Thirteen Reasons Why has gained impressive popularity from my peers since the release of it’s Netflix TV series. I had heard of the book a few years ago, but I never picked it up… until now. With everyone watching the show and not reading the book, I wanted to see what the book was really like before judging the filmed version. Everyone hearing the story for the first time loved the show, but I wanted to know what was at the heart; what had Jay Asher written so long ago that was now so famous? Well, I found out.
Unfortunately, I was not very pleased.
This story was disappointing to me, but I lend that to all of the excitement I was hearing about the TV show. Maybe I was expecting too much? I’ll never know, but I would never want to read this book again.
The story was not engaging, suspenseful, or heart-wrenching, which is what one may expect from a book about teen suicide. Instead, it was just a bland recounting of the reasons Hannah killed herself, and at such a fast pace that there was nothing hidden from you. The reasons came one after the other with no break in between, so there was no mystery or anything keeping you on the edge of your seat. I honestly don’t know what made me finish this book. Probably sheer curiosity as to why people liked it.
There was no passion in this book and very little love. Hannah was irrational and immature. She did not look to her parents ONCE, although she admitted to never having any problems relationship-wise with them. She hardly reached out to anyone, and when people presented themselves to her she pushed them away. Hannah wanted to die and no one could change that, and thus this book was depressing and boring. Even her reasons were lack luster and for the most part, fixable. She cared too much about the reputation everyone had made up for her, even though you shouldn’t care what people in high school think because in four years you won’t have to deal with them anymore. She let herself fall apart and it seemed to even entertain her. She was bored and upset, and so, she killed herself. Not the best idea for a book.
Was it realistic at the very least? I’m not too sure. Possibly. However, the parts where it was reminiscent of high school reality were simplistic. Going to a locker, the peppiness of cheerleaders, and the general character and attitude of all high school student bodies. This book was nothing special and it was the opposite of uplifting.
I do not recommend this book. If you are looking for help, this is something you should steer clear of: all it will do is make you feel more alone. I hate to have to give such a harsh review, but trust me, I’m downplaying it.
With reluctant Smiles,
Ivy B. Lake