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Thirteen Reasons Why is a young adult novel that revolves around a high school student named Clay, who receives a series of tapes recorded by his recently deceased classmate and crush, Hannah Baker, which are about the 13 reasons why she committed suicide. In 2017, the novel was adapted into a Netflix series by Paramount.


This book provides examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Subverted; Courtney could have been this, but she chose to appear as being a genuinely nice girl.
  • An Aesop: Everything affects everything. When you mess with someone's life, you don't mess with just one part. Clay also seems to realise how hard we should try with people we feel are in trouble, as he goes after Skye at the end.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Remember Tony? The guy working on his car who Clay borrowed the Walkman from? Yeah, HE'S got Hannah's second set of tapes, and has been making sure everyone listens to them. There's also the fact that several people on the tapes turn up again later.
  • Covert Pervert: Tyler, the photographer for the yearbook, is a peeping tom.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Some of Clay and Hannah's comments definitely fall into this, and they're usually quite witty.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Zach steals Hannahs notes at a time when she need them most just because she ignored him. There are also readers who believe that (at least in some cases) Hannah sending out the tapes was this.
  • Driven to Suicide: Duh.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Story number 13. Hannah's "last chance", Mr. Porter fails to give her any sort of help, ending with her resolving to kill herself. Made worse by Clay breaking down in Eisenhower Park, begging for him to succeed.
  • Important Haircut: It is mentioned that Hannah got one of these before she died in a bid for positive attention. In fact, one of her reasons for killing herself is her discovery that Zach was stealing the notes she was receiving from her classmates, even those that she presumably got in response to her haircut.
  • In Medias Res: The book begins with Clay mailing the tapes to Jenny, then goes on to describe the night he listened to them.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Hannah Baker has thirteen stories to tell. A Baker's Dozen. The author admits that this is the main reason he chose thirteen. Clay realises this pun in the beginning of the book, and is immediately disgusted with himself for thinking of it.
  • Irony: During a Communications class discussion about suicide that was set up in response to an anonymous note from Hannah about how she was thinking of killing herself, one of Hannah's classmates says that she thinks whoever it was that gave the note to the teacher is seeking attention by doing that without identifying themselves.
  • It Got Worse: Basically Hannah's entire story.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The title of the book is written on the cover as "Th1rteen R3asons Why".
  • Magic Floppy Disk: The tapes. Clay even has to go look for a walkman so he can walk around when he listens. Word of God is that it's intentional, so that the book won't become too dated. By using something that is said to be outdated, it won't seem like an Unintentional Period Piece.
  • The Movie: Universal is confirmed to be making one, with Selena Gomez playing Hannah.
  • Nice Guy: Clay, to the point that he's only on Hannah's tapes because she wants to apologise to him for acting weird at the party they both went to, instead of having done something that pushed her farther to suicide. Although he does offhandedly mention that he has a few dark secrets of his own.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Played with. Clay is clearly not, but some of the teens featured on Hannah Baker's Greatest Hits are guilty of this. Bryce especially. Bastard.
  • There Are No Therapists: Lampshaded by Clay. Subverted by #13 on Hannah's list, Mr. Porter, the school counselor. His advice and complete misreading of Hannah's cries for help is what ultimately convinces her to commit suicide.
  • Trauma Conga Line: In the tapes, Hannah talks about how, one by one, an assortment of miseries drove her to kill herself, including being indirectly told that she was an attention seeker for giving an anonymous note to her Communications teacher telling her that she was thinking of killing herself and inspiring a class discussion about suicide in response to aforementioned note.
  • Window Watcher: Tyler, of course.
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