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Mười Ba Lý Do

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Từ trường trở về nhà, Clay Jesen phát hiện một bưu kiện kỳ lạ đề tên mình nằm trước hiên nhà. Bên trong cậu phát hiện những cuộn băng cassette ghi âm giọng nói của Hannah Baker – bạn học cùng lớp và là cô gái Clay thầm mến. Hannah đã tự sát hai tuần trước đó. Hannah giải thích rằng có mười ba lý do khiến cô ấy quyết định chấm dứt cuộc sống của mình. Clay là một trong những Từ trường trở về nhà, Clay Jesen phát hiện một bưu kiện kỳ lạ đề tên mình nằm trước hiên nhà. Bên trong cậu phát hiện những cuộn băng cassette ghi âm giọng nói của Hannah Baker – bạn học cùng lớp và là cô gái Clay thầm mến. Hannah đã tự sát hai tuần trước đó. Hannah giải thích rằng có mười ba lý do khiến cô ấy quyết định chấm dứt cuộc sống của mình. Clay là một trong những lý do đó. Nếu cậu ấy nghe những cuốn băng, cậu ấy sẽ hiểu vì sao. Clay đã trải qua cả một đêm đi khắp thị trấn theo chỉ dẫn của Hannah. Cậu trở thành người đầu tiên chứng kiến nỗi đau của Hannah và khám phá được một sự thật về bản thân mình – một sự thật mà cậu không bao giờ muốn đối diện…

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Từ trường trở về nhà, Clay Jesen phát hiện một bưu kiện kỳ lạ đề tên mình nằm trước hiên nhà. Bên trong cậu phát hiện những cuộn băng cassette ghi âm giọng nói của Hannah Baker – bạn học cùng lớp và là cô gái Clay thầm mến. Hannah đã tự sát hai tuần trước đó. Hannah giải thích rằng có mười ba lý do khiến cô ấy quyết định chấm dứt cuộc sống của mình. Clay là một trong những Từ trường trở về nhà, Clay Jesen phát hiện một bưu kiện kỳ lạ đề tên mình nằm trước hiên nhà. Bên trong cậu phát hiện những cuộn băng cassette ghi âm giọng nói của Hannah Baker – bạn học cùng lớp và là cô gái Clay thầm mến. Hannah đã tự sát hai tuần trước đó. Hannah giải thích rằng có mười ba lý do khiến cô ấy quyết định chấm dứt cuộc sống của mình. Clay là một trong những lý do đó. Nếu cậu ấy nghe những cuốn băng, cậu ấy sẽ hiểu vì sao. Clay đã trải qua cả một đêm đi khắp thị trấn theo chỉ dẫn của Hannah. Cậu trở thành người đầu tiên chứng kiến nỗi đau của Hannah và khám phá được một sự thật về bản thân mình – một sự thật mà cậu không bao giờ muốn đối diện…

30 review for Mười Ba Lý Do

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I'm one of the very few people who strongly disliked Thirteen Reasons Why, so maybe I should explain to you why. I hate Thirteen Reasons Why. And here’s why. Most of all, it glamorises suicide. I'm putting this at the top because I can't believe I missed it in my original review. And this is a controversial point, because most of my Goodreads friends, whose opinions I would hold up as gospel, loved this book for its realistic and harrowing portrayal of teen suicide. This book is one big glamorous m I'm one of the very few people who strongly disliked Thirteen Reasons Why, so maybe I should explain to you why. I hate Thirteen Reasons Why. And here’s why. Most of all, it glamorises suicide. I'm putting this at the top because I can't believe I missed it in my original review. And this is a controversial point, because most of my Goodreads friends, whose opinions I would hold up as gospel, loved this book for its realistic and harrowing portrayal of teen suicide. This book is one big glamorous monument to Hannah's suicide. To me, it feeds the myths that a lot of teens hold about suicide, rather than debunk them. Let me start off by saying that all pain is, eventually, temporary. When I think about the worst pain I've ever gone through - depression, painful and invasive surgery, grief - I thoughtn it would never end. But it did. And it always does. Yes, it will hurt like hell. Yes, it will feel as though it's never going to. But, yes, it ends. Eventually. And you have to be strong and extremely brave and honest, but there will be a day when you will look back on your worst pain and it will be a memory. That is why suicide is never the answer. So, what's the reason behind this bizarre, obvious, late-night PSA from the brilliant mind of a bat-shit crazy reader from the minority? [hahahaha]. I think this book encourages suicide. There, I said it. I know it's a strong and sweeping and dramatic statement to make. I don't think that Asher wanted it to be that way. I'm not trying to accuse Asher of actively encouraging suicide or anything. But. I have felt suicidal before. Briefly, never seriously. And yet, the thought that I don't think is that uncommon went something like this: "When I'm dead, they'll all be sorry." Am I projecting my own experiences onto this book? Maybe. But, when you write about something as sensitive as suicide, I think that possibility is always out there. This book encourages that line of thinking. Let me tell you, emotionally wrecked teenagers: when you are dead, you are freaking gone. You will never grow up. You will never see your parents again. You will never have another moment that makes you feel happy or special in the here and now. You are gone forever. But life will go on for those around you. They won't be sorry when you're dead. Or maybe they will be, but you know what? They'll still be alive. They'll still have life. You won't. They'll get to move on. You never will. But Hannah Baker kills herself. And it's a dramatic, redemptive, cataclysmic act. Hannah Baker sends the tapes, and she becomes the still point of the turning world. She is Clay's Lost Lenore, the beautiful and romantic and unknowable girl who will live on forever in his memory. Hannah Baker kills herself, and she makes all those people who ever hurt her sorry. You can tell me that 13RW is all about learning to help the people around us and think about the consequences of our actions. I'm sorry, readers, I love that you guys could get something wonderful and life-affirming and heartbreaking out of this book, but I just couldn't get past the fact that it's Hannah who teaches these lessons. Hannah dies, and she becomes every romanticised suicide cliché: the omniscient, omnipresent avenging angel, the tragic heroine. And I'm sorry, but that's not how suicide works. As much as Asher pays lip service to the fact that Hannah Baker Didn't Have To Die, well, she kinda did. Because didn't her suicide work out just great for everybody? Skye might finally get some of Clay's, um, 'help.' The rapist was exposed, the peeping tom was exposed, every person who'd been mean or unfair to Hannah was exposed and made to feel so, so sorry. Everyone learns an Important Lesson, and it's all thanks to Hannah and her decision to kill herself. Hannah shows everybody. And, I'm sorry, but you never do. That's just not how it works. In many ways, Hannah is the evil twin of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but instead of living to breathe life into the dull main character, Hannah dies so that she can breathe life into the dull main character and, for all Asher's suicide-helpline advice, I couldn't help but see this as one great propeller of romantic and dangerous teenage myths. It’s a clever concept, but it’s fundamentally illogical. Each of the characters have to send it from one ‘reason’ to another; at the end of the book, Clay passes Hannah’s tapes along to the next ‘reason’ on her list. Hannah herself raises the fact that she’s sending it between some people who are guilty of a lesser role – e.g. (view spoiler)[when dealing with a guy who raped one of her ex-friends, she sends it to a guy who enabled the rape, rather than the rapist himself. (hide spoiler)] That sounds pretty logical, no? But there’s a couple of huge things ‘wrong’ in the context of the story, although some of them probably reflect more badly on me than they do on the story: 1) Not all of the tape-receivers are guilty of ‘crimes’ of the same magnitude. In fact, sometimes, there is quite a divide between some of them, e.g. we have (view spoiler)[a guy who enabled a rape and a peeping tom (hide spoiler)] against a guy who once grabbed Hannah’s ass and one (I think?) who was a friend that she grew away from. Hannah’s logic is that the listeners will keep passing along because of their guilt, and they will not reveal the others’ secrets because they’re culpable, too. But honestly? If I were in the position of one of the guys who grabbed Hannah’s ass, I’d risk people finding out about that in order to spill on the (view spoiler)[rapist (hide spoiler)] . There was a large, large gulf between the minor and the horrible. 2) Despite the fact that Hannah said she picked on the lesser offenders so they’d pass the tape along, I still don’t understand why some of them would. Guilt? Maybe. But, for the love of GOD, Justin (view spoiler)[enabled. a. rape. (hide spoiler)] Not only is that a crime, it’s also – if I have my society-sense right – one of the worst you can commit. It’s entirely possible that (view spoiler)[Jessica (hide spoiler)] could bring charges against him after that, since (view spoiler)[Clay had seen her drunk and there had been a bona fide witness in Hannah. (hide spoiler)] I understand why it wouldn’t get so far, but…really? Mud sticks. There are probably still people in the world who would think ‘I’m not convinced’ if there was watertight evidence showing that a man was (view spoiler)[innocent of rape (hide spoiler)] . A lot of the characters - (view spoiler)[such as Jenny, the peeping tom or Justin (hide spoiler)] would be taking one hell of a chance if they chose to send it along. Hannah is a horrible character. I mean this in two ways. One is that she’s an evil little bitch who I’d really like to punch in the face if she wasn’t dead. Second is that, the way Asher writes her, she’s NOT AT ALL plausible. (At least, not to me.) First, let me explain why she’s a horrible little bitch. She’s hiding in a closet when (view spoiler)[an ex-friend of hers gets raped. (hide spoiler)] She does absolutely nothing to intervene. She sees it all and does nothing. Fair enough, she’s too drunk/scared to intervene while it’s actually happening. I can see that. That makes perfect sense to me. It doesn’t necessarily make her a vile person. Would it have been better if she had intervened? Well, sure, but we’re all human. I think we can all understand, to a greater or lesser degree, while she would fear for herself or just not be a fit state to stop it. (Still, she could have called the cops when it was over or something. That’s not really my issue here, though. I have no issue with protagonists who do bad things. I find them really fascinating. I just have an issue with how this was handled.) However, Asher does not make ANYTHING of Hannah’s guilt. To me, the last thing you should feel when you’re reading about a suicide is “my God, why is this book so WAH WAH POOR LITTLE ME?” I can’t imagine anything worse than feeling suicidal. But Hannah never gives any indication of guilt or even SYMPATHY towards poor Jessica. All she does is whine on and on about HERSELF, how it affected HER, and yet nothing about how it affected Jessica or even how bad she feels for what she let happen to Jessica. Furthermore, Hannah then proceeds to SEND THE TAPE TO JESSICA. And denounces her throughout as one of her ‘thirteen reasons why’: thirteen people who caused her suicide. So, let’s recap. (view spoiler)[Hannah and Jessica used to be friends, but aren’t anymore for totally pathetic reasons. Hannah watches Jessica get raped and does nothing. Jessica’s rapist is the friend of the boy she (Jessica) liked. The boy she really liked openly permits it to happen, knows what would happen and makes no move to stop it. In short: Jessica is raped, while her friend and crush watch and do nothing. (hide spoiler)] How does Hannah handle this? Well, obviously, she tops herself. (Because, you really must understand, HANNAH has been hit hardest by all of this.) Except that, before her death, Hannah makes a tape which she sends around fourteen people (view spoiler)[(including Tony, who is not one of her ‘reasons’ and also the one very likeable character.) (hide spoiler)] On this tape, Hannah repeatedly calls Jessica out as one of the reasons why she killed herself and blames Jessica for bad things that happened to her – except that what happened between Jessica and Hannah to end their friendship was so pathetic that I don’t even remember what it was. If Jessica hasn’t switched off the tape – and, frankly, I’m surprised she didn’t smash it – by that point, Hannah then went to great pains to (view spoiler)[describe Jessica’s rape, which it’s entirely possible that she (Jessica) didn’t even remember because she was barely-conscious and very drunk, and then describe in detail how she, Jessica’s ex-best friend, and Justin, Jessica’s crush, just stood there and watched. (hide spoiler)] So, even if Jessica could remember and it wasn’t all horrifying news to her, she then had to deal with the fact that her ex-best friend and crush (view spoiler)[knowingly let it happen. (hide spoiler)] And that said ex-best friend killed herself. And views Jessica as being responsible. And, oh yeah, chose to tell thirteen other people about the horrible things that happened. As if it was really Hannah’s business. So, yes, I hated Hannah. But I hated her most of all because of her unending slamming of Jessica. But, worst of all? We’re obviously supposed to see Hannah as the victim in all of this. Granted, Clay makes a passing reference to ‘and then Hannah hit [Jessica] with the tapes.’ Brief moral condemnation, check! But, really, at the end of the novel, Hannah is supposed to be the book’s victim. She’s its resounding tragedy. Not Jessica – y’know, the poor (view spoiler)[rape victim, who was raped by her crush’s friend while being watched by the crush and her ex-best friend (hide spoiler)] and now fourteen other people know every detail and she knows they know and they know she knows they know. And she might not have been able to remember any of it in the first place! Excuse me while I go throw up. Sorry for all my outraged repetition up there. Just didn’t feel that I’d quite hammered the point home. Unlike some people, though, I didn’t inherently mind the fact that Hannah hadn’t been tormented to her suicide in some terrible way. It felt more true to life that way. This is the glorious teenage world, where one stupid comment can make you want to curl up in a ball and cry. Granted, it’s not quite glamorous, but it’s very true. It’s Asher’s handling of this fact that butchered it for me. This brings me on to my second blanket definition of why Hannah Baker is utterly unbearable. As I’ve mentioned several times before, Hannah’s reasons are a mixture of the severe and mundane – I suppose, realistically. But Hannah’s tone is so angry that there is virtually no variation. She seemed equally as angry at the guy who’d once pronounced that she had a ‘nice ass’ as the (view spoiler)[peeping tom or the rape-enabler (hide spoiler)] . Maybe that’s plausible for a suicidal girl – that she should feel so bitter and twisted towards everyone. Still, Hannah also has a very didactic narrative voice. I felt as though I was supposed to be Learning A Very Important Lesson, but equally important lessons from the (view spoiler)[rapist and the guy who said ‘nice ass’? (hide spoiler)] I mean, really? They’re both in the same sport, perhaps – sexual judgment/harassment – but, really, completely different leagues. Of course, women should not be objectified. They should not be treated like meat. But what happened to Hannah was hardly bullying – it was a brief pain, something to shake off, not something that should blight her in the way it did. It doesn’t push her down further; it starts her downward spiral. That seemed all backwards to me. Plus, I know that teenagers are hardly known for their perspective, but I’d rather my ‘nice ass’ be acknowledged than be ridiculed on acne or bad hair or any kind of weight problem. Also, female students can be just as mean and judgmental – if not so more – about their peers’ appearances/bodies than men. So, please, my comment above is not a comment on a misogynistic society. P.S., it felt like Asher’s was. But really, ‘nice ass’? I’m not saying that Hannah should have taken it as a compliment – but perhaps taken it on the chin a little more? She expresses outrage at one point because she expressed one of the signs of suicidal thoughts: she had a haircut. Ladies and gentlemen, I am not exaggerating. Hannah Baker honest-to-God spews vitriol all over these tapes because people saw that she’d had a haircut and their reaction was, “hey, nice haircut!” instead of “ARE YOU HAVING SUICIDAL THOUGHTS?!?!” Insulting.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Wow. What a b*tch. But...But...Miranda...how can you not love, cherish and worship a suicide book? Hannah was so brave, she dealt with life the best way she could...Blah, blah, blah. Are you sitting down? Good, cause things are about to get ranty.HUGE MOTHER-EFFING DISCLAIMER: If you absolutely loved this book or if you think it really helped you through a tough time - I have absolutely no problem with that. You are completely (and utterly) entitled to your opinion on this novel - just like I'm en Wow. What a b*tch. But...But...Miranda...how can you not love, cherish and worship a suicide book? Hannah was so brave, she dealt with life the best way she could...Blah, blah, blah. Are you sitting down? Good, cause things are about to get ranty.HUGE MOTHER-EFFING DISCLAIMER: If you absolutely loved this book or if you think it really helped you through a tough time - I have absolutely no problem with that. You are completely (and utterly) entitled to your opinion on this novel - just like I'm entitled to hate it with every fiber of my being. My hatred can be split into four parts: The Message to the Target Audience, Glamorous Suicide, The Absolutely Terrible Excuse for A Main Character and Were you Raped? Sorry, it's Me Time Now. The Message to the Target Audience - aka just kill yourself. As an 25-year-old adult, I am able to read this book and take a step back to truly appreciate the full wrath of Hannah. She's able to absolutely crumble the lives of the bullies, extract sweet revenge on her ex-friends and even get the boy she likes to admit that he really, really likes her. And how does she do that? By killing herself. Let me repeat that - she's able to accomplish all her wildest dreams By. Killing. Herself. And the target audience? Preteens/teens. Kids who are already thinking of suicide and are curious to see what happens after. And how does the author (a grown adult) advise them? Just kill yourself and everything will be better after you die. I cannot begin to express how furious that made me. Okay, okay. I will admit that there is another message - one of accepting, embracing and truly caring for your peers before something tragic happens...but, I'd like to remind you, how do we reach this conclusion? Well, Hannah only had to off herself for this to happen. Kill yourself and the world becomes a better place. Glamorous Suicide - aka suicide is a wondrous method to bring about change. This is in a somewhat similar vein to the previous - but did anyone else notice how beautiful and poetical her suicide was? How all the bullies were cowed. How all her friends regretted not appreciating her when she was alive. How everyone felt bad about not being nicer. Even her suicide was a graceful fade-to-black. The book doesn't show any negative repercussions for her actions - just that everything is better after she's gone. And while (maybe) some kids may react the same as the ones portrayed in this book, I'd wager that most teens out there won't fall perfectly into the, "Oh-poor-Hannah-such-a-tragic-little-victim" category. Most teens won't have the self-reflection and emotional awareness shown in this novel. She'll become a footnote, a blip on their radar, and they'll move on. Absolutely Terrible Excuse for a Main Character - aka what a b*tch I am of the firm belief that if something tragic, or some self-inflicted tragedy, befalls the main character, does not erase their sins. Just because they did some grand, meaningful gesture, does not mean everything they did is given the rose-tinted glasses. And what Hannah did was absolutely inexcusable. Most suicides (according to google) are due to mental illness (90%) (i.e. clinical depression, bipolar, etc) or due to an impulse decision (triggered by a great tragedy/overwhelming circumstances). From my (admittingly untrained) eye, Hannah experiences neither of these. And I believe that if the author wanted us to see either one of those cases, he would have made that abundantly clear. Which makes Hannah's premeditated revenge odd, to say the least. She picks out thirteen people who she's perceived wronged her and sets about to find the most hurtful and vengeful way to ruin their lives. She wants to make her suicide count by destroying these other teen's lives so thoroughly that they become traumatized and absolutely terrified for the rest of their days. So, who are these life-ruiners you ask? Who are these absolute monsters who made Hannah's life a living hell? Pushing her every day closer to oblivion? --Her first kiss -- now, the guy did brag that he got a bit further than a first kiss with her, but to pin her suicide on him? On a kid who likely felt inadequate and just wanted to seem older/experienced among his friend group? --A friend who drifted apart from her -- sure this girl wasn't Hannah's bestie for life, but isn't she allowed to choose who her friends were? She and Hannah drifted apart, just like millions of girls throughout high school...but no Hannah has to make sure this girl KNOWS that stopping friendships with ANYONE is a direct cause for suicide. -- A guy who said she has a nice ass -- I'm all for not objectifying women, but really? She's trying to pin her suicide on a teenage guy who said she has a nice ass. --A nice girl who ended up not being super nice -- this girl was polite to Hannah, hung out a couple of times, but ultimately did not want to become best friends. Well, now she knows that if she is not ABSOLUTELY PERFECTLY NICE AND FRIENDLY with everyone she meets, then they may kill themselves in revenge. --A guidance counselor who didn't stop her suicide -- In Hannah's version, he was the last straw between her and oblivion. And he failed. He failed her, her parents and the school. To expect one man to completely turn around a suicidal girl (especially one who premeditates her suicide to such an extent that she uses it as a weapon against other kids) is (in my opinion) horribly unrealistic. And that's the thing that everyone seems to forget - these people who "caused" her suicide are kids. Teenagers with their own troubles, trials and tribulations. They're wading through the murky waters of high school with as much direction as Hannah. And in her anger, fury and spite, she puts them all on the same playing field. The peeping Tom and rapist somehow contributed equally to the guy who stole the compliments from her compliment box. Apparently, no one commenting about your haircut is just as likely to send you into a suicidal spiral as privacy violations. Were you Raped? Sorry, it's Me Time Now - aka My God Hannah, What's Wrong With You? I will admit there were some of the kids that had it coming (i.e. the rapist and the peeping Tom) - they should have been called out on their actions. But, instead of going to the authorities and actually doing something about this, Hannah just outs them in one of her tapes. And, it gets better, she never sends a tape to the rapist. Instead, she sends it to her ex-friend, the girl who was drunk and barely conscious throughout the rape, and Hannah blames her suicide on her. That's right, the RAPE victim learns that she's RAPED on Hannah's suicide tape, that Hannah (and the boy the rape victim liked) did nothing about it. AND what's Hannah's interpretation? You, ex-friend, caused my suicide cause you didn't want to be friends for life. And to that I say: A) GOOD RIDDANCE. Dropping Hannah like a hot tamale was obviously the right choice. B) Can you even begin to imagine learning that happened to you while your so-called friend was hanging out in the closet of the same room? And what was Hannah doing? What was SO CRAZY IMPORTANT that she just couldn't stop her friend from being raped? Having a tipsy mental breakdown because A) the boy she liked her tried to kiss her and B) when she said no, he stopped. Excuse me, but how was THAT more important that preventing an ex-friend from getting RAPED? Literally all Hannah had to do was step out of the closet and he'd be scared off. But noooooo, Hannah decides to make the suicide tapes (LONG after all the evidence has been washed away) to let everyone know that she's the victim. That SHE deserves the pity and sympathy. I'm sorry, I'm sure there are many (MANY) ways to interpret this book, but I just can't see feeling sympathy for the girl who killed herself over "nice ass" and "friends not staying friends" vs the one who was raped while her best friend/guy-she-liked watched and then was blamed for a suicide. This is the sort of revenge Hannah decides to extract on these teens. It's unforgivable. I can't believe I wasted my time with this. . ANOTHER BIG MOTHER-EFFING DISCLAIMER (cause apparently my first one was not enough) Yes, this is my opinion. This is my interpretation of this novel. Is it the right one? Maybe and maybe not. If this book is perfect in your eyes, if it really saved you, I am not discounting that experience. This book has a LOT of potential to bring about difficult discussions but I feel that the way it is written is problematic (to say the least). But again, this is one take on the novel. Audiobook Comments The one thing I couldn't fault this book on was the choice of narrators. Joel Johnstone and Debra Wiseman were absolutely perfect throughout this book. The way they played off of each other, the way they conveyed emotions - amazing through and through. The 2018 Finer Books Club Reading Challenge - A book with a number in the title Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  3. 5 out of 5

