Thirteen Reasons Why

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything… affects everything.”

If you have not read Thirteen Reasons Why, you should. It has taken me this long to pick up this book and I am glad that I did. I related to this book in more ways than I would like to admit to the world, but I did. Hannah Baker, your words – your world, left me speechless. Jay Asher, thank you for bringing this book to the world. Selena Gomez and team, thank you for making it into a Netflix series – I can’t wait to start it.

Thirteen Reasons Why is about a girl who commits suicide. A girl, that didn’t seem so troubled but was screaming for help. A girl who was not crazy, who was not anything like the rumors surrounding her. A girl who puts her words to use and leaves behind her reasons why. Everything affects everything.

This is a young adult novel, one that is not naive or hard to understand. It is a novel that is full of meaning and full of lessons. It takes place all in one night with Clay receiving the tapes and not believing the voice that is on the other end. Hannah Baker, who promises that each tape will reveal what contributed to her death, who is responsible. All of the thirteen people, all of the reasons could all happen in a high school setting – hell it could happen in any setting during life. It is told through dual perspectives: Hannah on the tapes and Clay listening. As readers we get to feel how Clay felt, the realization of what he was listening to, and the breakdown.

Suicide is an uncomfortable thing to talk about. It is even more difficult to write about. Jay Asher does a wonderful job. It does not stray from the sensitivity of the topic. The perspective that he gives through Hannah, I loved. It felt as if I was Hannah, playing out her thoughts in my own mind. Living her journey.

This novel is heartbreaking, utterly. After every side of the tape, I had to take pause. It hit me in places that I wasn’t expecting and left me in shock. It shows the ugly truth of what happens when rumors spread. How one harmless play can create a ripple effect that spreads faster than a spiderweb. It opened my eyes and left me in awe.

The bonus at the end, having an interview with Jay Asher about his experience writing the book and where he got the idea for it allowed more understanding. His message was simple and to the point: a small action can hurt others. He succeeded at telling the story that he wanted to create.

There is no other words that I can say about this, it impacted me that much. I know, I have said it before but you need to read this. You will feel all the emotions; the highs and the lows. You will be left with a deep cut on your heart. It won’t disappoint you.

That is all. I don’t want to spoil this book or the Netflix series. I will leave you with one last quote:

“Sometimes we have thoughts that even we don’t understand. Thoughts that aren’t even true – that aren’t really how we feel – but they’re running through our heads anyway because they’re interesting to think about.”

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