Hello and happy Friday. One of the most problematic books out there, which has been adapted to a Netflix show is 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It is, in my opinion, an invitation for vulnerable readers and viewers to consider suicide as an option and it just worries me what it can do to people, especially teenagers who come across this content.
I’m not saying that we should not read about suicide, I am saying that this theme was not handled with the care that something so problematic should. If someone has recommended this book to you, or you don’t know whether you should read it, I’m here to bring you not one but two alternatives that deal with the topic of suicide in a smarter way. Needless to say, if you feel that this is a very sensitive theme for you, do not read these books.
On one hand, we have My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. I’ve deemed this book a “must read” because I think it sends a very strong message when it comes to truly seeing, appreciating and loving the world around us, even when struggling with mental illness. It has romance, but it is especially heavy on friendship and the importance of having a tight bond with someone, which is something that 13 Reasons Why lacked.
On the other hand, there’s Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. There is a suicide attempt in this book, but we get to explore and try to understand, if this is even possible, what led to this person taking such an extreme decision. Again, there is a discussion related to what life is worth and what makes it so valuable. It is way more than just the story of someone who has decided to die, and that is what makes it so powerful.
Did you read/ watch 13 Reasons Why? What are your thoughts about it? Let me know in the comments below.
Love, Miss Camila