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Thirteen Reasons Why
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This was a reread for me and I'm so glad I dived back in it. I first fell in love with this story in high school. For the longest time it was the only representation I had for mental illness, I connected with a dead girl because she had so many emotions I also shared sometimes to my own fright. Hannah's story is tragic and heartbreaking. The ending always shook me because she wasn't coming back, you had such a strong narrator for these tragedies but she wasn't going to get up and say ha! It's all a joke. She was gone, and that is one of the reasons I always came back to this book. I needed to know she was gone, that is the outcome of suicide that I didn't want to see at 17, your story is finished. Now as an adult reading it, it's still heartbreaking and terribly tragic and I still connect so strongly to this story. I loved this book and will always love this book. I read more into it now than what I did then. Clay was the perfect perspective to put it in because I can't think good things about any of the other characters, as hard as the tv show wants you too. The tv show has recently released on Netflix and they've changed so much from the original book and part of me wonders is if it's to make it make more sense. The thing is, suicide doesn't make sense. That tragic act doesn't have to make sense. It's sad and scary, and we will ever understand even with 13 separate and valid reasons, it still doesn't make sense. One this book did such a good job of showing is how small things, things we think inconsequential, can be detrimental to someone else. Something as simple as not saying goodbye given the opportunity, can change how someone feels. Now does this mean we have to walk on egg shells? No, that actually impossible. It means watch what your doing basically. If your having a bad day it isn't okay to take it out on someone else, we can control the small things so the big things won't spiral. This book will always hold a special place in my heart, and I'm sure once the shock of the show wears off it will too. I needed to reread this book, it's good to remember what we do and who we are matters. Even when you think you don't matter and no one would care, you do matter. You matter so much! ❤️
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on May 2, 2017
I don't know what I can say about this book that hasn't already been said. I read it after watching the Netflix series, and while there are definitely differences between the two, the combination left me reeling. It is deeply moving, poignant, and yet one of the most hopeful books I've ever read.

The story revolves around Clay, who finds a box of cassette tapes waiting on his doorstep one day. As he listens to them, he is drawn into the story of Hannah, his crush that committed suicide just a couple weeks earlier. The tapes share the thirteen reasons why she made the choice that she did, one for each person that contributed to that decision.

On the surface, it sounds like a horrifying premise for a read. It is a tough read at times, but no less important. Her point of creating the tapes, to be passed to each person on them, was not to be cruel. It was to make a point... the point that how we act toward one another, whether deliberate or not, makes a difference. Any one of those acts can be small in and of itself, but they can add up to push a person over the edge.

Having seen the series and read the book, I have to say something I never thought I would. As much as I loved the book, I felt that the series really showed Hannah's angst just a bit more clearly. Admittedly, some of that was accomplished through changes in the plot and some details. Ideally, I would suggest indulging in both.
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on May 7, 2017
"Thirteen Reasons Why" is a novel that examines teen angst, bullying, suicide, and relationships, in the context of a story about a conflicted high school girl who chose to end her life, rather than continue confronting classmates whom she perceived to be her tormentors. This book very effectively emphasizes the critical importance of parental vigilance and empathy, with regard to the tremendous peer pressure and anxiety experienced by many teenage children, which, in the extreme, can lead to tragedy. It is such a valuable contribution to teenage literature because it reminds its readers of the overarching importance of maintaining open lines of communication between teenagers, their parents, their teachers, and their friends and classmates. It also highlights the fundamental relationship principle that an individual should treat everyone whom they encounter with the same respect and dignity that they would expect to experience in their interpersonal interactions. "Thirteen Reasons Why" is an excellent novel, which is relevant for readers of all ages, and which merits a five-star rating, along with a strong recommendation.
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on May 4, 2017
"Thirteen Reasons Why" is a novel that examines teen angst, bullying, suicide, and relationships, in the context of a story about a conflicted high school girl who chose to end her life, rather than continue confronting classmates whom she perceived to be her tormentors. This book very effectively emphasizes the critical importance of parental vigilance and empathy, with regard to the tremendous peer pressure and anxiety experienced by many teenage children, which, in the extreme, can lead to tragedy. It is such a valuable contribution to teenage literature because it reminds its readers of the overarching importance of maintaining open lines of communication between teenagers, their parents, their teachers, and their friends and classmates. It also highlights the fundamental relationship principle that an individual should treat everyone whom they encounter with the same respect and dignity that they would expect to experience in their interpersonal interactions. "Thirteen Reasons Why" is an excellent novel, which is relevant for readers of all ages, and which merits a five-star rating, along with a strong recommendation.
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on November 6, 2017
The story, although told from the perspective of Clay, is a story of Hannah – a teenage girl who committed suicide. In 13 tapes she unrevealed 13 reasons why she decided to kill herself. Each tape is meant for a different person who contributed to Hannah’s death, and Clay is one of them.

