Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Image result for 13 reasons why book cover

Slight Spoilers Below the Cut

Going into this book, I basically knew what was going to happen since I had watched the Netflix show, which actually finally motivated me to read the book. A part of me feels that it was a mistake for me to watch the show first because the show is quite different, but the main content of the tapes are the same.

I think it was smart of the creators of the show to expand on the story, and focus more on what was happening presently, and to also have Clay spend longer than one night listening to Hannah’s tapes. If the show had followed the same format as the book, I don’t think it would have been long enough for a show, or that interesting.

Now, moving away from the show, this book was still good. Reading about Hannah’s experiences and also Clay’s reactions to what happened to Hannah was fascinating. Sometimes I felt Clay’s reactions were a bit insensitive. I mean I understand how he could perceive some of the stuff as not a big deal, but like the book illustrates, when one bad thing after another keeps getting piled on, even the littlest things can seem a lot worse. You just never know what is happening in someone’s life that could drive them to end it, which is something a lot of people should be aware of because we all say or do horrible things to each other without giving a thought to how that will affect that person.

I liked the way Jay Asher decided to write the book. I had heard that the book was just Hannah’s tapes and Clay listening to them, so I was curious how that was written and felt it was really effective. The flow of the book was really good and the transitions between the tapes and Clay, I felt was pretty seamless.

The story is one that I feel is important, both book and show, sure some may say it glorifies suicide or makes people think that you can use suicide to get revenge on the people who hurt them, now I can understand that point of view, but I don’t feel that same way. I feel like it really sheds a light on the warning signs that people like Clay, Tony, and Mr. Porter saw, but didn’t do anything about. It does teach a good lesson. Could there be a better way? Maybe, but isn’t it a good thing that people are discussing the topic of suicide and the signs to watch out for?

This is a tricky book to rate, mainly because I had watched the show first, but ultimately I’d give it 4outof5Stars.

I would recommend reading the book first before watching the show, if you haven’t already. I just think it’ll make the experience of reading the book better if you don’t have the show to compare it to.


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