    emma

    THIRTEEN REASONS WHY I HATE THIS BOOK. Note, 6/10/17: Tape #11 has been updated. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Alright. I really thought I wasn't going to review this book. But a status sharing certain anti-anti 13 Reasons Why sentiments (did that make sense?) just came up onto my timeline, and I, to put it cordially, fucking snapped. Let me preface this by saying: If this book or television show helped you in any way, this review is not for you. We all have our coping mechanisms, we all THIRTEEN REASONS WHY I HATE THIS BOOK. Note, 6/10/17: Tape #11 has been updated. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Alright. I really thought I wasn't going to review this book. But a status sharing certain anti-anti 13 Reasons Why sentiments (did that make sense?) just came up onto my timeline, and I, to put it cordially, fucking snapped. Let me preface this by saying: If this book or television show helped you in any way, this review is not for you. We all have our coping mechanisms, we all have our favorite books - I am absolutely not here to shit on anyone's fave. If you liked this book, that's good. Please don't read this. I reserve the right not to be nice to you if you comment on this saying I'm being unfair. So. There are two sides to this debate. One side thinks this book and the son of Satan television show it spawned is inspiring, important, other positive i-words. The other side - the side of my brethren, which is, unsurprisingly to anyone who follows me on here, staggeringly outnumbered - DISAGREES. I'm going to try to outline for you why I feel that way. Disclaimer: If this at any point seems like I'm telling you you're not allowed to be a fan of this shit, I'm not. But I passionately hate it, so don't expect objectivity. Also, this contains spoilers for both the book and the show, of course. Let's get started. I'll organize this by my very own thirteen reasons. TAPE #1: The book and the show DON’T bring attention to mental illness. That’s one of the biggest defenses I’ve seen of this story. That yes, it’s triggering and yes, it’s intense and yes, it’s hard to talk about. But it’s important. Here’s the thing: Hannah Baker is not a mentally ill character. My friend, who I will talk more about later, informed me that the show never says the word “depression.” Hannah doesn’t get help. The show doesn’t depict the benefits of getting help. (More on that in a later tape.) I don’t think she gets diagnosed with anything, or is medicated, or shows symptoms of depression that are identifiable. So how the fucking fuck is this an improved discussion of mental illness if it’s never goddamn talked about? TAPE #2: Suicide glorification. Everyone’s thought about suicide. Especially in those tender, self-centered years in middle and high school. If I died, then they would know. The mean girls would regret their choices, the guy who never noticed you would wish he had, your friends would worship your memory, your school would make you a martyr. But that’s not how it works. As you mature, you recognize that. When you die, it’s over for you. You don’t get to grow up. But everyone you ever knew does. And here’s the bitter truth: They’re not going to analyze their choices and regret them. They might not even remember you. They, after all, like you, are only teenagers. But not in the world of Thirteen Reasons Why. No, if you’re Hannah Baker, it’s quite the opposite. You are talked about beyond life. You act as a hero, distributing punishments and harsh words as you see fit, with no repercussions for your actions. You’re a perfect saint, your death preventing anyone from speaking negatively about you. Your old friends will miss you, the bullies will be humiliated and that humiliation wills them into realizations, the boy you liked desperately wishes that he had just told you he liked you too. And for some reason, it’s okay for you to blame your fellow high schoolers - just as vulnerable and worried and uncertain as you ever were - for your death. No one will criticize you for placing that unfair burden on them. For telling the friend you grew apart from that it’s her fault. For telling the people you wronged it’s on them. God, you guys. This isn’t what happens if a teenager commits suicide. This isn’t what we should be portraying as a realistic image of what could ever, ever happen. TAPE #3: Think about who is WATCHING this. Remember earlier, how I posited that most everybody has thought about suicide - at least in the abstract? And how that most often happens in middle and high school? Well, guess who this show’s target demographic is. That’s right. The same vulnerable, depressed, self-hating group that already has the tendency to think of suicide as an appropriate option. I have three younger siblings. My sisters are seventeen and fifteen; my brother is twelve. My sisters and each and every one of their friends have watched this fucking show. I begged my brother not to watch it, even though all of his friends have seen it. Do you understand that? My twelve year old brother is being left out of conversations, jokes, references, group chats and budding friendships because he hasn’t watched a show that centers on suicide and sexual assault. Do you see what the stakes of this are? I’m not just some melodramatic reviewer without a life, trying to ruin a show that people like. Every student in every middle and high school in America will be told to watch this show. And the author, the producers, the directors and adapters, couldn’t even be bothered to consider the repercussions of their actions. TAPE #4: Having problems? Just kill yourself. This show doesn’t depict the benefits of therapy, of antidepressive medication (hard when your protagonist doesn’t have a diagnosis), of confiding in your loved ones. The only potential solution offered within the narrative is suicide. And, as I talked about earlier, it works out pretty fucking well for Hannah Baker. TAPE #5: Why is this being treated like fucking Bring It On? I swear to God I’m going to open Facebook tonight and someone will have shared a Buzzfeed quiz called “How Would You Kill Yourself If You Were On Thirteen Reasons Why?” Y’all can’t fucking have this both ways. Pick a lane: is this show intense and important, bringing attention to under-discussed issues in a serious and mature way, or do you want to know which character you are based on your cupcake preferences? This either is or isn’t a joke. It’s up to you. TAPE #6: There’s a difference between triggering content and this. The show gives trigger warnings. Cool. That’s not even sarcastic - I think that’s great. But if you’ve seen the show, you know some of the graphic imagery goes so fucking beyond what any viewer would expect. My friend, who has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, and is triggered by sexual assault, had a series of panic attacks due to this show. But she finished it - against my urging - because she thought it would give some important message or theme to the audience watching it. But it doesn't. And she put herself through that for nothing. TAPE #7: This isn’t how suicidal thoughts work. Hannah has reasons for committing suicide. It’s like there was a straw that broke the camel’s back. Suicidal thoughts aren’t like that. If you’re thinking seriously about committing suicide, it’s not because of a baker’s dozen carefully delineated causes. It’s because everything feels impenetrably, incurably, never-endingly awful. It feels like there are no bright spots and no way out. The difference? Everybody feels like Hannah Baker does. Everybody has the humiliating moments and regrets that, like, haunt them before they sleep every night. But not everybody has severe depression. Trying to equate the two is HORRIFIC. It both reduces the trauma of having depression and indicates suicide as an option for people who may have never considered it otherwise. TAPE #8: Don’t tell teenagers not to go to authority figures. Making the guidance counselor a villain is maybe one of the most irresponsible attempts at drama in this stupid fucking narrative. The absolute last thing you should be doing is giving any indication to a vulnerable group that going to a trusted adult won’t work out well. Teenagers everywhere: This book and show are total fucking bullshit. Your guidance counselors know exactly what to do. If you’re feeling like something is wrong, or experiencing suicidal thoughts, tell someone. If you feel safe to confide in a guidance counselor, do it. If you don’t, find another trusted adult: A teacher, a parent, a school administrator. Anything. Just don’t take this bullshit for an example. TAPE #9: The experts say fuck this. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinio... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/a... http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/featur... There’s a bajillion more articles on this, but I’m already shaking with anger. TAPE #10: Say the word depression. How goddamn hard is it? Fuck your quasi-advocacy. TAPE #11: This is an instruction manual. One morning, I’ll wake up to my phone alarm. Check my notifications, see one from The Washington Post. Normal, when we haven’t had a slow news day in a year. But the headline won’t be political. It’ll be something like, “Teen Suicide Appears Inspired By Netflix Show.” And I’ll know, instantly. Feel awful for that poor vulnerable kid, but also think, Of course. Think, Why didn’t anybody see this coming? At least the book didn’t tell the reader how to slit their wrists. Update, 6/10/17: It happened. @cyborgcinderella brought this to my attention in the comments, because this isn't even getting the press coverage I expected. A 23-year-old in Peru committed suicide and left tapes. And no one is under the impression that this will be the only one - one headline reads, "The ‘13 Reasons Why’ Copycat Suicides May Have Started." Why, why, why, why would this show be given a second season? TAPE #12: Look at all these beautiful teens. I’m just saying, it probably doesn’t make your depressed audience of teenagers feel better if they spend the bajillion hours this show lasts staring at impossibly gorgeous adults. It’s a cast of classically good looking twenty-somethings wearing natural makeup, with idealized bodies and perfect hair. That’s not different from any other teen show. It just feels especially significant when you think about how smugly this show pats itself on the back. TAPE #13: That goddamn ending. It’s laughable. This show just makes no fucking sense. Bottom line: I HATE this book and show like I’ve never hated anything. I’m worried about everyone I know who has seen it. I’m worried about every teenager who has heard about it. And I’m worried about the precedent this sets for irresponsibly using suicide as a plot point, without care for who it hurts. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck this book, this show, Jay Asher, and anyone who had any part in bringing it into existence.

