Review: Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

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Summary (from goodreads):
You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

Edition Read: Local library via Overdrive

Where (else) to buy: kobo*, google play, amazon*, nook*, book depository*, thriftbooks*
If you are contemplating suicide, please seek help.
Call : 1-800-273-8255
Text : 741741
(I have used the latter myself. It may take a few minutes for them to pair you with a counselor, but they will respond.)

This review is going to be a little different. I have been putting this off for a long time.

This book does a good job highlighting bullying and sexual harassment. It shows how small actions can snowball into bigger ones and make someone's life miserable. The writing is easy to read and flows quickly. I had trouble putting it down.

Not the book version, but I know people (in their 30s) raving about how good the Netflix series is. How it opened their eyes to how actions affect others and made them feel badly about how they behaved when they were younger.

On that note, it's an admirable effort and I can understand the appeal.

That said...
I didn't like it.

Now, I know people, especially teenagers, can be over-dramatic and think, "Oh, if I were dead, that'd show them. I'd show allllllll of them". That's exactly what this book does. It doesn't focus on why someone might commit suicide or how to maybe get help. Hannah commits suicide because she is mad. She wants revenge and she wants everyone who wronged her to know it. It's angry (teenage) angst at it's absolute worst.

I've been suicidal before. That's not how it works.
Yes, there is probably a person or even a few people who have committed suicide out of revenge, but most do it because they are miserable, desperate, and do not see another way out.

I do have another major issue with this book, but it contains a spoiler.
Highlight to reveal the spoiler: [ Hannah witnesses her ex-friend's rape. She details this onto the tapes and the ex-friend is one of the 13 people she sends this to. It's disgusting.

Oh, and the horrible, very bad, "you made me kill myself" thing this girl did to deserve this?
They had a falling out over something stupid. ]


I can see why this would fall into the category of A Very Important Book for some people. I liked the concept, but not the execution.

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