Thirteen Reasons Why
Clay Jensen returned from school one afternoon to find a mysterious package for him without a return address. He opens it and finds cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a classmate who committed suicide earlier in the month.
On those tapes, Hannah explains that the receiver of the tapes were connected to the reasons why she decided to end her life. And if the receiver listens through it all, he will know why and how he is connected in her demise.
My sister recommended that I read this book. I found its premise interesting. Recording a tape of what was supposed to be your suicide letter and sending it out to people who affected your decision was exciting and scary at the same time but as it turns out, I may have set my expectations too high. I feel disappointed.
To stay true to the title, I also made my list of 13 reasons why the book was good or bad:
- The plot was good and exciting. Having to find out the reason behind a suicide through listening in a series of cassette tapes is something unique now that we live in the digital age. Cassette tapes are now obsolete and mentioning it excites us who listened to our favorite bands’ albums recorded in these little things.
- It is not everyday you read a kind of story detailing the events that lead to one’s decision to end her life. The idea is new (at least to me) and tickles one’s curiosity.
- I liked Clay Jensen. He sounded very sincere about the way he felt about Hannah. He also felt very troubled why he was included in the list of people why she committed suicide. I felt sorry for him because he liked Hannah despite all the negative things he heard about her and lost her even before he had the chance to confess.
- There are a lot of drama going on in highschool. It’s when you start to find yourself. School is not always about the good stuff. You encounter a lot of people with personalities and perspectives very different from you. You don’t have to hang with the people you think you don’t get along well with but you have to find the time to look for people who complements your personality well which I think Hannah failed to do.
- After reading through it all, I found the reasons why Hannah Baker committed suicide shallow. I didn’t really grasp the reason why. Yes, she was the new kid in school so she felt left out and experienced bullying in a subtle form. If you ask me, there are far more worse bullying cases than what she had experienced.
- If you think about it, she was like trying to take revenge on the people who have hurt her feelings by blaming them for her death. But the thing is, she never stepped up against them, she let them push her around. If she did not like what they were doing or if she believes that these people have hurt her, she should have told them and maybe then people will treat her differently.
- I think it was unfair to put Mr. Porter on the list. He was their guidance councilor and was just trying to help Hannah out. The thing is, he does not know what she was depressed about. She gave him very little details but did not disclose it all and then walked out on him even before they even got started addressing her issues. So, how was he supposed to help her then?
- I hate Hannah. She was putting the blame on other people. She did not really try to look for solutions to her problems. She did not address them, she just let everything ruin her life.
- In the end, she was this girl who has severe trust issues. When she transferred to a new neighborhood, it seems like she was running away from her past life and trying to start on a new slate but things went out of hand. Maybe there are more reasons why she felt depressed and more unsettling events that happened than what she experienced in her new school.
- I think Hannah was very selfish. She was always thinking about herself how others are trying to ruin her life. She was very pessimistic about everything. She does not seem to see the good in others but dwell on the negative things she observes on other people.
- Hannah kept pointing out the cause and effect of other people’s actions against her. This is true for everyone of us. There will be cause and effects in every little thing we do to ourselves and to the people around us. I think this is one fact in the story which will remind us to be wary of our actions. We do not know the state of other people’s mind and we have to be sensitive of our actions and words.
- The book glamorizes suicide. Although the author tries to point that what we do to others have effects on their perceptions,feelings,whatever, it does not change the fact that Hannah Baker took her life. Hannah talks about why she took her life because someone wronged her gives an impression or an idea to already troubled kids that they can take revenge on people who hurt them by killing themselves and let the wrong doers live with guilt for the rest of their lives instead of facing their problems and asking for help.
- Suicide is not the quickest answer to your problems. It should never be the go-to option. Ever.