hannah's story, we also hear about Clay's broken heart.
This story is, if you ask me, a very moving story. I don't remember if I cried the first time I read it. I know I didn't the second time I read it, but I may have shed a tear or two the first. I don't remember. But it is one of the stories I would believe I could cry to. It is all so unfair how all the small things Hannah experiences ends up being too much. Sometimes, it takes only one human to stop another from committing suicide, and this book is giving that exact message: don't hesitate, do something instead of just stand and look. If you see somebody who is acting weird or who you think may be depressed or cut or even just seem to be a little besides themselves, then do something. Don't run over to them and shout 'DON'T KILL YOURSELF', of course not, but talk to them, make them see that life is worth living. It may just save a life.