13 Reasons Why: Jay Asher
I wanted to talk about this book in my post because it has suddenly been everywhere due to the release of the Netflix TV show. Asher published this book in 2007 and it has been relevant ever since. I don’t think it has ever really left the Top-Books-To-Read tables that you see in book stores or been too far off the best seller lists online. For Young Adults or Adults, this is a must read book that has been a must read for the ten years its been released.
For those who don’t know what it’s about; it is a story through the eyes of two protagonists. Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker. The novel is based around Hannah’s story but the reader experiences her story through Clay’s eyes. Hannah Baker committed suicide and instead of a note, she creates a series of tapes where each side of a tape revolves around a person and a reason to why she decided to end her life. These tapes are passed in consecutive order through each reason, or person that is on the tapes. Basically, you receive this box of tapes, you better listen and see what Hannah has to say about you because you are one of 13 reasons why she made the decision she did. Clay receives these tapes and struggles through the journey that Hannah relays to her listeners because he genuinely does not understand why he is a part of these tapes and because he hears about horrible experiences that Hannah endured from fellow classmates.
I loved the book when I read it a few years ago and I still do, but readers be aware that the book and even the TV show touches on some heavy topics like suicide, substance abuse and sexual assault. The book is marked as a Young Adult novel but if you are not mature enough to handle those kinds of topics then this might not be the read for you and that is completely okay!
When I heard there would be a TV show for the book I was really excited because I think with a TV show you can add so many more details than with a movie so I had extremely high hopes that the TV would be good and I honestly think it was close to the book! Now there was some creative liberties added with a bit more of a back story which does worry me for how a possible season 2 will turn out. Will the writers be able to keep the ideas of the characters in mind? Or will everything get so convoluted like TV shows are famous for doing and the main point of the book will be redundant? I don’t know how the writers will play that but I really hope that it respects the book and stays on track.
I also want to disclaim that for those who decide not to read the book and just watch the show (as a book lover this hurts and the book is always better than the film version), there is a lot of graphic scenes. The book and show are shining a light on the sad, unfortunate, heartbreaking and soul shattering affects of suicide, rape and substance abuse. These topics are not meant to be taken lightly and the book and the TV show displayed those topics in an honest way but that display will probably horrify, embarrass or make some uncomfortable to watch and that’s okay; just be aware of what it is you are getting into and even who you are watching with! This is a heavy topic for a post but I highly recommend all of you look this book up and take a look a the show as well because it was really well done! I think the books are always better than their film counterparts and for such a heavy topic, the book was able to make it seem bearable and something that can be talked about and worked through. While some people who are suicidal may feel like they are alone and have no one to go to, this novel shows us otherwise; there is always someone who is on your side. Whether they are a part of your daily life like a friend, family member, teacher or coach or even if they are not. Maybe you reach out anonymously to a help hotline or a therapist, there is always someone you can talk to and you do have other options. It may not seem like it at the time but suicide is not your only option.
Sorry for such a heavy post but look it up! I don’t think you’ll regret it. Let me know what you thought in the comments or either the book or the TV series.