Saturday, 8 April 2017

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


My rating
My review
I can totally see why this story has become so huge, and now turned into a show. While scrolling through everyone's review, I saw that most of them had given it high ratings. I might not totally agree with the story, which is apparent from my three star rating, but I still think it's a very important book. The only issue I had was that the story didn't truly justify the suicide.

This is a very intense book, discussing many serious issues, but most importantly: suicide. The story starts off after Hannah commits suicide, and leaves cassette tapes with thirteen reasons why she ended her life. And while I think the message this book gives is very important and should be read by everyone, how even a small act you do could leave a major impact on other's life, I still feel confused, and can't fully agree with some of Hannah's reasons. One might think how such a small action drove her towards ending her life, but it added to the pain and struggles she was going through at that time.

I've had this book for about two years, but most of the time I avoided it since the topic seemed too heave to me. But when I got to know that it was turned into a show, the book came to my attention again and I finally picked it up. I already knew that the book dealt with suicide, but it also touches the issues like bullying and rape.

While I couldn't wrap my mind around the suicide, I did understand what every tape was trying to say. It shows how cruel a person could be, how far they would go just to hurt someone without thinking of the outcome. Hannah's story started same way, one small action, one thing that was supposed to be joke, started it all. As we progress through the story, there are characters which are mentioned in Hannah's story, and the things they did literally had me angry at how low a person can go. We often read about rape, and the bullying that happens to girls, and guys, and how horrifying it is. This book has many scenes which are just too terrifying to read.

I have read some books which deals with topics like suicide, but most of them have been written in a way that gives you hope, but I don't think I can say same for this story. We all know that the main character is already dead, and the tapes are all flashbacks, but the thing that makes this story stand out is the way it portrays the emotion of Hannah, her relationship with all the students and people around her and how they affect her life.

I just think that the suicide of Hannah, which was the main plot, wasn't discussed properly. I mean, she knew how badly the bullying affected her life, how all those people who intentionally (or some unintentionally) hurt her, so I just didn't get the blaming that she did in her tapes. I know it was a big deal for her, but if you tell someone that a person died because you took few notes from their bag, and you're responsible for it, you don't know what kind of impact it'll have on that person. I'm not defending any of the characters, because some of them actually need to be punished, and even this realization through tapes isn't enough. But I'm just saying that blaming someone for suicide is a very big thing, so it just got me a bit confused when I thought about it.

But most of all, it reminds you that if you know someone who's feeling down, or seems even a bit off, you have to reach out to them, not matter what.

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