Monday, November 19, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s really hard for me to write a review of this book without getting angry. Suicide makes me angry, and there’s just too much to say about it that I can’t put the whole thing into a review of this book.

I might one day take the time to talk about my feelings about suicide, but for now, I’ll just give everyone a break and focus on the book.

So, I really like the book, even though I have issues with Hannah “blaming” her suicide on other people. She can blame them for their stupid and thoughtless, and even criminal, actions, but it’s completely unfair to put the blame of her suicide on those actions.

Teenagers make mistakes all the time, and I have both treated my peers badly and had been treated badly as a teen. I have had my closest friends turned against me, and had things get so bad to the point that I had to change schools. I got over it, we all got over it, we grew up and we’re all friends again now. Maybe my case wasn’t as bad as Hannah’s, but there are many other people who had it worse, and they got through it too. Two different people can go through the exact same thing, but they will react differently because of who they are.

Bottom line, people don’t contemplate suicide because of what other people do to them. They do it because they can’t handle it. Does it make what those other people did right? No. But they are in no way responsible for the suicide. Responsible for being jerks, maybe, making people miserable, sure, but suicide? No.

So I don’t like Hannah, I don’t think she should’ve committed suicide, the things that happened to her aren’t even that bad, and she did have good things happen which she by choice pushed away. The part about how her parents weren’t there for her was also weak. It’s also not like she didn’t have the strength to fight back, the fact that she did what she did before she committed suicide, showed that she had the anger, the will to stand up for herself.

The fact that she shared all those thoughts and emotions *after* she killed herself is such a cop out. Suicide was her choice, she had many choices and she chose to kill herself, yet in the end, she wouldn’t even take responsibility for that one final action.

However, while I don’t like Hannah, at all, I loved the way the story was told. I loved how intense and emotional it was. I always say that I like books that make me think, but the best books are the ones that make you feel. I felt deeply with this one. Anger. Frustration. It doesn’t have to be good feelings all the time.

I could’ve given this book only 4 stars instead of 5, because I felt that all the reasons for Hannah’s suicide were really weak, but instead of blaming the author for not being able to come up with convincing reasons for Hannah’s actions, I choose to believe that he made Hannah’s reasons weak on purpose, because, let’s be honest, there’s no reason good enough for suicide.


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