I am finding it hard to believe that this book has so many positive reviews. This has to be the most boring book I have read in a long time. I keep waiting for it to redeem itself, but so far it has proven to be a book that will be long forgotten.
i completely agree with you. the only reason i read this book was because of the positive feedback i got. it ended up being one of the worst books i ever read. i liked the idea of the story, but the reason for her death was so stupid it ruined the whole book for me.
I think you guys read an another book. This book really was good. If you felt anything like she did in school then you would realize why she did it. Granted there were many different things she could have done but sometimes it is too much on someone.
Based on the reviews this book got I expected it to be really great, but it was a huge dissapointment. I had a really hard time feeling sorry for Hannah. I kept waiting for some big justifiable bombshell reason that she killed herself, but there wasn't one. She pouted through the whole story that people weren't nice enough to her or didn't pay enough attention to her and that was pretty much it. The things she went through weren't any worse than the things that we ALL went through in high school.
Who hasn't been stood up, had a rumor started about them, had a two faced friend or any of the other things she was so distraught over? Who couldn't make a list of 13 people who were rude to them or didn't pay enough attention to them at some point in high school? That's just normal teenage life. The fact that she wanted to punish everyone who wasn't nice enough to her for her death was just petty and pathetic.
Why didn't she go try to make a friend or do something positive with her life? She said that no one tried to help her but people DID try to help her. She just told them go away and then got mad when they did. She came across as a whiner and an attention seeking drama queen, not as a sympathetic character with justified reasons for her angst.
I agree with Bookworm. Ya'll remind me of the students in Hannah's peer communication class. When she had written the note about contemplating suicide they all just wanted more specifics and such, from her instead of actually trying to help her. Ya'll say she is an attention seeking drama queen but if she were she would have made a much bigger deal out of all the things that happened to her. Instead of just sucking it up and keeping it to herself (well atleast until the tapes were released). As for being a winer, WHAT FEMALE ISNT?, I myself, a female, am . If anyone had been in her situation how could they not. Having a boy go from almost standing you up to trying to take your virginity sitting at a booth in a public diner or having your magical first kiss turn into a bad reputation, how could you not wine. Although, yes, may people have had similar problems happen to them, have they had all of them? Have they had all there safe havens, their mind, body, and home, violated? Have they tried to trust and trust, like with Ryan or Courtney, just to find that these were not very trustworthy people? Have they tried to reach out just for a litlle bit of help to find none at all, like when Hannah writes the anonymous note in her peer class? As for trying to do something positive did she or did she not try and join the poetry club just to have Ryan steal one of her poems and print in the school newspaper just to have students and teachers dissect it right in front of her? Not all the acts committed could have been punished by the law, and having already a bad reputation who would have believed that someone had tried to rape her or that she had witnessed a raping.
Well, obviously, it got such high reviews because it was a very powerful book. Still, being that there were many things wrong with the book, it is a touchy subject that stayed in my mind for a day or so. I think it was very painful to read. Watching the deterioration of this utterly stupid girl and then for her to end her life! Talk about sad. Hannah was such a weak character, I didn't want to feel sorry for her. But it was still painful to read.
I see your point about how she is "weak" and how she could have sucked it up and lived with it, but being a teenager does suck sometimes. Not every single girl has the ability to smile when there is nothing to smile about and is able to go through four years alone. I don't feel that way about myself, nor do I have depression. But I know for a fact that I would not be able to go through what she went through. When you are a teenage girl, stuff like that is the end of the world. To her, it seemed like no one wanted to be her friend, nor her boyfriend. She got raped, and to top it off, she feels like SHE was the reason that person was killed. Because she didn't put the stopsign back up. I agree with P. Smith and Bookworm. Whoever calls her weak probably only got stood up once or embarrassed in front of a small crowd; not what she went through. In fact, I am surprised she kept trying and lasted as long as she did. She was strong; until she thought there was no one to be strong for.
Yes, some of what happened to her was awful (the rumors, the Peeping Tom, the molestation at the diner), but SHE CHOSE QUITE A BIT. She could have said NO when offered alcohol. She could have refused to be Courtney's chauffer. She could have stood up and saved Jessica. She could have stopped Jenny from leaving an accident. And, to top it all off, she could have STAYED HOME instead of slinking off to Courtney's house. No hot tub. No embarrassing see-through undies. No sex with Bryce. SHE FREELY ADMITS ALL OF THIS.
What was truly sad was the fact that this girl was SO DAMN DESPERATE to be liked that she threw away her life. She sought validation from the worst sort of people, even after she knew what kind of people they were! She forgot (or never knew) the age old rule: In order to be liked by others, you must first like yourself. From the beginning, I don't think she likes herself at all.
This book isn't a warning bell for parents and teachers about teenage suicide. Rather it should be a wakeup call to teenagers (girls AND boys) about the futility of courting popularity, the brevity of high school and the reorientation of values -- not who you hang with or what you wear, but your ability to make good choices at the right time.
I believe the 'Hannah's' out there will read this book and realize they're not alone. As an adult I enjoyed this book because at one time I was a "Hannah"...once you're out of high school, the world will get better. You'll see you're not alone anymore.
Today, in the era of cyber-bullying, this book (and others like this book) should be used in classes like 'Hannah's where all are allowed to express their feelings annonymously. Seeing my own children go through the peer pressure was disheartening. Peer pressure is strong. "Bullies" don't really understand how their bullying affects those with less self esteem. This book is just as much about the bullies not even seeing themselves as bullies as it is about Hannah. There was nothing wrong with Hannah...she was the victim of rumors. And rumors (and in today's society it seems high school in general) are vicious. We see cell phone videos of people fighting, girls kicking other girls, etc.
One need only read some of the vicious posts on message boards to see that bullying does exist, albeit annonymously. Perhaps the bullies should understand how their actions affect others. This book does that and does that quite effectively.
A lot of you are missing the point of the story. Sure, your right that the reason she did it wasnt justified but that is the point. To YOU it isn't but to some it is. To me it wasn't but people are different. The lesson here has been lost on some people. Just because YOU can deal with certain things doesnt mean others can. Thats why there are bullies and always will be.
As someone who was commited for a period of time during high school for attempted suicide, I found Hannah far too passive, defeatist and ready to blame others for her own unhappiness to be an effective narrator. Asher never really envoked genunie depression in his protagonist's thoughts and without that, Hannah's suicide seemed more vindictive than desperate.
The premise of this book appealed to me, and I was impressed with the way the plot elements--the tapes, the 13 reasons who turned out to be people--organically created a structure for this novel. So why did I feel that this writer kept holding back? Hannah is unlike any high school girl I've ever known, and as much as I wanted to believe her, she just never persuaded me that she'd ever been alive in the first place. I think this writer is capable of much more than he's done here.