  4. 5 out of 5

    karen

    oh god, somebody buy this girl some perspective! oh wait, you can't because she's dead. and i, for one, am glad of it because this character would have grown up to be a rotten judgmental schoolmarmy horrorshow of an adult. just horrible. and people love this book like cookies! backtrack. plot: a girl kills herself. but before she goes, she makes a series of audio cassettes and mails them to an individual, with instructions to pass them along to the next person mentioned on the tapes, which are a c oh god, somebody buy this girl some perspective! oh wait, you can't because she's dead. and i, for one, am glad of it because this character would have grown up to be a rotten judgmental schoolmarmy horrorshow of an adult. just horrible. and people love this book like cookies! backtrack. plot: a girl kills herself. but before she goes, she makes a series of audio cassettes and mails them to an individual, with instructions to pass them along to the next person mentioned on the tapes, which are a chronicle of all the things that were done to her that made her kill herself. it was because of you. and you. and you. the blame game, afterlife edition. what a dick, right? and i understand the idea of cause and effect, and that teenagers of all people, need to be more conscious of the effects their actions have on the feeeeelings of others, and this book is meant to highlight that even the smallest things can have a profound effect on a person's life, but ugh - this character is appalling. and does she not realize the effect her accusations are going to have on the recipients of the tapes?? because it is a shitty thing to do when people can't defend themselves, particularly since the awful tragic things that happened to her are pretty standard stuff we have all been through. mostly. nothing suicide-worthy, frankly. and nothing to make other people feel shitty about for the rest of their lives. when you are sitting on the same side of a booth at a diner with a boy on valentines day and you are laughing and you put your head on his shoulder and he puts his hand on your leg, that is not a problem, it is called flirtation. and if you don't like it, use your words, and if that doesn't work, get physical. which she does. and succeeds. so what's with all the boo-hoos?? that no one came to your rescue?? princess, no one is ever going to come to your rescue. you did what you were supposed to do - feel proud and call it a day. a somewhat shitty day, but no reason to kill yourself. she basically uses her suicide to scold boys who have flirted with her or tried to hook up with her.or said she had a nice ass. these are teenagers! they are going to try to hook up with anything that is still breathing! i have dodged many an unwanted advance in my early years, and i have exhaustedly given in to others as the path of least resistance, but that's youth, right? chalk everything up to a learning experience and laugh about it in your adulthood. are we supposed to feel that she is empowered for taking her life? because i don't. i fel like she had a normal sized problem that she willingly made a little bigger in a hot tub, but honestly, suburban new hampshire white girl, here is a book called push. go read that and tell me you have problems. i know i gave this three stars, and it is because i did like the way the story was told, as a split-narrative between the transcripts of the tapes, and the voice of a boy who is one of the accused, as we wait for his part in it to unfold, as he wonders what she thinks he did to her (anticlimax, btw). but so as a plot-driven quasi-mystery book, it definitely held my interest, but the whole time, i couldn't help thinking what a brat she was and how unfair some of her accusations were, particularly to the narrator and the last recipient of the tapes. sheesh. brat. (if she heard me say that, she would try really hard to come back to life so she could make me a tape telling me how i wounded her soul and then she would kill herself again to make me feel guilty. but i would not.) come to my blog!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    “When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.” Sometimes it's hard to see why other people might dislike a book you enjoy, but with Thirteen Reasons Why, I can understand it perfectly. It is told from the perspective of Clay, but is mostly about the life of Hannah - a girl who recently killed herself. After her death, Clay receives a set of cassette tapes on which Hannah explains the thirteen reasons why she decided to “When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.” Sometimes it's hard to see why other people might dislike a book you enjoy, but with Thirteen Reasons Why, I can understand it perfectly. It is told from the perspective of Clay, but is mostly about the life of Hannah - a girl who recently killed herself. After her death, Clay receives a set of cassette tapes on which Hannah explains the thirteen reasons why she decided to kill herself. And he is one of them. It is extremely compelling - unputdownable almost - but a problem many readers have is that the book relies on your sympathy for Hannah to effectively relay its message, and yet Hannah comes off as bratty, selfish and ofttimes over-sensitive. Many of her "reasons" are things that everyone has experienced at some point and people generally file those under "bad days" and definitely don't kill themselves because of it. But actually, I completely understood and sympathized with Hannah. As a suicide survivor, I even related to her at times. And, though I don't attempt to speak for everyone, I feel in a position to attest that there can be something bratty and selfish about suicide. I think this book captured a certain feeling very well and I disagree with those who thought Hannah wasn't realistically suicidal. It's true that nobody kills themselves because they get stood up, and nobody kills themselves because some douche groped their ass, and nobody kills themselves because of a mean rumour... but each of these is a little bit more added to the weight that is crushing down on someone. People like to look for clear-cut reasons that make sense. They want Hannah to give a good reason why she killed herself. But, in reality, it so rarely is one big reason you can point to. Most of the time, the little things all build up, day after day, one small thing after another, until the little reasons all blend into a single feeling of hopelessness. That is what this book is about. And it's also about taking responsibility for your actions and understanding how your small selfish acts can affect someone else. I did not have an issue believing in or finding sympathy for Hannah. My only real issue with this book was Clay, the revelation about him, and the way he viewed the truth about Hannah. Clay changes his mind about Hannah based on what he hears and decides she did not deserve to be slut-shamed because the rumours weren't true. But - would she have deserved the treatment any more if she had done what the rumours said? "No" is the answer. And I wish the book had taken the opportunity to address that. But otherwise, this is a creative pageturner, even if it seems a bit strange that cassette tapes were being used in 2007. I liked it a lot and it really made me think. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Pinterest

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nina ♥

    WARNING: I did not like this book. If you did, and would hate it if someone (me) ranted and bitched about it, then DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW. REVIEW: I don't know why this book is so popular. And I honestly don't know what all the rave is about. I heard so many great things about this novel, that's why I read it. While this was a good book, well written and all…the plot was just not good enough—no, the reasons leading to Hannah Baker killing herself were not believable enough for me. I mean sure, t WARNING: I did not like this book. If you did, and would hate it if someone (me) ranted and bitched about it, then DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW. REVIEW: I don't know why this book is so popular. And I honestly don't know what all the rave is about. I heard so many great things about this novel, that's why I read it. While this was a good book, well written and all…the plot was just not good enough—no, the reasons leading to Hannah Baker killing herself were not believable enough for me. I mean sure, they did some horrible things to her in high school, that doesn't mean you should just go off and commit suicide. As far as I'm concerned, those kinds of situations happen to everyone. And I don't believe for one second that no one noticed that she wanted to commit suicide. What about her haircut? Didn't the author mention that the teacher passed out a flyer called "The Warning Signs of a Suicidal Individual?" And wasn't there "A sudden change in appearance" on top of the list? What about "Giving away possessions?" Didn't they discuss suicide in the same class? Didn't Hannah leave an anonymous note telling the teacher that? After she told Mr. Porter? And he didn't stop her? Come on, they couldn't have been that dumb! Hannah, above all, just sounded whiny. And I just couldn't sympathize with her character. And committing suicide and then blaming people for it is just a stupid excuse for killing herself. She was the one that decided to kill herself, not them—not anyone. She just needed someone to blame. And poor Clay! If Clay wasn't one of the reasons Hannah killed herself, then why put him through the agony? Why give him the tapes? She could've just written him a letter. And Tony! Hannah put even the ones that had nothing to do with her in pain. For example: what did Tony do to her? Because I know he was hurting, too. He felt helpless because he couldn't have saved her. It was also very difficult and confusing to keep up with what Clay and Hannah said/thought. One second I'm reading in Clay's point of view, the next Hannah's. And sometimes I had to reread a whole paragraph because I got the POV wrong in my head. Also, I think suicide is a very serious issue so I didn't really buy Jay Asher's portrayal of Hannah's feelings. If someone wanted to commit suicide, their emotion had to be deeper, stronger than just hatred and petty resentment for having a bad reputation in High School. Therefore, I thought Hannah's emotions weren't very serious, even childish and overly dramatic at times. And after finishing the books I was like, "seriously?! That's why she killed herself?!" I honestly felt like Asher was making fun of the teens who have been through terrible things in their life and are still trying to stay strong after everything they've been through. This was like telling them, "what the heck, end your life if you're so miserable." UPDATE: Just found out this is going to be a movie. Starring Selena Gomez. Also, if you want to know more about Hannah's reasons, read message 6.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I figured this deserved a real review. I'm a bipolar chick. I'm a girl who has struggled with suicidal thoughts since she was nine years old at the very latest. And I just do not buy 13RW's representation of a suicidal girl. The very premise of the book is flawed to me; you don't kill yourself for REASONS, you kill yourself because there is a bug in your brain gnawing at you and sucking out any valuable thought you've ever had, and I never saw that kind of bug in Hannah. I saw a girl who killed h I figured this deserved a real review. I'm a bipolar chick. I'm a girl who has struggled with suicidal thoughts since she was nine years old at the very latest. And I just do not buy 13RW's representation of a suicidal girl. The very premise of the book is flawed to me; you don't kill yourself for REASONS, you kill yourself because there is a bug in your brain gnawing at you and sucking out any valuable thought you've ever had, and I never saw that kind of bug in Hannah. I saw a girl who killed herself because boys were mean to her, and I think that if you reversed the sexes and made it a boy who killed himself for Hannah's reasons, no one would have bought it. It's a symptom of a larger epidemic you see all the times in discussions of girls with mental illness. Boys are legitimately fucked up and have genuine struggles with mental health, but girls are hysterical. Hannah's depression is entirely circumstantial, as is her suicide, and I just do not buy it. Not to mention I think it's a complete cop-out to have Clay be the only guy on the list who didn't fuck her up. Of COURSE the narrator didn't screw up, right? It was compelling, I'll give it that. I read it in one night about five years ago.

