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Thirteen Reasons Why
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on April 6, 2017
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 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 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 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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on May 2, 2017
The book or the Netflix series? Both really mater, and both serve and cautionary tales for our slut shaming, rapist, cruel cultures. Middle school and high school can be so awful and isolating. I think this is an important book and should be taught in high school.
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on August 15, 2017
I had watched the Netflix "13 Reasons Why" before I read the book on which it was based. Usually I think the films made from books are inferior to the books, but in this case, I was disappointed to discover that the book had less to offer. Teen suicide is so tragic and heartbreaking. The depiction of what led to the young high school girl's decision to take her own life in the Netflix series wrung my heart and pierced my mind with mixed feelings of anguish and anger at the missed opportunities of her family and "friends" to save her and the heartless attitudes and selfish, cruel, thoughtless and unfair actions of other classmates who treated her so callously. I'm sure the book would have affected me more, if I hadn't seen the Netflix "13 Reasons Why" before reading it. The few changes made by the series creator, which I assume were agreed to by the book's author, greatly enhanced the powerful message of the story. I recommend reading the book before viewing the Netflix series.
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on June 20, 2017
Usually I read the book first and then watch the show/movie, but I was a little behind on the times and didn't realize there was a book until after I had finished the show. No big deal. I don't know that it would have changed my opinion of it any way.
Don't get me wrong, I like the book and think there's great meaning behind it, but it lacked so much substance. The show went into detail about the characters and how it affected each of them after the tapes were completed while this focused one night on Clay only. Situations played out differently and quite honestly if I hadn't watched the show first I wouldn't have really known who or what Jay Asher was talking about in his book. He isn't a descriptive writer at all, which is the main reason I personally love to read.. you can build on your perception of the scenery and how you think the characters look in your mind.
Read it for yourself to form an opinion of your own because everyone's taste is different.
I guess I was hoping for something that wasn't such an easy middle-school read.
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on July 27, 2017
Anyone that has been through public school has experienced bullying. Some we're lucky enough to have experienced it second hand, but most of us were too poor, or rich, or fat, or thin, or had the wrong hair, clothes, skin, accent, hobbies, etc, at some point. Anyone who can be honest with themselves will enjoy and get something out of this book. As a parent, I am so glad I came across it because it is easy to forget how dramatic and final things are for teenagers and remembering that helps me to be a better parent and person. Thank you Mr. Asher and I look forward to your next book.
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