Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

June 5, 2010

2 sides of questions for discussion, courtesy of Central Library’s Teen Book Club:

Side A:

 1.         What were you expecting in this novel? Did you think it would be darker or lighter?

 2.         Initially, what sort of factors did you think would lead to Hannah’s suicide?

 3.         Name three to five of the tapes that hit home the hardest for you.

 4.         Did you find Hannah’s story sympathetic? Who were you more empathetic towards: Hannah, Clay, or both?

 5.         How do you feel about Hannah’s creation of the tapes? Do you think the characters deserved to be on the tapes?

 6.         Did you like the character of Clay? What about Hannah? Out of all the characters, who did you find the most intriguing?

 7.         What did you think about Hannah’s home life? Do you think there was more to it that was not told in the tapes that may have impacted her choices?

 8.         What lessons did you learn from the novel? Do you think the issue of depression and suicide should gain more attention in society? In schools?

 9.         What were your thoughts on the conclusion? Did you find Clay taking notice of Skye uplifting?

 10.       Did you find the novel to be realistic?

 11.       Would you recommend this book? If so, to who? Do you think that this book would be appreciated by certain groups (age, maturity, gender, etc.)?

Side B:

 1. Do you think Hannah’s thirteen reasons were justifiable for what she did?

2. Do you think it was fair to the thirteen people to hear these tapes?

3. Do you believe Clay is partly to blame for Hannah’s decision?

4. Does Mr. Porter deserve to be on the last tape and “take the tapes straight to hell”?

5. Relative to number 1, which people/reasons really made Hannah’s decision justifiable and which ones didn’t? Why?

6. What do you think will happen once the tapes reach the last person?

7. Do you think there is anything that could have been done to prevent Hannah from making her decision?

8. What do you think would have happened had Clay stayed in the room with Hannah, even after told to leave?

9. Do you believe that these were the only reasons for Hannah’s decision? For example, do you think that maybe family life might have played a role as well?

10. Do you think that teens today would react the same way Hannah’s Peer Communications class did when the topic of suicide came up?

Readalikes for Thirteen Reasons Why:

 Y ADOFF.      Adoff, Jaime.                         The Death of Jayson Porter.
 Y ALEXI        Alexie, Sherman.                Flight.
 Y ANDER      Anderson, Laurie Halse.  Twisted.
 Y CHALI        Chalifour, Francis.             After.
 Y COHN         Cohn, Rachel.                       You Know Where to Find Me.
 Y FOXLE        Foxlee, Karen.                     The Anatomy of Wings.
 Y GREEN       Green, John.                         Looking for Alaska.
 Y SUMME      Summers, Courtney.        Cracked Up to Be.
 Y ZARR          Zarr, Sara.                             Story of a Girl.
 Y ZEVIN        Zevin, Gabrielle.                Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac.

Jay Asher websites:

Teen suicide prevention resources:

A & M.


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