i actually listened to this on cd and am so glad i did. i think there is a feeling that i had from listening to it that i wouldn't have had by reading it. this book is the story of hannah baker's life...and the end of it. clay jenson is the recipient of audiotapes that hannah made before committing suicide...tapes that for the thirteen people that she wants to understand why she took her own life, why she feels they are partly responsible for it. clay had a crush on hannah and is shocked that he could have had anything to do with her death. clay's thoughts are interspersed with hannah telling her story through the tapes.
i wish that every high school kid would listen to this book and take it seriously. what really hit home to me is that we never know how our actions affect others. we don't know where cruelty or kindness has made a difference. as i listened to hannah's depression intensify it made me so sad...to see how reputation and fear and just plain teenage meanness can really destroy a person. i think it is a very realistic portrayal of how people can enter that spiral downward...hannah calls it the snowball effect...ending in thinking that you would be better off not being at all.