"Thirteen Reasons Why", by Jay Asher, tells the story of Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide. One of her classmates, Clay Jenson, receives a box of cassette tapes in the mail. When he plays them, he hears Hannah's voice. She is the girl he had a crush on and who recently killed herself. On the tapes, she tells the stories of thirteen people who influenced her in some way and eventually led to her suicide. Each person has to send the tapes to the next person on the list. Clay doesn't understand what he could have possibly done to make Hannah want to end her life. For the rest of the day and night he listens to the tapes trying to find out why and make sense of what she was going through. Soon, he wishes he had never played them.
I think every teenager should read this book. In the tapes, she talks about rumors, secrets and events to which any high school student can relate.Everyone has said or done something mean to another person. Or, if that happens to them, they have someone to whom they can turn and who they can trust. In Hannah's case, she doesn't have that. No one ever wanted her to commit suicide and sometimes they weren't intentionally trying to hurt her. But they didn't think about what they were doing or they didn't realize how much something they said or did actually affects someone. It makes you think about things you've done to other people and wonder what kind of effect your actions and words have on them.