In Thirteen Reasons Why Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation in that will deeply affect teen readers.
I HATED THIRTEEN REASONS WHY!! I can’t even begin to order all my thoughts as to how bad this book made me feel. I struggled with the main character and just thought the premise of this book was awful from start to finish. The whole idea that it is okay to blame everyone else for your suicide is plain wrong and could have meant that someone else could have gone down the same route, and this book romanticises that.
Plus there was this really unhealthy thought that by committing suicide that she was somehow getting back at all the people who had ever hurt her or even made her angry. Which whether Thirteen Reasons Why likes it or not is not how it happens. You commit suicide and sure people will be upset and yes it might have an impact but they will carry on living and you will this stationary thing to be remembered. There is no victory in that, and this book makes that as the only point of suicide.
A huge issue I had with this book was the reasons – they were all equal and believe me they shouldn’t have been! I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Plus the vagueness of some of them I just couldn’t get the idea of how self-centred Hannah was being and how awful she made me feel. Some of it was cringe-worthy and not in a thought provoking way. I think the main problem was Hannah thought that everyone was responsible for all of her problems and issues in life.
I would usually go through who my favourite and least favourite characters in Thirteen Reasons Why however I didn’t have any favourites so I thought I would outline my issues… hang tight.
Clay… a seemingly normal character. However the only thing that made him interesting were the tapes, he had no personality and it seemed like his whole existence was Hannah. I just struggled with his point in the book – plus there was no real reason for him to be on the tapes which also annoyed the hell out of me. His whole existence in this book was pointless and unnecessary.
Hannah, she was the most unlikable person in Thirteen Reasons Why… and considering we’re supposed to have some kind of empathy for her it makes it unbearable. In fact by the end I struggled to have even the smallest part of sympathy for her. The cruelty in sending those tapes out angered me and in my eyes she lost any right to complain or have any kind of moral high horse. She fell right down to their level.
Would I recommend Thirteen Reasons Why?? Well lets see – NO. It is an awful book with an awful message and to be honest I read most of it and cringed. What an awful way to look at mental illness and suicide.
Have you read Thirteen Reasons Why? What did you think about it’s representation of suicide and mental illness as a whole? Let me know in the comments!