"13 Reasons Why" Book Review

February 16, 2017

I just finished the young adult fiction book, "13 Reasons Why" by Jay Asher. The book is being adapted into a Netflix series and it's the story of a teenage girl who recently committed suicide. Before taking her own life, she sends 13 people cassette tapes describing why they made her do it. The book seamlessly integrates the voice on the tapes with the thoughts and feelings of the teenage boy listening to them as he wonders how he caused her such pain.

Before you watch it I wanted to give you my review.

 

The Good:

-It's so well written that you *could* read it in one sitting. I didn't, because I forced myself to put it down to sleep, but the next day I finished it.

-It deals with themes that are troubling teenagers today including; rumors, bullying, loneliness and the desire to be loved and accepted. 

-The themes are so strong that it makes you look inward, questioning how you treat people. Even the littlest thing could hurt someone and it made me reflect on my life and what I can do to be a better person.

-It keeps you on the edge of your seat. From page one I was invested and felt myself going through the trauma with the main character. 

 

The Bad:

-It's a morbid premise. You start the book knowing the main character is dead but somehow I convinced myself that it would all be a joke at the end. Unfortunately it doesn't. 

-The teens accused of harassment on the tapes never get to defend themselves. We, as the reader, never get to hear their side of the story. Some of the characters are painted as villains but are they really? We will never know. 

 

Conclusion:

This is such a good book and it's extremely relevant for today's teens. I'm very excited for the show on Netflix but if you have a chance to read the book beforehand I would recommend it.