  8. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    EDIT AND UPDATE, 2017: I read this book back in 2014 when I was a teen and I hated it. I still hate it. My review is getting a lot of traffic atm so I'm just going to do a little update and leave you some links to better reviews that tell how problematic the story is: Tweet thread on the problematic show. Article on why it's dangerous. Goodreads review on why it's seriously bad. NOTE: I'm not responding to comments because wtf is going on in the comment section I have no idea. I'm sorry my revie EDIT AND UPDATE, 2017: I read this book back in 2014 when I was a teen and I hated it. I still hate it. My review is getting a lot of traffic atm so I'm just going to do a little update and leave you some links to better reviews that tell how problematic the story is: Tweet thread on the problematic show. Article on why it's dangerous. Goodreads review on why it's seriously bad. NOTE: I'm not responding to comments because wtf is going on in the comment section I have no idea. I'm sorry my review is more distraught and emotional than analytical and full of logical reasoning. I don't care if you like this book, but be respectful of people who say it's triggering, problematic, and sends a dangerous message about romanticising suicide and condoning revenge suicide. I have also had to talk someone down from killing themselves and let me tell you: It was the worst moment of my life. I still nearly cry when I think about it. Because if they'd gone ahead to kill themselves, would I be to blame? Any book that says that yes I would be to blame (like this book is saying) is poisonous. Please don't read it if you've had suicidal thoughts or know people who've committed suicide. You won't be encouraged. You'll be triggered. *** I absolutely loathed this book. And that’s saying something , because heck knows I always have positives to say about a book and I don’t like to judge them too harshly. But this one? No. I hated it. I hated the message the author was sending. I think it was wrong and cruel. Obviously, this is just my opinion! But I will enver recommend this book. Obviously it’s about suicide. And I feel like the message was (so wrong ) that everyone is to blame for one person’s suicide. To a certain extent, that can be true. Bullying, however subtle and off-handed IS SO VERY WRONG. But Hannah’s whole send-the-tapes-to-the-people-who-were-involved-in-her-death was a very kamikaze effect. She was going down no matter what, SO let’s take some suckers along. I personally believe what Hannah did by sending those tapes out (view spoiler)[ especially to Clay, because SHE SAID he wasn’t actually involved in her death! (hide spoiler)] was cruel and malicious bullying. She was just as guilty, and more so, then any of the kids that teased her, because she then ruined and destroyed 13 lives. I hate that. I hate the message this book sends. I hate that it is OKAY for Hannah to have sent those tapes. I hate how she could have, potentially, sent 13 other people to kill THEMSELVES because of what she said about them on the tapes. I hate how Clay even GOT the tapes. (It was totally against the rules she set up.) I was so angry and so distressed when I finished this book, it almost turned me off reading. Honestly. I’ve read 70 books this year, and it’s only April. I LOVE BOOKS. And this made me hate them oh-so-much. My opinion is definitely a minority, but I’m entitled to it, so, gah, I’m letting myself have a miniature rant for once. This book is in no way okay.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emma Giordano

    I REALLY REALLY LOVED THIS BOOK. I had heard very mixed things for some time and it seemed a lot of readers were very divided on this book, but I personally really loved it. I do want to say I don't think this is 100% the best book in the world for depression/suicide, but I do believe it is an intersting narrative on how suicide impacts those affected, considering suicide is never a singular action. I also don't necessarily *agree* with the content of the book as guilting and blaming those who's I REALLY REALLY LOVED THIS BOOK. I had heard very mixed things for some time and it seemed a lot of readers were very divided on this book, but I personally really loved it. I do want to say I don't think this is 100% the best book in the world for depression/suicide, but I do believe it is an intersting narrative on how suicide impacts those affected, considering suicide is never a singular action. I also don't necessarily *agree* with the content of the book as guilting and blaming those who's actions drove Hannah to her death is not an appropriate response that we should approve of, but I also don't feel this book condoned that idea. Maybe the author did not go about things in the best way (in my personal opinion) but I do think the message that your actions influence others in ways you may not realize came across well. The path to get there was not perfect, but the execution was. I also despise the reviews on here saying that "Hannah had no excuse to kill herself, she was not depressed enough and it wasn't believable for her to commit suicide because of these reasons." Excuse me? Work on your stigma regarding people with mental illness. I am SO SO SORRY that you feel someone who is a victim of bullying, sexual harassment,t sexual assault, who reaches out for help and is told to "move on" is not a "good enough excuse to kill themselves" but I am NOT HERE for delegitimizing one's personal suffering because it wasn't something you have experienced. God forbid my reason for being depressed was a chemical imbalance in my brain, can't imagine what you'd think of MY excuse for attempting suicide *rolls eyes*. Depression manifests in a multitude of ways. People commit suicide for a variety of reasons. I've been diagnosed with clinical depressed and spent most of my adolescence in a cycle of self harm and suicidal ideation. Can I related to Hannah Baker? No, I cannot. Our stories are very different. But that does not mean it is impossible for her experience to exist, or that others will be unable to relate to what this poor girl went through. If you view life through a singular lens, I promise, you will continually be let down by those who's lives do not perfectly mirror your own. I also want to note that I DO see why this book has upset so many people. I really do see the perspective of others who disagree with this book and don't feel it achieved what it was trying to, I just personally feel differently. Overall, I really really enjoying the mere HOURS it took me to devour this book. It was a great experience and I'm glad I read it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Val ⚓️ Shameless, Skanky & Bitchy ⚓️

    Update 7/10/15: A Conversation From Yesterday... Co-Worker: "My kid just read this book and loved it. You are a reader, right? If you haven't read it, you should read it." Me: "What's it called." CW: "'Thirteen Reasons' or something. It's about suicide." Me: Hmmmm, yeah I think that sounds familiar. Hold on lemme check. *checking GR and finding review* CW: "You find it?" Me: "Um, yeah." CW: "So you like it?" Me: "Um...sure..." LMAO Original (pre-gif discovery)Review: I see that this book is pretty w Update 7/10/15: A Conversation From Yesterday... Co-Worker: "My kid just read this book and loved it. You are a reader, right? If you haven't read it, you should read it." Me: "What's it called." CW: "'Thirteen Reasons' or something. It's about suicide." Me: Hmmmm, yeah I think that sounds familiar. Hold on lemme check. *checking GR and finding review* CW: "You find it?" Me: "Um, yeah." CW: "So you like it?" Me: "Um...sure..." LMAO Original (pre-gif discovery)Review: I see that this book is pretty well-loved and highly reviewed, but I quite frankly don't see the same beauty as everyone else. So if you are someone who loved this book and loved Hannah, you should probably pass on my review because it might piss you off. ***Mega Spoilers*** I know some read this book and see Hannah as a "victim." But I don't. I see a hypocritical, self-absorbed teenager who basically refused to take responsibility for herself and/or her OWN actions because she was too busy analyzing OTHER people's actions and how those actions--directly or indirectly--affected Hannah. Hannah's ridiculous 13 tape manifesto is all about laying people out for not seeing or simply failing to care how their actions affected Hannah. But even through Hannah's own dialogue we see how she herself is guilty of using / treating others just as thoughtlessly. She plainly says that she asked Courtney over to her home--not to befriend her--but to help her catch Tyler peeping in her window with his camera. Also, later she describes how she engages a random girl (with whom she's never spoken to before) in conversation in order to look beyond the girl's shoulder and catch Zach stealing notes out of her "Encouragement bag." How do you think THAT girl felt being used, Hannah? How do you think Courtney felt being asked over to your house simply to playact for a peeping Tom? On and on Hannah rants at everyone about how dare they do this and how dare they do that to her - but seriously - watching her hypocritically commit similar actions of insensitivity and constantly put herself in asinine situations completely undermined any sympathy I had for her. Do I think it's fucked up that Tyler peeped into her window (a situation that felt totally contrived)? Yes. Is it fucked up she witnessed a rape and felt guilt for not acting to stop it? Yes. Same with the stop sign situation. But by the time most of those things happen, she has already dug her own grave in her mind. AND she did nothing to try and solve her own problems. Being a teenager SUCKS. Being a female teenager especially sucks. But what Hannah failed to realize is that almost every other character in her story was just trying to do the same thing as her: get by and get through. I'm all for being mindful of your words and trying to be aware of how your actions affect others; however, you can only do your best--but to think constantly about how your every word and action might affect someone else can result in complete paralyzation. I'm not anti-suicide and I'm not railing against Hannah for choosing that course. I'm just not down with the 13 tapes vilifying other people for not thinking about how every move they made affected Hannah. At some point, you have to take responsibility for YOURSELF and your own actions. You can't control what other people do and how they act, but you can control how you respond. Hannah responded by CHOOSING to be a victim and blaming everyone else.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Thirteen Reasons Why This Book Sucks: 13. Poorly Sketched Supporting Characters: Hannah, the girl who killed herself, and Clay, the boy she sent her "suicide note" tapes to, were fairly believable and well-drawn individuals. But everyone else in the story seems interchangeable, with motivations that are never made clear or seem to constantly switch to serve the purposes of the plot. I couldn't tell the difference between Courtney Crimson and Jessica and Mr. Porter, if there was one, and I couldn' Thirteen Reasons Why This Book Sucks: 13. Poorly Sketched Supporting Characters: Hannah, the girl who killed herself, and Clay, the boy she sent her "suicide note" tapes to, were fairly believable and well-drawn individuals. But everyone else in the story seems interchangeable, with motivations that are never made clear or seem to constantly switch to serve the purposes of the plot. I couldn't tell the difference between Courtney Crimson and Jessica and Mr. Porter, if there was one, and I couldn't keep track of what they did to Hannah. They seemed like a stock supporting cast of high school kids and teachers that Asher picked out of a hat. 12. An Unlikable "Heroine": Hannah blames everyone else for her problems, then kills herself and drags everyone else into her misery too. Sure, she went through some rough stuff, but was it really that much worse than what most high schoolers deal with, and get over? She's like a vengeful harpy, tormenting those she blames for pushing her over the edge and haunting them from beyond the grave. She's like a combination of the Ghost of Christmas Past and Holden Caulfield, for the Disney Channel generation. What a great role model for kids. 11. Bad Dialogue & Monologues: Like I said, Hannah and Clay are somewhat believable characters, but they often speak - and think - in ways that no teenager does. There's way too much of Clay "talking" to Hannah in his head (along the lines of, "Hannah, why did you do that?" repeated ad nauseum). And Hannah's always saying stuff like "I bet you wonder how you fit into all of this… well, you'll soon find out!" BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA! 10. Soap Opera Melodrama: The dialogue and action in this book are ridiculously exaggerated and overwrought, even by the histrionic standards of young adult fiction. There's almost no subtlety. I mean, I know teenagers love drama, but does Asher have to telegraph every emotion, every twist in the plot, with a metaphorical exclamation point? It's like a Lifetime movie about suicide. The literary equivalent of a shitty, screamy emo song. 9. Amateurish Writing: This kind of dovetails with the points above, but… I really don't understand how this got a good review from anyone over the age of 16. There's way too much telling and not enough showing in this book. It almost reads like it was written by a high schooler, minus the authenticity. 8. It Had A Blurb From Sherman Alexie, One Of My Favorite Authors, Which Made Me Like Him A Little Less By Association: I read this book the day after I read Alexie's infinitely superior The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The contrast between the two young adult novels couldn't be more clear. Alexie's is a realistic, clever, and often heartbreaking story of what it means to grow up as an outcast that ultimately transcends its setting and resonates across generations and backgrounds. Asher's is an overcooked, amateurishly written, poorly realized picture of overdramatic suburban kids chasing their own tails into oblivion. 7. It's A Page-Turner With A Weak Ending: I'll admit, this one had me going, even after I realized I was being taken for a ride and didn't much like it, I kept reading. Partly because I was reading it while substitute teaching an English class where all the kids were reading too, so I had nothing better to do. But I was also really hoping the ending would redeem some of the shortcomings and make it worthwhile. Nope. It just fizzles out. Big waste of time. 6. Ruins A Clever Idea That Someone Else Could Have Done Better: When I first read about this book and its basic narrative conceit, I was intrigued. Sure, the plot structure is very high-concept, but so was Slaughterhouse-Five. And the basic message of the story, that one small action or remark can have huge and possibly terrible repercussions in another person's life, is certainly true and a lesson than every teenager should learn. It makes for a great cover and book jacket. Too bad everything in between sucks. Asher should have written a synopsis and then handed it off to somebody with some talent. 5. It's Being Made Into A Movie Starring Selena Gomez: No further explanation needed. 4. It's A Blatant Attempt To Make An "Important" Book: Pretty much dripping from every page of this thing is the smug sense of self-satisfaction Asher must have felt while writing it. In the age of cyber-bullying and sexting, teen suicide is becoming an even more complicated and difficult issue. But this book doesn't really have anything new, insightful, or helpful to say about it. 3. An Unrealistic Portrait Of Depression And Suicidal Ideation: Hannah kills herself for reasons that, to put it bluntly, are bullshit. A few rumors? A car accident she was only tangentially connected to? Witnessing a date rape? All of these are traumatic to varying degrees, but none of them are likely reasons someone would off themselves. As somebody who's worked with kids with mental illness, who've suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, this whole thing just strained credibility. Hannah's way too self-assured and in touch with her emotions to be suicidal. Kids who try to kill themselves do so either in a period of extreme emotional upheaval or because there is a terrible, relentless drumbeat within their beings that sucks the joy out of existence. Never did I get the sense that Hannah felt this way. She seemed to want to kill herself as a kind of performance art, or to get back at the people who wronged her, which is definitely not why most kids do it. 2. It's An Exploitation Of A Serious Issue: To continue with the point above, this book really does a disservice to the perception of kids who are seriously ill and need help. It presents suicide as a choice made by whiny kids who bring most of their problems on themselves and do it as a kind of revenge on the world. Like I said, this is not why most kids do it. They are seriously fucked up, either by brain chemistry, drugs, or terrible experiences in their past, the kind of stuff that Hannah never even comes close to. Sure, there are kids who kill themselves because of being bullied, or called sluts, or whatever, but even in those cases the trauma is much more severe than it was here. Asher either doesn't have the guts to portray depression, abuse, and suicide the way they really are, or (more likely) he doesn't know much about them, but wanted to get famous writing a book about it anyways. 1. It Might Just Make Some Troubled Teen More Likely To Kill Themselves: I know this is a serious charge to make, but hear me out for a second. Throughout the book, Asher makes all the rather trivial stuff that happens to Hannah seem like a huge deal. Now, to be fair, the kind of moderate bullying Hannah endures would seem terrible to a suburban high schooler who hasn't dealt with much worse. But nowhere in the book does Asher try to show his teenage readers that such stuff is, in fact, extremely trivial and not worth getting your panties in a bunch over, that there is a big, beautiful world just past the edge of the strip malls and subdivisions of suburban rot if only they'd quit navel gazing for a minute, and none of that high school shit is worth killing oneself over. I'm not saying young adult books have to be all sunshine and rainbows, far from it, but if you're gonna read a book for kids about suicide, at least give some compelling reasons not to do it. Instead, he almost validates Hannah's actions. The whole book is about thirteen reasons why she killed herself, for chrissakes. Sure, Clay does a lot of hand-wringing and, "why, Hannah, why?" type of stuff, but never is there a moment of true catharsis or even a genuine feeling that thing could get better. Instead, Asher wallows in emo-ness from start to finish because he knows that's what his readers want. Problem is, a particularly depressed reader could easily get the impression that if Hannah killed herself for some pretty petty reasons, than they (who are probably suffering through actual, legitimate shit) should do it to. And that's why I REALLY hated this book, and wouldn't recommend it to anyone, especially teenagers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    stephanie