In order to like this book, one needs to get over the selfishness a of Hannah and the way she over-reacts, and find some empathy for the character. It took some effort on my end, because while reading it I caught myself thinking multiple times that a lot of people go through the things Hannah was exposed to (or much worse) and do not end up killing themselves. I had to constantly remind myself that not everyone is resilient and strong enough to cope with the daily challenges, and that suicide in fact is a quite selfish act. I had to remind myself that rarely people kill themselves “for a reason”, and do it most likely because of the chemical imbalance in their brain.

I was irritated when I found out why Clay ended up to be mentioned on Hannah’s tape, and felt bad for him to go through the stress.

The book addresses sexism and bullying, and shows how rumour and hearsay can affect someone’s life.

Overall I liked this book, however I am not fully sure if I would recommend it for everyone. I would probably suggest it for teenagers, just to demonstrate how badly things can turn as a result of bullying.

I did not LOVE the story, but it made me reflect. I am left with mixed fillings about this book that I am yet to digest.

"You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play"

After reading "13 Reasons Why" I tried watching the TV show and gave up on episode 3. The book is better (as it usually turns out to be).
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on November 5, 2017
Is this a four star book? If you consider the genre- yes it is. It is hard to find a young adult novel that takes on a serious topic and makes it entertaining without pandering to overprotective parents who want to shelter high school kids from the harsh realities they are exposed to anyways. I do think the book had a couple of flaws mainly the reactions of the male protagonist and the whole reason as to why he was even on the list was pretty weak. I won't say the reasons she killed herself ended up being the ones I had shaped in my head at the beginning of the story. In fact a few of the people on her list may have had the more typical explanations of why suicide might be considered. I even thought maybe by doing these tapes Hannah might drive a few to suicide and not necessarily the ones you wish would get kicked in the teeth for the harm they caused her. Also the fact that she never went to her parents for help but instead expected peers and teachers to read her mind is something I think a lot of teenagers do experience. That assumption that people should just know what's wrong and how to help played into her demise. Clay's reactions didn't ring true only because initially their relationship seemed like just a crush but then while listening to these tapes it turned into love? I think pity, and anger (which there was a little depicted) might have seemed more sincere given their relationship. Because of the layout of the book there was a lot of telling, the map was obviously a literary tool to do more showing- it didn't work for me. The book was entertaining and I did want to find out what happened. I'm curious to see the tv series adaptation of the book.
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on September 22, 2017
This book was a "must read" recommendation from a friend. There should be more awareness regarding suicide among young teens and adults, but I was somewhat disappointed in this approach. Told through the thoughts of a teen boy as he listens to tapes of a young girl's 13 reasons for taking her life, I had a bit of difficulty switching back and forth between Clay's thoughts and Hannah's dictation on the tapes. Clay's sensitivity and responses to the tapes are heartrending.

The writing was well done, with excellent insight into the subject matter. From what I understand some of the schools are utilizing the book to educate students regarding suicide. It relays the serious ramifications of what peer pressure imposes on others. The premise for this book is appropriate for teens, and it may assist in bringing to light the seriousness of the actions and reactions that lie beneath the surface of a youngster's psyche. Portions of the book brought me to tears.

It's definitely worth the read. Parents could benefit from reading this book for it's raw honesty regarding what we may consider the "little" things in life. Those "little" things are "big" things for our children. If reading this book could save even one life it's worth taking the time to read it.
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on November 26, 2017
There’s not much I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said, so I’ll keep this short. This is one of those books… one of those books that everyone needs to read because it has such an important message. It’s the kind of book that makes you realize that everything you do has an impact and that you never know what someone else is going through. Some of the things that happened to Hannah may seem like nothing, but to someone who was already drowning it was everything. But then there are other things that happen to Hannah that nobody should have to deal with. This book is heartbreaking because every single sign was there and nobody saw them or did anything to reach out to Hannah. And it makes you wonder how many signs you may be missing because you ignore signs or brush them off. This is the kind of book that when you finish you need some time to decompress from and while it is a heartbreaking read, I also think it’s a necessary read.
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on May 8, 2017
I did not hear about this novel until after I say the trailer on Netflix. During me viewing the trailer I noticed it derived from a book and we all know the book 95% of the time has more details than a series or movie. However, this was different. The story was very detailed paying close attention (in my opinion) to three characters. As for the series on Netflix, it focused more on the effects of everyone while still paying attention to those three characters. I would definitely recommend reading Thirteen Reasons Why even if the series was already viewed.
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on September 9, 2017
The dual narration of Hannah and clay was confusing at times. It wasn't clear when the author would switch characters and I found myself having to reread entire paragraphs because I thought the other person was narrating and it was confusing. Also, the vocabulary the author used to portray the characters as teens in high school was overly simplistic and juvenile. The book was way less graphic in its descriptions of the very serious and traumatic events that took place and contributed to the suicide of the main character. Downplaying the severity of the things that led to Hannah's death trivialized the things that were reasons to end her own life. Thankfully the 13 Reasons Why television series on Netflix addressed the serious subject matter of topics such as suicide, bullying, rape, drug and alcohol addiction, and peer pressure in a way that was much more true to the reality of these traumatic events.
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