Thirteen Reasons Why


Jay Asher

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Thirteen Reasons Why: The Next Day: After Mailing the Tapes Summary & Analysis

Clay doesn’t want to go back to school, but he knows that no matter how long he stays away, he’ll still need to face the other people on the list. He’s never been this late to school—he’s late because he went to the post office to mail the tapes, and because he didn’t want to sit in Mr. Porter’s class in first period near Hannah’s empty desk. To avoid it, he takes his time walking into school and loiters by his locker. He thinks about whether Hannah’s locker has been emptied, or if it’s just how it was before she died. Clay turns his head just enough to see Mr. Porter’s classroom. Just outside that door is the last place Clay saw Hannah alive.
Though Clay is reluctant to accept it, he knows he’s a part of the world around him, and the tapes have only reinforced his understanding that he’s inextricably connected to other people. The tapes have changed his perception of the people at school, and he’s finding it difficult to process what he’s learned. The school building itself has transformed for him after listening to the tapes. Now that he knows Hannah more deeply, he sees signs of her everywhere.
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Clay hears Mr. Porter ask for a volunteer to take something to the office. A student comes out of the classroom and, on his way to the office, almost collides with another student headed the other way: Skye. She apologizes quietly and walks on. Clay watches her. He wants to say something but finds he can’t. He’s tempted to ignore Skye and get on with his day, but then he thinks about how she’s walking down the same path he saw Hannah take the last time he saw her. As Skye’s footsteps fade away, Clay decides to go after her. He feels lighter with every step he takes, and finally, when he’s only a few steps from her, he calls out her name.
Skye’s quiet apology and the direction she’s walking in reminds Clay of Hannah’s tragic journey. Thanks to the tapes, he knows how important it is for people to show that they care about and support one another. The final moment in the novel is a hopeful one. Clay decides to do for Skye what nobody could do for Hannah—to prove that someone notices and cares about her. This doesn’t only help Skye, but it makes Clay feel better and more connected to another person, too.
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