    eta 2: this is also the perfect book to listen to on audiotape. usually i am annoyed with audiobooks, but i enjoyed listening to this one almost as much as reading it, because i was hearing hannah while driving in my car, much the same way clay was. still love this book and it's boldness. * eta: for everyone that thinks hannah's suicide was unbelievable, or that the reasons were just stupid and petty, take a moment and think about how what happened could have been the impetus for suicide. it's no eta 2: this is also the perfect book to listen to on audiotape. usually i am annoyed with audiobooks, but i enjoyed listening to this one almost as much as reading it, because i was hearing hannah while driving in my car, much the same way clay was. still love this book and it's boldness. * eta: for everyone that thinks hannah's suicide was unbelievable, or that the reasons were just stupid and petty, take a moment and think about how what happened could have been the impetus for suicide. it's not the whole story, of course. hannah tells us that herself. but people who commit suicide aren't just people that have been raped, abused, are poverty stricken, gang members, or sufferers of PTSD. too many adolescents kill themselves out of a depression that spirals in the SAME WAY hannah's does. too many adults do. and look at the suicide statistics if you don't think this is an important book. * yep, i broke down and bought it. and i am SO GLAD that i did. you guys, ALL OF YOU, read this now. i'm so not joking. this is one of the best books about adolescents and real life and how things can snowball that i have ever read. not to mention this is the best, best, portrayal of true suicidality that i have come across - in all genres. here's clay jensen, with a stack of tapes that arrive on his door. seven tapes, with a number painted in nail-polish on each corner. seven tapes from the dead hannah baker, who was clay's total crush. hannah baker, who killed herself with pills. the genius is that the act of suicide itself is not glorified. at all. it's not an impulsive suicide, despite what people may have thought, and that's part of why i think i appreciate this book so much. for people that are truly, and deeply, and clinically depressed, it's not really impulsive. it's a series of things that lead one to believe that it's just not going to get better. and that's exactly what happens to hannah. things that seem small and petty or not even memorable build in the head of someone who is already fragile. she isn't melodramatic about it, she's to the point. sometimes she's angry, sometimes she's sad, and sometimes she's brutally honest with herself - she knows that her actions are selfish, she knows that there were places she could have made things different and didn't. she knows where she closed the doors that might have been opening, and where she opened the ones she should have left shut. i love hannah baker. i love clay jensen. i love these characters for their emotional vulnerability and honesty, for the way the story is told in pieces that all weave together in the end, for the fact there is no pandering to the reader, or condescension. that even in the end, even after hannah decided, there was one last chance. that this was thought out and thoughtful and not just a look at how people deal with the aftermath of a suicide, but how a suicide might be the end point. i really cannot say enough about this book. i want to quote whole passages, i want to make so many people read it. it is SUCH an accurate portrayal it breaks my heart. when hannah wants to disappear into the mist, and the decision for the way she wants to kill herself - her difficulty in even saying the word "suicide" in the beginning - it's just. not wanting her parents to find her hanging. thinking about making it look like an accident by crashing a car. people may think what hannah did, by leaving the tapes, was super vindictive and mean. i do think there was an element of that to her recording everything - it's true to her character. but more than that, i think hannah wanted people to know how things spiral so far out of control, and how seemingly small interpersonal interactions can have such amazing consequences. more than anything, i think hannah wanted to leave her own answer to "why do people commit suicide" and "signs to watch out for". and i think she did a pretty damn good job. this is amazingly brilliant. Jay Asher just completely blew me away. so go read it. now.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Giselle

    I absolutely loved this book. What an eye opener. In Thirteen Reasons Why we listen to audio tapes that was sent to 13 people by Hannah who committed suicide, to explain her reasons why. First I want to mention that to all the reviewers who say that her reasons weren't "good enough" for her to kill herself, you're wrong. Everyone doesn't cope with situations the same way, and problems that may seem minimalistic to you, can send the next person into depression. We all have our own ways of working I absolutely loved this book. What an eye opener. In Thirteen Reasons Why we listen to audio tapes that was sent to 13 people by Hannah who committed suicide, to explain her reasons why. First I want to mention that to all the reviewers who say that her reasons weren't "good enough" for her to kill herself, you're wrong. Everyone doesn't cope with situations the same way, and problems that may seem minimalistic to you, can send the next person into depression. We all have our own ways of working through our issues, and some have a much harder time than others. These were her reasons to commit suicide, which were enough for her, who are we to judge? Personally I thought it was amazingly done and very realistic. There weren't any embellishments or glorifications, it was true portrayal of teen suicide. We go through the story with Clay while he is listening to Hannah's tapes. The narration goes back and forth between the tapes and what Clay is doing/thinking. I really though this was a great way to pace the story and build up the suspense. And every single page is full of suspense. I really could have stayed up all night reading it. The story contains a lot of emotions; Intense and raw emotions. We go through them with Hannah as well as Clay, simultaneously. Hearing her tapes makes us realize that our actions, however small, can have a whirlwind of an effect on others. Yes, sending those tapes may have been a little mean. But obviously there was a lot going on with Hannah and she needed to get this out. I don't condone her for it, but I can understand why she thought it necessary. It's not an easy subject to talk about, and suicide is not something to take lightly. Asher did an amazing job of taking a sensitive subject and writing a very touching, mesmerizing novel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janina

    When I tried to structure my thoughts to write this review, I discovered that it’s actually very hard to write something about a book I liked but didn’t love. I definitely have no hard feelings towards Thirteen Reasons Why but I also don’t really have anything to rave about. Which makes me feel a little conflicted about the rating. This book will stay with me for a while, it made me think, but it also had its flaws. I thought the novel was based on an original and great concept. We have a simulta When I tried to structure my thoughts to write this review, I discovered that it’s actually very hard to write something about a book I liked but didn’t love. I definitely have no hard feelings towards Thirteen Reasons Why but I also don’t really have anything to rave about. Which makes me feel a little conflicted about the rating. This book will stay with me for a while, it made me think, but it also had its flaws. I thought the novel was based on an original and great concept. We have a simultaneous narration: We get to hear Hannah’s thoughts through the tapes she recorded, and mixed with that, we see how Clay reacts to the things she says. While that is without doubt the perfect way to tell this story (that can probably be enjoyed even more in an audiobook format), I sometimes found it hard to distinguish their voices. I read a sentence, and when I went over it too quickly, I sometimes had to check back if it was in bold or italic to find out who actually said what. While Clay certainly was a sweet guy, I found him to be almost too nice to be true and compared with Hannah, his character and voice felt rather flat. Also, I expected this story to make me sad and touch me deeply because, after all, it is a story about missed opportunities, about a life ending much too soon, about guilt and grief. Unfortunately, that was not the case. But, all in all, despite the fact that I wasn’t really emotionally invested, I simply HAD to know exactly what drove Hannah over the edge. I wanted to know her story, to get an idea what made her feel so depressed and alone. I read in quite some reviews that people thought her reasons to commit suicide were shallow. I don’t agree with that at all. They were her reasons and nobody else’s, and I think that she shouldn’t be judged by them. People don’t always have this big reason behind their decisions. Sometimes small things add up to each other, and when you suffer from depression, as Hannah clearly did, even everyday life can be too much for you to take. It can make everything feel like a chore. Yet, I also found it difficult to understand why Hannah went to such lengths to record her tapes and make sure everybody received them. It seemed to be more about getting back at the people who hurt her than about closure and explanation. Those people did her wrong, no question, but do they deserve what they got? Do they deserve to live with the guilt of being responsible for Hannah’s death? I’m not sure. But this book definitely showed me that even small things we do (or don’t do) can have a huge impact on somebody else’s life, and that sometimes we should take more time to try to understand the people we deal with everyday – be it at school or somewhere else. But all things considered, I’m glad that Jay Asher didn’t portray Hannah as a victim. She also had her faults, made wrong decisions and – in the end – gave up. Now I’m still pondering over one question: What is actually worse? Knowing exactly why somebody killed himself and what role you yourself played in his decision? Or living with the fact that you will never find out what caused his suicide and that your questions will never be answered? #4 TBR Pile Reduction Challenge (Brooke)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Things that happened to make Hannah Baker kill herself: 1.) Someone made up a rumour that she let a boy put his hands under her shirt in a park. REPUTATION RUINED. 2.) Someone was taking pictures of her through her bedroom window and she reacted by posing with a friend as though they were giving each other sensual massages... with oils? PERFECTLY LOGICAL AND INTELLIGENT RESPONSE. 3.) Someone asked her to drive them to and from a party. HOW DARE THEY. 4.) Someone stole the compliments out of her comp Things that happened to make Hannah Baker kill herself: 1.) Someone made up a rumour that she let a boy put his hands under her shirt in a park. REPUTATION RUINED. 2.) Someone was taking pictures of her through her bedroom window and she reacted by posing with a friend as though they were giving each other sensual massages... with oils? PERFECTLY LOGICAL AND INTELLIGENT RESPONSE. 3.) Someone asked her to drive them to and from a party. HOW DARE THEY. 4.) Someone stole the compliments out of her compliment box. SUCH A SENSELESS CRIME. 5.) NOBODY NOTICED HER HAIR CUT. AUGHHHHH THE CRUELTY. All these and other teenage angst happen which Hannah deems unforgivable. And then she witnesses a rape that she could easily have stopped but didn't. And suddenly she's like "oh God the room is spinning my emotions I'm like so drunk and can't see through my tears... wahh, there's no way I could step in right now." Literally all she had to do was step out of the CLOSET SHE WAS HIDING IN and say "Um, sorry can you not do that?" And the rapist would have FLED. But no, she stayed in the fetal position on the floor à la Bella Swan. So basically when she allows a classmate to be raped in front of her it's fine because, like, her head wasn't in the right place or something, but when other people don't acknowledge her new haircut it's because they are purposely attacking her and they deserve to be punished. This book makes a mockery of suicide. We don't ever get a sense that Hannah is depressed. It's more like she's doing it as some messed up experiment. I found her to be way too amused by her own vicious stunt to feel even a shred of empathy for her. It's a book about a pathetic, selfish witch with a severe lack of moral fibre who kills herself and then sends out sick and twisted recordings to thirteen people telling them it was their fault so that what? They can feel guilty for the rest of their lives because they weren't the nicest person ever to Hannah one time back when they were a teenager? THIS IS BULLYING AT A VERY SEVERE LEVEL. I would argue it is much more severe then any bullying Hannah was on the receiving end of. Ultimately, Thirteen Reasons Why waters down suicide to make it look like an awesome revenge tactic rather than an incredibly serious and sensitive issue that many teens are dealing with every day. It is not a game! WHEN YOU DIE, IT IS OVER FOR YOU. Nobody makes a TV show about you. Your classmates will only think of you ten years later when their memory is triggered and they go "ah, yes, a girl at my school killed herself once... terribly sad. Pass the salt please." That being said, bye Hannah, have fun in hell.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    ******* (edited on 8/15/17 to add:) My face, when everyone keeps coming on my review to tell me that my feelings about this book are "wrong." A review is simply my opinion. I'm entitled to mine and you're entitled to yours and they don't affect one another in any way. ******* (Original review from 10/20/14) Hated it, hated it, hated it. DNFed at 30%. Do you know people who are suicidal? Has anyone close to you tried to kill themselves or had someone close to them kill themselves? My best friend growin ******* (edited on 8/15/17 to add:) My face, when everyone keeps coming on my review to tell me that my feelings about this book are "wrong." A review is simply my opinion. I'm entitled to mine and you're entitled to yours and they don't affect one another in any way. ******* (Original review from 10/20/14) Hated it, hated it, hated it. DNFed at 30%. Do you know people who are suicidal? Has anyone close to you tried to kill themselves or had someone close to them kill themselves? My best friend growing up, her father committed suicide. I hope she never reads this book. People who are clinically depressed, people who feel like they have no other option but to kill themselves, don't do it because of a tiny, trivial reason. They do it because there is an imbalance in their brain, or something so horrific happened to them that they feel like they can't live in their own skin anymore. If we hadn't had a glimpse inside of Hannah's head, I would have thought that maybe she was in a such a dark place that she felt like she had no other option but to kill herself. However, we hear Hannah voice throughout the story through her tapes. She doesn't sound depressed. She sounds vindictive and petty. Why doesn't she think about how her tapes could make someone else kill themselves, huh? To make it seem like a friend or loved one, doing something minor or mundane, could cause a suicide is a horrible seed to plant. It takes years for loved ones of suicide victims to stop blaming themselves. Does my childhood friend deserve to question, "If I just cleaned my room or didn't yell at my dad that one last time, would he have not killed himself?" NO. Sure, teenagers could be a lot nicer to each other. I'm all for anything that reduces bullying and objectifying of women. If readers take away that message from this book, than I guess I'm okay with that on some level. But for the reader who struggles with bipolar disorder or clinical depression, the teen with the mom who won't get out of bed, the husband whose wife ODs on pills... please don't read this book. Don't dissect your life and think about what you could have done differently. Maybe this book greatly improved after 30%. Maybe we find out more about Hannah after that point. I wasn't interested enough to find out.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Smith

    I bought "Thirteen Reasons Why" after hearing so much about it on the internet - and from my 3 sons - and I just knew I had to find out what the hype was all about for myself. Actually I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it very compelling so I'm a little apprehensive about leaving a positive review after reading so many negative comments about it, but I suppose it is only everyone's opinion. I started reading this book at bedtime and whenever I woke up during the night and throughou I bought "Thirteen Reasons Why" after hearing so much about it on the internet - and from my 3 sons - and I just knew I had to find out what the hype was all about for myself. Actually I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it very compelling so I'm a little apprehensive about leaving a positive review after reading so many negative comments about it, but I suppose it is only everyone's opinion. I started reading this book at bedtime and whenever I woke up during the night and throughout the next day when I wasn't reading it, I was constantly thinking about the characters - it had such a pull to it. I didn't have a problem with the writing style at all, the unique way in which the author, Jay Asher, created a dual narrative between Hannah on the tapes and Clay listening to them and commenting was very unusual and new to me, and I really took to it - it played out perfectly in my mind. I imagine everyone knows the blurb to this book so I won't go into that other than it is aimed at a young adult audience. Some people believe that Hannah was selfish and petty with a 'I've been badly done to' attitude but who knows when the straw will break the camel's back? We've probably all experienced bad times at senior school at some point or another and know it can have a very profound effect on your emotions at such a vulnerable age. Does the book glorify suicide? Does it make someone want to go out and take their own life? I have my opinions but you'll have to read the book and decide for yourself. What I do know is - it's a work of fiction and I read it as that, but I'm much older and wiser than most of the average readers of this book and I think that does make a big difference. I don't think I'll be watching the TV show should it make mainstream English TV as it is primarily aimed at a much younger audience and I think I'd rather remember the book is it was originally written. I would say don't be put off by any of the negative reviews you may come across, I dithered for a while over reading it, but I have to say it's a book that I did enjoy reading and I know will stay with me a long time. 5 stars!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    F

