Books

13 Reasons Why – Book Review

About the book:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

What I thought about the book:

Usually the book reviews I do have a very different format from this one, where I tell you about the book’s plot in my own words and what I thought about it simultaneously. For this book, I decided to try a different approach. Hope you all like it.

Anyways, the only way I can explain this book is that it was intense. The narration was beautifully executed, and it dealt with some serious issues a teen faces one way or the other in their life.

Suicide is a very strong topic, I personally feel that it is often not discussed enough like how Hannah points out no one was willing to discuss it when she dropped an anonymous letter to her teacher without knowing who was the person behind that letter. I personally feel like suicide is never the answer, as God gave us this life and we are no one to end it, He gave it to us as possession and He is the only one who can take it (I won’t go in detail of it, but intentionally killing yourself or someone is what I’m talking about not accidents).

Hannah tells Clay (and the reader) of the reasons that led to her making the decision of ending her life, the snowball effect as she calls it. Teens, I have realized can be absolutely ruthless at times. Spreading rumors, petty jealousy, not thinking about the consequences to their actions; no wonder there are so many depressed souls out there.

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.

This perfectly explains how we are so willing to mess with someone, poke fun at one of their insecurities without actually knowing that what that person is going through. Hannah, I personally felt could had handled a few things better than she did, but then again she was going through a trauma of her own, as she felt trapped in her own mind. All she needed was somebody who would care, people did care, but not just enough.

A lot of people who’ve read this book, condemn Hannah for committing suicide and say that she could had handled things better (I know she could had too), she was being selfish (maybe?), she was just whining and needed an excuse to blame her death on people. She in the end does say she doesn’t blame anyone on the list for her death, but she just wanted people to know how she felt, and how these things led up to her ending her life. This book if nothing else, tells us that we should be more considerate of other people’s feelings, keep an eye out for someone who needs help, and that we should try to help them in anyway possible.

In the end, Clay runs after this girl called Skye, who he sees Hannah in, drastic change in appearance and how she faded in into the crowd. He wasn’t able to save Hannah from herself and the world, but he opened his eyes and realized that if not Hannah, he can still help someone else.

The tapes, I found the whole a dead person speaking in to your ears a bit unnerving and I think Clay would agree with me on that.

On a side note: To anyone, who feels trapped or suicidal, please seek help, find an outlet in form of a psychologist, a friend, books, anything. If you feel like no one you know, knows what you are feeling, try to make them understand; and people keep an open mind while listening to somebody’s problem. Even a little act of kindness can change someone’s life.

 

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