Hello and happy Wednesday. I’m almost always late to the party when it comes to books or shows everybody seems to be loving. I like to take my time, wait for the excitement to die down, and then I’ll read said book and watch said show. That’s why even though Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher has been around for a while, and then it became even more popular after the show version aired on Netflix, I only recently picked up the book and read it. Spoiler alert, I despised it, and in today’s post I’ll tell you why. Let’s get started, shall we?
Before ranting in shape, I want to start with an obvious trigger warning for suicide. Please, if you are having suicidal thoughts of any kind, seek help in a person, preferably a professional, not a YA novel.
I went into this book sort of blindly, although that’s almost impossible when everybody is talking about it. The first thing I noticed and that I appreciated were the two different perspectives in which the story is told (you know, Clay’s and Hannah’s), as well as the formats. I don’t think I’d ever read a book in which one of the characters narrated their story through recordings, so that was a novelty.
I did like the fact that the author alternates between Clay’s “real time” voice and Hannah’s recordings, but at first it was hard for me to tell who was saying what, even Hanna’s bits were in italics. Overall, the book was easy and fast to read, which I’m thankful for because I wouldn’t have been able to endure a longer, tougher kind of book on this subject.
My problems with this novel started pretty much from the beginning, though, when Hannah says that she’s going to address the people who were the reasons why she killed herself. NO. People are not the reason why others kill themselves. Yes, I agree that teenagers can be brutal, and that bullying is a horrible thing that nobody should ever have to endure, but a person who commits suicide does so because they have mental health issues that either have been neglected or that spiraled out of control.
Now, I was already upset when I was reading because of the point I just mentioned, but then I got even angrier when I read that the author was revealing the way in which Hannah killed herself. This book is being read by many people daily, many teenagers who might be in a very vulnerable situation, and giving them Hanna’s MO, is in a way giving them an option on how they could kill themselves.
Call me Miss Controversial, but I didn’t really sympathize with Hannah’s character, and I thought her tone was snarky and I didn’t like it one bit. Yes, it’s clear that she was going through stuff at school, but I think the root of it all was her having mental health issues that weren’t being treated, and that were being triggered by what went on at school. Want me to give an example? Sure. When she addresses the first guy in her list (I forgot his name, sorry), we learn that she does everything in her power to “casually” bump into him. She even gets his schedule. What does that tell us about Miss Baker? Well, that tells me that she’s sort of a stalker, and that she’s got some pretty clear obsessive tendencies.
I could not stand Clay, or rather “Nice Guy” Clay. Honestly, he was just so annoying. And, like a typical YA character he had his moment of releasing a “breath he didn’t know he was holding.” If you know me, you know I rolled my eyes at this so hard my head hurt. The ending was just like I was expecting, honestly. It was rushed and sort of confusing, and it tried to be hopeful, but at that point I was just done with that story.
I watched the first episode of the show, and there’s going to be a post about it, so the discussion on Thirteen Reasons Why is not over. In the meantime, let me know in the comments whether you read the book and what your thoughts were.
Love, Miss Camila