    I hope no one suicidal or anyone that has seen the effects of suicide ever reads this. Hated this.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book was very engrossing and suspenseful, but in the end it just pissed me off. I don't know how to put this in more delicate terms, so if I make my case rather bluntly or insensitively, I do so only because I don't want to tiptoe around what I really feel. Basically, I understand why some people turn to suicide as the only option out. I understand the feeling of helplessness and misery that could make a person decide that taking herself out is the only way to stop the pain. But after experi This book was very engrossing and suspenseful, but in the end it just pissed me off. I don't know how to put this in more delicate terms, so if I make my case rather bluntly or insensitively, I do so only because I don't want to tiptoe around what I really feel. Basically, I understand why some people turn to suicide as the only option out. I understand the feeling of helplessness and misery that could make a person decide that taking herself out is the only way to stop the pain. But after experiencing the aftermath of suicides in my extended family and, more pointedly, in my graduating class in high school, I have erased it as any option I would ever consider for myself. And even though I understand why people would kill themselves, that does not mean I agree that they are making the right choice. When the suicides happened my senior year, the school was loathe to talk about it except on a student-by-student basis. They believed that making too much out of the suicide glorified it and encouraged other kids to commit suicide in order to get the same attention. I don't know that I disagree, but I do know that not providing teenagers with information means they create their own answers, which can be worse. But I also remember that everyone wondered about their personal relationships with the people who died, if seemingly inconsequential statements contributed to the final act of despair. This book is basically saying, "Yes, in fact, your actions are one of the 13 reasons why I killed myself." I find this horribly unfair. Don't get me wrong, the people who Hannah blames for her downward spiral were all jerks to her. But she wasn't the only person in the school tormented by these people. The tapes portray Hannah as the number one target at school, but didn't we all feel that way (except for those handful of people who claim to have loved high school and who I will never understand)? What makes it worse for Hannah than for anyone else? Why do some of us survive it and she couldn't? Or better yet, what actions of Hannah's, inspired by her own unhappiness, contributed to the despair of another person who may later consider suicide? I think that the author was trying to say that there is never one single reason for a person to commit suicide, and that we should be aware of how we treat other people because we don't know the power of our own seemingly inconsequential actions. He was telling us to reach out to people who seem alone and vulnerable even if they try to push us away. I agree with all of this. However, the author failed to make the point that different people deal with life in different ways and have different capacities for dealing with it. He needed to make the point that Hannah wasn't strong to begin with, that she was already emotionally vulnerable or unstable. Because otherwise, everyone who survives high school gossip and cruelty would be a triumph, when really I've found that it's quite commonplace. Most people did not kill themselves in high school despite 13 or more reasons to do so. I've never been the kind of person who is comforted by thoughts like, "Think how much worse someone else has it." That's not what I'm saying here. Your own problems will always seem bigger that anyone else's because they are your own. But the author never explained why these experiences crushed Hannah while others somehow got by. I'm not saying it couldn't happen that way. But why couldn't she - specifically Hannah - handle it? In the end, this book just made me mad because we are led through this narrative in which we succumb to Hannah's interpretation of events and her justification for her death. If the author's point was to show that the average cruelties of high school, when taken together, can lead someone to suicide, then he also needs to show why it doesn't. I don't believe in sugar-coating life for teenagers, and I don't believe in censoring books because they may "encourage undesirable behavior." But this book seems like the perfect way to push a suicidal teenager closer to the edge. And it pisses me off that a book would give me a reaction opposite of what I claim to believe.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura Herondale

    I want to start off by saying that I'll be talking about both the book and season 1 of the tv show in this review. I also want to state that I watched the show before I read the book. This review will contain unmarked spoilers, but they're pretty minor. I will not be mentioning season 2 of the show, even though it's release is what made me want to write this, because I will not be watching season 2 of the show. I was diagnosed with Major Depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder when I was 15, I want to start off by saying that I'll be talking about both the book and season 1 of the tv show in this review. I also want to state that I watched the show before I read the book. This review will contain unmarked spoilers, but they're pretty minor. I will not be mentioning season 2 of the show, even though it's release is what made me want to write this, because I will not be watching season 2 of the show. I was diagnosed with Major Depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder when I was 15, and was experiencing symptoms for three years before that. I've gone through a stage in my life where I self-harmed and experienced suicidal ideation. I was, for the most part, fine whilst watching the first season of 13 Reasons Why, but there was one scene (which I will talk about later) that badly triggered my depression, and I've decided that it would be better for my mental health to not continue with the tv series. I also wanted to mention that I have seen many different psychology professionals in the past few years: from school counselors to psychiatrists. I'm not here to tell you all that my opinion is better than yours, or worth more, just because I have experience with mental illnesses and counselors. Because it's not. But I wanted to mention it, because I will be drawing a lot from my personal experience throughout this review, so you kind of need to know what my personal experience is. However, I welcome any differing or similar opinions, and encourage you to tell me your thoughts on this book in the comments. Anyway, enough introductions, it's time to review my first ever one star read. Usually when I review books, I'll talk about the characters, the writing, the tropes etc. But I'm not really going to do that in this review. For the most part, I will be focusing on the mental illness aspect of this book, how it was handled, and why it is harmful. Same goes for when I'm talking about the show. In this book, Hannah Baker tells the story of her life since moving to Liberty High School, and how that lead to her decision to kill herself, through 13 tapes she recorded and sent out to the first person to appear on the tapes. The tapes had been passed along to everyone who appeared on them, until eventually, they arrived at Clay Jensen's door step. The book follows Clay's experiences listening to the tapes: finding out why Hannah killed herself, and how he played a part in it. The overarching message of the book is supposed to be a positive one: consider your actions and how they may affect someone, because you never know if someone is already suffering. You can't mess with a part of someone's life without messing with their whole life. Don't bully people. Etc. But this message fails to shine through, because of the way that suicide is portrayed in this book. Depression I mentioned this briefly in an update whilst I was reading this, but the word depression doesn't appear once in this book. It doesn't appear in the show, either. This book is supposed to be raising awareness for suicide, and mental illness is the cause of the majority of suicides, so how is it that it's not even mentioned? Depression, alone, accounts for the cause of 50% of suicides, and that figure rises to 75% when including alcoholics who are depressed. Hannah, herself, experienced a lot of the symptoms of depression, though I couldn't tell you if she actually was depressed because there is no mention of depression at all. Mental illness has been stigmatized for as long as it's been around, and the most effective way of combating that is by educating people on mental health. If there's less of a stigma surrounding mental illness, people are more likely to seek help, and are less likely to experience people being rude to them because of their mental illness. But this book doesn't even acknowledge the existence of mental illness, let alone educate people on it, so how is it effectively raising awareness for it? Oh, that's right, it's not. This also brings me to my next point: Simplification of Suicide By not mentioning mental illness, the book simplifies suicide by making it seem like it is a direct result of negative situations experienced by a person, such as bullying, sexual assault, and rape. In reality, however, suicide is complicated, and often caused by a multitude of different factors, some cognitive, some biological, and others environmental. Sometimes, people will kill themselves even if they haven't suffered from a major negative event in their lives, because depression can be passed down through family genes, and isn't necessarily caused by major a life event. By simplifying suicide, and reducing it to something caused only by bullying, teens who suffer from depression and/or suicidal ideation may feel as if their feelings are less valid because they may not have experienced bullying and that may not be the reason for the thoughts and feelings they have. The stigma surrounding mental illnesses will be perpetuated, and people who aren't being bullied and seemingly have a good life may be called "fakers" or told that they're "just looking for attention" if they mention the thoughts and feelings that they're having, because the show perpetuates the idea that suicide is caused just by bullying, because it doesn't discuss any alternative explanations. Suicide and mental illnesses are complicated and messy and can't be boiled down to just one explanation. To say they can be is a very reductionist approach to the matter, and can be very harmful. Lack of Alternative Solutions The book also lacks any alternative solutions to suicide for teenagers who may be being bullied. This can be extremely harmful: as suicide is the only solution being portrayed in the book, teenagers who are being bullied may think that suicide is the only way out of their situation. This glamorizes suicide, portraying it as the only escape to a negative situation, such as bullying, and could lead to more people seeing it as a valid option to end their problems. Suicide is final Let me repeat that: suicide is final. This is something the book and the show do a bad job of portraying. In the book, Hannah goes off on a lot of tangents during the stories she tells on the tapes, making it seem almost as if she’s having a casual conversation, rather than recording her last words. Plus, “Live and in stereo” suggests that the listeners of the tapes are listening to them live, when in fact, Hannah is dead. In the show, it’s even worse, as we physically see Hannah interacting with other characters when she is alive. I know these are flashbacks, but by telling the story in the way it is told, it takes away from the finality of suicide. Once someone kills themselves, that’s it, they’re gone. But the way that this story is told makes it seem almost as if Hannah isn’t even really dead. This could be extremely harmful, because it could lead teens to think suicide isn’t as big of a deal as it is, and that could lead them to make the decision to kill themselves a lot easier than they otherwise might have. Glorification of Suicide The book heavily glorifies suicide by portraying it as a valid way to get revenge on the people who may have hurt you throughout your life. In the book, Hannah states that she is not trying to get revenge on the people who hurt her, but the way in which she goes about leaving the tapes makes it seem like it is a way for her to get back at people. First of all, Hannah recorded the messages she leaves on cassette tapes. This book was released and set in 2007, a time when nobody used cassette tapes, and therefore, likely wouldn't have anything to play the tapes with. Clay didn't even have anything to play the tapes with; he had to steal a walkman in order to listen to them. If she wanted to help people realise that their actions affected people, wouldn't she want to make it as easy as possible for them to access that message? But that wasn't her goal. Her goal was to make people feel bad for what they did when she was alive. Her goal was to get sympathy from others, to get attention. Which is why she made them all go through the effort of finding something to play cassette tapes with. And then, of course, she literally blackmails the people on the tapes to pass them along; let a few other people hear their secrets or risk everyone hearing them. Hannah literally is forcing grieving teenagers to play this sick, twisted game. Follow the path of a dead girls life, hear all your friends' darkest secrets, or have your own be revealed to everyone. Not only is this just a horrible thing to do (more on this later), but it sets suicide up to be this perfect revenge plot for hurting the people who hurt you. This could encourage teens to commit suicide in order to get their own revenge on the people who bullied them in school. The Blame Game "...why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why." Throughout the book, Hannah uses the tapes to blame everyone for her suicide. But suicide is a choice made by one person, and in this case, that choice was made by Hannah, and Hannah alone. That choice can be influenced by a number of factors, or a number of people, but no one killed Hannah Baker except for Hannah Baker. The problem with Hannah blaming others for her suicide is that it is detrimental to someone's mental health to think that they are responsible for someone's death. The way that the characters react to the tapes shows how they have more of a negative effect than a positive one. In the book, Marcus says that he doesn't deserve to be on the tapes. Why does he think that? Because the tapes are attacking him, and therefore, he gets defensive, closes his mind, and doesn't learn anything. In the show, Clay has a mental breakdown, thinking that he is the reason that the girl he liked killed herself. Alex literally tries to kill himself because of the guilt he's feeling. Hannah's actions are selfish, and have caused other people to hurt as much as she did. This is not something that should be encouraged whatsoever, but the book and the show commend Hannah for sending a message about bullying. Parents? What parents? In the book, Hannah's parents' reactions aren't even showed, so I'm going to be focusing on the show for this section. Hannah sent 7 tapes, 13 stories about her life, to 12 people that, according to her, made her want to kill herself. But her parents, two people who loved her, got nothing. No closure, no explanation, zilch. Because Hannah was too selfish to give them anything that would help them understand her decision. Instead, her parents, especially her mum, nearly go insane trying to work out why she made the decision she did. And the whole time that her parents are trying to work out what happened to her, there are 7 tapes explaining just that being passed around to people. Just not her parents. This kind of goes back to what I was saying about Hannah's revenge fantasy, because that's why her parents don't get the tapes. They did nothing wrong, so they don't get an explanation. But this is such a horrible thing to encourage. Suicide as a whole should never be encouraged, but if someone was to make that decision, I bloody hope they've never seen this show or read this book, because every parent deserves the right to know why they lost their child. Villainising Counseling This is probably one of the most harmful aspects of this show. Mr Porter, the school counselor, is portrayed as unhelpful, and even one of the reasons why Hannah kills herself. This could have an extremely negative impact, as teens suffering from depression, suicidal ideation, or other mental illnesses may be discouraged from seeking the help they need. Not only this, but the portrayal of counselors in this book/show is extremely unrealistic. In my experience, counselors tend to care about their patients, and are always looking to help them. There is no way that a counselor would tell a teenage girl to move on from a rape incident. On top of that, this is actually illegal. In all 50 states of the USA, a counselor must file a report if someone is likely to hurt/kill themself or others, or if a child is suffering from abuse. Hannah, at least in the book, made a statement about how she wanted her life to end. In the real world, a counselor wouldn't hesitate to report that. Plus, Hannah is under 18, and rape is a form of abuse, therefore, this would be reported, too. A counselor was literally fired from the school I used to go for not filing a report when she should have. Every counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist etc I have ever been to has informed both myself and my parents that whilst all sessions are confidential, these exceptions will lead to a report being filed. If Jay Asher and the writers of the show had done any research, they would have known this. Graphic Suicide This only applies to show. In the book, Hannah killed herself by overdosing on pills, and the scene was never explicitly described. However, in the show, Hannah kills herself by slitting her wrists in the bathtub. There is a scene in the show when this is graphically shown. There are two main reasons that this is incredibly harmful. The first is that this scene acts as an instruction manual on how to most effectively slit your wrists. There are a lot of teenagers who may be dealing with suicidal ideation who may not know that slitting your wrists one way is more effective than another. In the show, they choose to explicitly show Hannah slitting her wrists in the most effective way, hence, the scene acts like a guideline on how to commit suicide. The second reason is arguably worse: seeing a graphic photo/video of a suicide being committed can lead to copycat suicides. Earlier in this review, I mentioned that there was a scene in the show that greatly triggered my depression. This is the scene. I confided in a few of my friends, and they were confused when I told them that this scene almost made me want to kill myself. "Shouldn't it be the other way around?" they said. "Shouldn't it make you want to do it even less, since it's so gross and looks so painful?". I thought so too. I felt alone in the way I was feeling, all the while not being able to get the scene out of my mind, and I spiraled back into a place I hadn't been in for months. I didn't know copycat suicide was a thing, and it wasn't until I researched why I felt this way (researching is my safety blanket because I'm a control freak that needs to know and understand everything) that I understood. Copycat suicides are a real thing, and affect teens more than any other age group. And this show is directed at teens. Including this scene in the show, without stating explicitly that it is included and could be a danger to people suffering from depression, is beyond harmful. It blatantly goes against guidelines set out by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention on how to safely portray suicide. This is just another example of the show's writers not doing their research. And now that that scene is included, people who suffer from a mental illness are now being forced to exclude themselves from watching a popular tv series about an issue they can related to, all so that they can keep themselves safe. It's dangerous, it's unfair, it should never have been included. But it was. And it honestly makes me want to scream. It's Offensive Jay Asher and the show's writers don't seem to have done any research, which makes it seem like they don't even care about accurately and safely portraying suicide and mental illness. It makes it seem like they don't care about people who suffer from these issues. And that's really isolating, especially now that so many people love the book and the show, and the people who see the issues with them are being told (only by a small percentage of 13RW lovers, but still) that they are horrible people for not enjoying a show that raises awareness for suicide. Not only that, but Hannah's personality is never really explored throughout the book or the show. We don't get to know anything about her aside from her mental-illness-that-may-not-even-be-a-mental-illness-because-she's-never-diagnosed-because-this-book-is-afraid-of-the-word-depression. This reduces Hannah to just a mental illness, which is so offensive, because people with mental illnesses are so much more than them. They can be funny, kind, smart, bitchy, clumsy, sporty, nerdy etc. They can be so many things outside of their mental illness, and this book/show fails to show that. It perpetuates stereotypes that are blatantly false, and it excludes us from the conversation by including content that we can't see if we don't want to put ourselves at risk. Edit: I thought I mentioned this but apparently I didn't, and I'm running out of characters so won't be able to go into detail, but another one of the reasons this show is so incredibly harmful is because it perpetuates this idea that mental illness can be cured by finding love. That's so wrong. Is it nice to be loved and be in a loving relationship? Of course. Does it cure depression? No. And yet, throughout this book, Clay constantly thinks "if only I'd told her how I felt, I could've saved her". Hannah implies the same thing. And it's never disputed. It's one of my least favourite tropes in mental illness books. You can't love away someone's mental illness. In conclusion, this book isn't badly written. It's good at keeping the reader wanting to continue reading, and creates a good amount of suspense. Clay's a bit dull, and Hannah frustrates me to no end, and every other character is underdeveloped and one-dimensional. The books is also pretty full of tropes. (Sorry, I had to mention all that so that I could feel like I was actually reviewing this book instead of ranting about how problematic and harmful it and it's adaption are.) But because of the above points, this is not a story I can get behind. I hope that I have helped some of you understand why more and more people are rating this book so low, because I honestly do believe that educating people on mental illness is the first step in helping people to recover or seek help. I will not be watching season 2 of 13RW, but I do want to mention that I'm really pleased that they added a new trigger warning message at the beginning of the show. I have also heard people say that the portrayal of rape and sexual assault in this book is not done well, but I really wanted this review to focus on the mental illness aspect of this book, and I don't feel like I know enough about rape for me to accurately say if it was portrayed well or not. However, if you have any opinions regarding the portrayal of sexual assault in this book, or on anything I said during this review, or even just on the book itself, I'd be happy for you to leave them in the comments. I want to contribute to the discussion, because I want to raise awareness for mental illness, so I seriously do encourage everyone's thoughts on the matter, even if your opinion vastly differs to mine. If you are struggling with a mental illness, suicidal ideation, or just need someone to talk to, I urge you to reach out to someone for help, if you have not already. Here are some online resources: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ https://www.imalive.org/ https://www.suicideforum.com/ https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/mental-health-hotline/ https://www.psychguides.com/guides/mental-health-hotline/

