Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret. . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen doesn’t want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.
Then Hannah’s voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes– and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.
All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his small town. . .
. . .and what he discovers changes his life forever.
This one is probably one of the best books I’ve read so far though I wouldn’t know about it if it wasn’t for Netfilx (I know, shame on me…); after I marathoned through the series I just HAD to read the book.
There are a lot of characters but it’s told from the perspective of Clay and, obviously, Hannah, who committed suicide and left a shoe box filled with cassette tapes to be mailed to all the interested parties, explaining to them why they came to be in her mailing list.
To me, it is an unputdownable book. I’ve read many comments on how Hannah is bratty, selfish and over-sensitive… yes, she is! Most of us have experienced that kind of teasing in high school and are quite fine now… yes, we are! But, we cannot forget that everyone is different and THAT IS OK; we need to be tolerant and compassionate enough to walk a mile on someone else’s shoes. Maybe we won’t agree with how they feel about certain situations but that’s how they’re feeling and IT’S OK TOO… we can’t change it but can help them bear it. And that’s exactly what Hannah needed: someone willing to help her cope!
I did sympathize with Hannah because, I’ve never been suicidal or had mental health issues, but I’ve felt overwhelmed and not knowing how to keep going; the difference is that I snapped out of it, turned to my faith, my friends and family for comfort, and found my way from there. Hannah’s decision to commit suicide is not made because of one thing, it’s made because too many things added to the weight that’s crushing her; she had an over-sensitive personality and just couldn’t find her way out. Attention seeking? Maybe but, again, everybody is different and who are we to judge; some need attention as a way to cope, some don’t and BOTH ARE OK.
This book is about taking responsibility for our actions and understanding that the smallest of our frowns can be someone’s breaking point. Since we are all entitled to have bad days and life doesn’t smell like roses all the time, I always tell my kids and husband if I’m having one just so they know it’s not them, it’s me, and also encourage them to do the same in an effort to try and not to hurt someone’s feelings if they snap.
I found it an interesting and eye-opening YA novel and I, as a parent encourage other parents and teachers to take a look at this book just so we can have an insight on some things our kids may face, some signs to look for and just be watchful.