  21. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    growing up, my parents taught me that no one but myself is responsible for my decisions. they are mine and mine alone. and that is a belief i still hold today. which is why i found it so difficult to empathise with hannah and her ‘thirteen reasons why’ she committed suicide - each reason/tape entirely placed the blame on someone else and she took none of the responsibility for her own actions. thats not to say people dont suck. yes, people can be mean and cruel and hurtful. but hannah took no act growing up, my parents taught me that no one but myself is responsible for my decisions. they are mine and mine alone. and that is a belief i still hold today. which is why i found it so difficult to empathise with hannah and her ‘thirteen reasons why’ she committed suicide - each reason/tape entirely placed the blame on someone else and she took none of the responsibility for her own actions. thats not to say people dont suck. yes, people can be mean and cruel and hurtful. but hannah took no action to fix those problems or right those wrongs. so if you ask me, hannah deserved her own tape. and thats the tea. ↠ 2 stars

  22. 5 out of 5

    L A i N E Y

    Lord. This was even worse than I thought it would be. Hannah, I know you've been treated unfairly and you wanted to get back at the people who wronged you. But I was totally dumbfounded by this roundabout way of doing so which actually includes you losing your own life in the process. All those preparations and time and planning. Such a waste. And Asher's writing didn't help the matter either: not suspenseful enough.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. High school junior (?) Hannah downs a bottle of pills shocking her classmates. Post-mordem a box of cassette tapes is sent around to 13 of peers, all of whom played a part in her ultimate suicide. The summary of this story is just as shitty and ridiculous as the book. There is no discussion of feelings of depression outside of how she was hurt by classmates, which, may represent the surface feelings of a depressed person, but the execution is not believable. Also, the fact that this young girl c High school junior (?) Hannah downs a bottle of pills shocking her classmates. Post-mordem a box of cassette tapes is sent around to 13 of peers, all of whom played a part in her ultimate suicide. The summary of this story is just as shitty and ridiculous as the book. There is no discussion of feelings of depression outside of how she was hurt by classmates, which, may represent the surface feelings of a depressed person, but the execution is not believable. Also, the fact that this young girl commit suicide because of alienation at school is not portrayed in a believable sense either. Also, the narrator (one of the thirteen) does not take away a very deep message from the experience. When he should be realizing that Hannah gave up, instead he goes on blaming himself ( he, himself did not belong on the tapes) and ultimately decides to talk to a girl who is an outsider. Gives people who commit suicide a bad name. the topic of this book was poorly researched and the message is wrong. the reader is left with little insight to suicide and mostly just feelings of superficial guilt. ALA Best Books for Young Adults committe: did you even read this book?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    “You can't stop the future You can't rewind the past The only way to learn the secret ...is to press play.” Thirteen Reasons Why is a book I’ve been meaning to read for about 5 years. My sister read it and told me I’d love it. I do love books that make me cry and since the book is being made into a Netflix series next month, I thought why not give it a go. As depressing as this one was, though- I didn’t shed one tear. I’m not sure what that says about me or the story. Honestly, I have conflict “You can't stop the future You can't rewind the past The only way to learn the secret ...is to press play.” 
Thirteen Reasons Why is a book I’ve been meaning to read for about 5 years. My sister read it and told me I’d love it. I do love books that make me cry and since the book is being made into a Netflix series next month, I thought why not give it a go. As depressing as this one was, though- I didn’t shed one tear. I’m not sure what that says about me or the story. Honestly, I have conflicting feelings about the story itself. However, it was story that I feel will stay with me. It had profound moments and it was a mesmerizing read. I guess my biggest issue was that as much as I liked Clay, I didn’t connect with Hannah. I understood her, but I didn’t really ever get that understanding I desired. I loved how part of the story was told through Hannah’s tapes, and the rest from Clay’s POV. As I was listening, I was dying to see who was going to be next, how everything would go down, and waiting for the big WHY to be answered. I didn’t want to stop listening. This was an engaging read that did make me think, made me feel, and even though it frustrated me at times, I’m glad I made time to read it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I have seen a lot of mixed reviews on this book. The subject matter - suicide - is controversial. The show they made of this book is controversial. Because of that, I am going to avoid too much commentary on the subject matter and just say that the content of this book is serious and does affect teenagers in different ways. I didn't have the easiest if teenage years, but I made it through okay, so it would be easy for me to say that this story is an overreaction. But, I would be a fool to not un I have seen a lot of mixed reviews on this book. The subject matter - suicide - is controversial. The show they made of this book is controversial. Because of that, I am going to avoid too much commentary on the subject matter and just say that the content of this book is serious and does affect teenagers in different ways. I didn't have the easiest if teenage years, but I made it through okay, so it would be easy for me to say that this story is an overreaction. But, I would be a fool to not understand the we we all different and a cautionary tale like this one could result from the same events that another person might just brush off. It is important to keep that in mind. As to the book itself, I give it bonus points for creativity of delivery. Learning what happened along with the narrator and hearing his emotions since he was directly affected is pretty powerful. I did find myself a bit on the edge of my seat ready to find out what happens next. Also, this book is a quick read. I think this is important to help make it feel like we are along with the narrator in real time. Remember going in that the subject is suicide and if that bothers you, do not read this. However, if you are open to exploring the mind of someone going through this sort of pain, I think it could be a moving and enlightening experience.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    Put me underneath God's sky and know me don't just see me with your eyes Take away this mask of flesh and bone and See me for my soul alone. Trigger Warning: Suicide and rape. For some reason, I've been in the mood to read books with a strong topic and subject, involving something personal or something I can relate to in any way; something I can feel emotions with. Thirteen Reasons Why really wasn't it. It wasn't an emotional book. I've heard it's such a sad book that makes you cry and sob hard, but Put me underneath God's sky and know me don't just see me with your eyes Take away this mask of flesh and bone and See me for my soul alone. Trigger Warning: Suicide and rape. For some reason, I've been in the mood to read books with a strong topic and subject, involving something personal or something I can relate to in any way; something I can feel emotions with. Thirteen Reasons Why really wasn't it. It wasn't an emotional book. I've heard it's such a sad book that makes you cry and sob hard, but I didn't feel any emotion and didn't shed one single tear. I expected to feel a little more bad for Hannah, but I didn't get to that point. I didn't hate her, and I did enjoy her perspective a lot more than Clay's but I didn't feel that bad. I wish her reasons were a little more, strong. The reasons for her suicide weren't very supportive, I would say. There were some reasons that she could've gotten rid of by getting the person rid of their lives, but I guess Hannah didn't decide to do that. She decided to continue with her life and let that person be in it even when she knew who they really were. Thirteen Reasons Why is mostly about Hannah Baker but is also about Clay Jensen. Clay receives a shoebox full of audio tapes with the name of Hannah Baker when he comes back from school. They're tapes recorded by the girl he once had a crush on, once wanted to get to know better. The girl who killed herself two weeks before that day he receives that box. The audiotapes are tapes explaining why Hannah Killed herself. They include thirteen reasons why, and whoever receives a package is a person mentioned in one of the tapes. What Clay doesn't want to find out is why he is on the list Hannah mentioned--the list of people that were part of the reasons why Hannah killed herself. But at the same time he does. All he has to do is press that play button and listen. As Hannah explains the different stories of every person, Clay is able to understand her more as a person and understand her reasonings, understand why Hannah was different at times. Understand why and how he wasn't able to help her and change the way she looked at life. As a person who has looked at her life differently than others, thinking it's too different; as someone who had been wanting to know what the meaning of her life really was and what she was doing in this world, a world that she felt like she didn't belong in; as someone who has been able to survive from voices in her head telling her to do it, to press the gun, to take the pills, to pull the rope, to drink the ammonia, to push the blade, I was not able to connect to Hannah in any way. The 13 reasons she gives her "friends" and the people who betrayed her were reasons that I didn't feel a connection with. I completely understand her reasons, though, and they made sense to me. What I didn't understand is how her reasons came to make sense. In other words, Hannah didn't have many reasons for her suicide. To be honest, I wish Hannah had better reasons for doing what she did. I'm not calling suicidal people stupid and in no way do I joke about that, but Hannah was kind of stupid. Her decisions were stupid and like I said, her reasons weren't very supportive. There's one friend named Marcus in the story that mentions how Hannah used him as an excuse to kill herself, and I have to agree. He did what he does, and she should've known. She should've known to say no and she should've known what would happen after. I didn't have any problems with Clay. I didn't like his character that much, but I managed to read some of his parts. I do admit I skimmed a lot of his perspective because I wanted to read until the end and find out why Hannah did this horrible thing, but then I didn't even care about. Clay was a good guy and I really don't understand why Hannah had to mention him (view spoiler)[when he wasn't even a part of the list in the first place. The boy did nothing wrong and what he really wanted to do was to get to know Hannah better. Even when he had the chance and didn't take it, he still cared. As we read on, we learn that Clay wanted to help Hannah and get to know her better but she pushed him away. He was a young boy doing what young boys do and all Hannah had to do was talk to him and ask him, ask him for a kind of help or go out with him to get things off her mind. (hide spoiler)] Hannah was my biggest problem, and as a person that can relate to her final decision, I couldn't relate to her reasons since any of them have happened to me. First of all, I would've talked to someone about what happened and been honest. Second of all, I would've thought about what effects it would have on me and others if I ever did make that final choice. Third of all, I would go back to the things I did before that made me happy, to the people that cared and showed loved, before making that final choice. Clay was a good guy, like I said, and he did show like he cared. As he was listening to Hannah's voice, he was able to feel pain and emotions, was able to feel bad for Hannah and understand her. I, sadly, couldn't understand her. Really though, I wish she made different choices, chose different people, moved to different places. There really isn't much to say this. The way Jay Asher wrote this wasn't something I liked. I didn't like the change of perspectives in the same pages, going from Italic form from Hannah's point of view to bold form from Clay's point of view. It was easy to understand, but it was also boring reading them. I didn't enjoy reading that much from Clay's view and even though I enjoyed Hanna's view more, the way she talked in the tapes wasn't something I completely enjoy. I'm not a fan of audio books or audio tapes or anything doing with audio and someone talking or reading to you, but I really don't want to find out because I know I would already dislike it. With Hannah, her voice wasn't annoying or irritating, obviously since I couldn't hear it, but it wasn't a voice I was able to hear. You might be thinking that's weird, wanting to hear her voice as I read her voice but what I mean is that I wish Hannah was able to make me feel a sort of connection as I was reading her point of view being explained to others. Her voice wasn't like other voices; other characters. She sounded pissed and annoyed, I mean, of course. Who wouldn't be angry explaining their reasoning to that one person who is a reason for them wanting to commit suicide? But what I mean is that, since I did mention that her reasons weren't that very supportive, they were taken too far. Hannah tried to embarrass some people and even said some things about them I wish she never said. Her friends, the boys she used to like, the boys she kissed, the girls she hung out with knowing they weren't real friends, they were all people she knew about but yet she didn't do much. Like I said, I didn't hate Clay, but I didn't like him either. I enjoyed his character more than Hannah's but I enjoyed her point of view more than his. My problem with Clay was that he started changing the way he looked at Hannah, even when she was dead, and he regretted the chances he never took. He said he heard rumors and things spreading about Hannah but he also said he regretted not figuring out the reasons why they are spreading and what is really going on about Hannah. He mentions that he wishes Hannah was alive so he can do something to change the way her future is about to change, but even finding out he knew what happened, he didn't do anything. I'm saying he didn't do anything when he knew some things because he said so himself that he knew about some rumours being started by some of his own friends and yet he didn't try talking to Hannah, didn't try helping her, didn't try getting to know her better. I don't understand (view spoiler)[how he was part of the list if he didn't do anything to her; they never even knew each other and they both admitted that. (hide spoiler)] Hannah says he didn't do anything, but in reality, she didn't allow him to. This was a 3-star book for me, but I lowered it down to 2 stars because I realized I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would after writing this review. Overall, the book didn't deliver a good message. I really don't even know if it was supposed to, but it wasn't clear. I know most books that have to do with a mental illness, mental health, suicide, rape, abuse, or any other kind of assault or disorder are to deliver a message, but a lot of books have failed to deliver them in the right way. The author fails to write a story about any of those topics (or all) and it's really frustrating. Sometimes it's taken as a joke and that's even more frustrating. A book shouldn't be written for entertainment to joke about an illness or disorder. I'm not saying this one did, but I am saying that it failed to deliver it's message (whichever one it really is, if there is one). The book wasn't touching, it wasn't emotional, it wasn't heart-wrenching, it was just another typical book that failed to deliver a message about suicide.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Nothing justifies suicide. Nothing. This is the tenth anniversary edition of the novel which includes a new foreword by the author, along with some comments about the process of the original publication and even the original ending not used in the finished novel. NOVEL V. NETFLIX: DAWN OF ADAPTATIONS It’s not rare that if you haven’t read this novel before and now you’ll do it, it’s because the Netflix TV series, and that’s nothing wrong with that. Certainly films and TV series are great promot Nothing justifies suicide. Nothing. This is the tenth anniversary edition of the novel which includes a new foreword by the author, along with some comments about the process of the original publication and even the original ending not used in the finished novel. NOVEL V. NETFLIX: DAWN OF ADAPTATIONS It’s not rare that if you haven’t read this novel before and now you’ll do it, it’s because the Netflix TV series, and that’s nothing wrong with that. Certainly films and TV series are great promoters when the stories are based or inspired on a previously published work. I won’t tell you which is best, since I don’t believe in that ol’ saying of “the book is always better” since, trust me, I have my share of readings where the book was an awful experience in comparison with the great adaptation in film or TV series, and I won’t tell you neither that “why bother to read the book if I already watch the movie?”, since it’s true that sometimes you miss key elements in the adaptation that only in the original book are available. I enjoy the same, reading books (including comic books), watching films and TV series and hearing music (which is also another format to tell a story), and I don’t believe in limiting myself, each format (book, movie, TV series, music) have their own advantages and restrictions to tell a story, so if you truly want to enjoy the most about knowing stories, the best road isn’t just one, but traveling all. Returning to the topic in hands, the Netflix TV adaptation certainly is quite accurate with the book, but it’s understandable that due the format, they opted to add more intensity in the rhythm of the storytelling, along with expanding in logical developments beyond of the cofines of the main story. So, not matter which format, book or TV series, in this case, you met before, please, don’t discard the other one. Enjoy both. Life is too short to limit yourself… …and also, life is too short for you making it even shorter than it was supposed to be. WHY ALL THE FUZZ ABOUT THIS? Maybe you have heard something about this Thirteen Reasons Why (which original intended title would be “Baker’s Dozen”, which I’d like better), since while Netflix generates a new hype about this story, the original book has been around since 10 years ago. Hannah Baker is a teenager girl who commits suicide but not without leaving her reasons why behind in the form of cassette tapes where she tells in her own voice which people around her, she considered responsables for her own decision of terminating her life. Clay Jensen knows Hannah when she was alive and the book begins when he gets those tapes explaining that he must hear them AND pass them to the next named person (thirteen people in total) in the cassettes since somebody else has a set of copies of those cassettes, watching the progress of this unusual testament, and if the “chain” gets broken, the copies will be made public and everybody will know what those tapes are revealing. Maybe you won’t be able to consider that Hannah’s path was the right one, not because her suicide per se, but due her “reasons”, considering that some were too irrelevant, some were pushed by her irresponsible decisions, and even some fell under not expressing in a clear way to the right people, but Hannah wasn’t perfect, while obviously a literary character, she acted like a real person... ...and real people are imperfect and doing mistakes. That's one of the beauties of this book, it wasn't written as a guideline to follow, it was intended to show what someone did and then you have to ponder about it. She was a teenager. Do you remember what was like to be a teenager? When any trouble was a gigantic drama for you? When your social life in school was everything? When you do dumb mistakes? Hannah was a teenager, still with so much life ahead of her, and only she wasn’t able to realize that. Even leaving behind those cassette tapes could be yet another mistake without pondering the consequences for those still alive. But... Don’t be so harsh against Hannah. Don’t judge Hannah. Help those in her same situation before it’s too late. To judge is easy, to help is hard… …choose the hard path and live. And if you can't give a word of encouragement, better don't say anything. NOT THIRTEEN NOR THIRTEEN THOUSAND ARE ENOUGH… Why thirteen reasons in this book? Well, I guess that less than that would make a really short book, right? Never forget that this is a book after all and the more pages, more it will be considered worthy to be read. However, suicide can’t be justified with thirteen or even thirteen thousand reasons, since life is sacred and in life there are a lot of possibilities. You may consider that your present life isn’t relevant and your absence won’t matter, and being brutally blunt… …maybe you’re right… …BUT… …you can’t predict the future of your lineage. Who can tell if your daughter or your grandson, or your great-granddaughter, will be the one to find the solution of a world problem? But if you terminate your own life now, no one will solve that trouble, since don’t get mistaken with that of “somebody else will do it”, nope, no siree, each of us is unique not only in this little blue world, but we are unique in the universe, and universe doesn’t provide redundant fates. If you or someone in your future lineage has a role to play, that role is the same of unique as you and your legacy. So? If you don’t have any offspring, can you end your own life? Nope, neither, since your impact in life isn’t limited to your own blood, you aren’t islands, you live in society, and the way that you impress your other relatives, friends, co-workers, even people that you meet one time in a street, you live a role, and that role needs to be played. You are alive for a reason. Maybe that reason won’t be clear to you in your own time, since your impact in your children or other people around you, may leave a mark that it will fundamental decades or centuries later. Everything affects everything. An accidental death is a tragedy, but we have to trust in God’s plans that those have a reason, a purpose, but if your own hand, your own decision is the one generating an early death in your own lives, well, that’s not in God’s plans (or any other higher power that you believe in). Will I judge you if you decide to suicide yourselves? No. I can’t. It’s not up to me. Only God can judge in this life and in the next one. But trust me, any suicide will have consequences and never will be good ones. Maybe today is a bad day for you, but you can’t predict how it will be tomorrow, but if you end your life today on your own terms, you never will know how would be tomorrow, but I can tell that that tomorrow will be a sad day for your family, friends and close ones, since you aren’t here anymore and nobody else will be able to replace you. You never are alone. Even if you think that nobody else is with you, God is always with you, and God never gives you anything that you can’t handle, you’re stronger than you think, and only enduring the bad days, you’ll be able to really enjoy the good days.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael Britt

    Full disclosure: if you read this book and it helped you, don't read on. This is not for you. This book has one of the most dangerous messages out there. It glorifies suicide. And I find that utterly disgusting. I almost didn't review this book, because it's a sensitive subject: teen suicide. Or even just suicide in general. One of the saddest things ever is when someone so young feels like they have no way out other than taking their own life. It's never the right answer, but I still find it sad Full disclosure: if you read this book and it helped you, don't read on. This is not for you. This book has one of the most dangerous messages out there. It glorifies suicide. And I find that utterly disgusting. I almost didn't review this book, because it's a sensitive subject: teen suicide. Or even just suicide in general. One of the saddest things ever is when someone so young feels like they have no way out other than taking their own life. It's never the right answer, but I still find it sad. I wanted to find this book sad, I really did. But I feel none of that for Hannah, after reading this book. This isn't a sad story of a girl who tragically takes her own life. This is a story about a young woman who is cold, calculating, malicious and vindictive. This isn't a girl who feels utterly hopeless; it's a girl who says "this is ALL your fault and I'm gonna show you." The only person responsible for Hannah taking her life is Hannah. Some of the stuff that happens to her is horrible, but most things are very petty. The most disgusting part is when she witnesses her friend being raped and uses HER FRIEND AND HER RAPE as one of her reasons. This was probably the part that caused me to hate this book. Yeah Hannah, your friend being raped must have been tragic for *you*. How dare her? I think the only book with a worse and more dangerous message would be Mein Kampf. Like I said above, the book glorifies suicide. It sends the message that your suicide can be a weapon of revenge. This is by far the worst way you could possibly waste your life. Committing suicide is *NEVER* the answer. It also goes as far as using her one attempt to talk to her counselor, and her counselor ignoring her, as an example of "no-one will truly care for you unless you take your life". There is someone out there who cares for you. Taking your own life is never the answer. Never. This is not the tragic story of a young lady that feels she has no way to improve her life: it's a revenge story. This is the first book that I've read that has made me legitimately angry. I've never felt so much disgust towards another person in a book. If I could give this book a negative rating, I would.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aneela ♒the_mystique_reader♒

    Rating: Review: This novel was gripping since page 1. Even though I finished it like in 1 day and 2 sittings (I didn’t want to put it down) yet I am rating it 3 stars. Hannah Baker was a newcomer in the town and school. Her reputation was tarnished by the guy (her senior) during her first days in the town. Later on, she was accused of betrayal by her new friend that she stole her guy (all three of them are classmates). That guy sort of used Hannah to make her ex jealous and to get back her. Ha Rating: Review: This novel was gripping since page 1. Even though I finished it like in 1 day and 2 sittings (I didn’t want to put it down) yet I am rating it 3 stars. Hannah Baker was a newcomer in the town and school. Her reputation was tarnished by the guy (her senior) during her first days in the town. Later on, she was accused of betrayal by her new friend that she stole her guy (all three of them are classmates). That guy sort of used Hannah to make her ex jealous and to get back her. Hannah was devastated and failed to convince her friend. She witnessed horrible things to crush her soul. She was continuously abused by the people around her. She tried to give hints as to what she is going through. And that she was depressed and slowly losing hope. She couldn’t open up because people might think she is seeking attention. She kept it all inside until she couldn’t anymore and decided to end her life. She decribed those incidents as “snowball effect”. Starting from the first incident to the last, everything was connected. Everyone was responsible. She wanted them to know how badly they affected her life to the point where there was no turning back. So before committing suicide, she recorded 13 reasons on the tapes with recording about 1 person on each side of the audio cassette. After listening, each one of them should send the tapes to the next person on the list. What I didn't Like: I think Hannah Baker was suicidal and had psychological issues but she realized that too late. She was in denial of her mental condition. She denied help of those who wanted to help her like Clay and even Mr. Porter. Except for the few like Bryce Walker, Zach Dempsey and Courteney Crimsen, I don't see Hannah was right blaming others for her suicide. I get that school and high school could be a problem period for some (or many) people. Those who are sensitive or very emotional suffer the most. But Hannah didn't occur like any over-sensitive or emotional girl to me. She was insecure, yes. Over-sensitive - no. Emotional - absolutely not. She was fun-loving, calm and collected. She was smart enough to know whats wrong and whats right for her. Then why did she go back to the people she already knew she couldn't trust. She herself let them harm her. Then why blame others? What I Loved: I absolutely loved Clay Jensen. I wish he had never left Hanna alone even when she asked him to. The idea of this novel was unique. Sending audio tapes to those who were the reasons of one's suicide so they could know how their actions affected others lives - genius! Final Words: This is a good book to read. Especially for teens and highschoolers. I hope people do realize how their words, gossips or little actions scar other's lives. Those who are suicidal, should seek help. There is no shame in asking for help or confiding your darkest fears to a counsellor or a trusted friend. Life is a precious gift and both good and bad times pass. Life is all about ups and downs. Killing yourself may end your suffering but it passes the everlasting pain to those who love you. Those who see troubled souls around them should come forward to help without pitying them and making them uncomfortable, vulnerable or hard to open. And please accept help when offered. That doesn't make you weak. The Mystique Reader Blog

  30. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    I distinctly remember reading a review for this book and I said to myself, "I can see myself reading it." So now that I've read it, what's my impression on it? Back when the term YA was not widespread, I used to read Christopher Pike books. This book reminded me a lot of Pike's books. Chain Letter was a masterpiece. It's a sad story. My heart goes out to Hannah Baker initially. Her character arc made me sad and sentimental. The book is full of suspense but the human element is forever etched in my I distinctly remember reading a review for this book and I said to myself, "I can see myself reading it." So now that I've read it, what's my impression on it? Back when the term YA was not widespread, I used to read Christopher Pike books. This book reminded me a lot of Pike's books. Chain Letter was a masterpiece. It's a sad story. My heart goes out to Hannah Baker initially. Her character arc made me sad and sentimental. The book is full of suspense but the human element is forever etched in my mind. The book is about a boy who gets some cassette tapes from the girl who loved him, but killed herself. It was a fantastic read. There are so many books floating around. The headache is to pick one up, and hope you've chosen well.

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