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Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

January 6, 2014

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That feeling of achievement when you reached the end of a book. It was for this one, plus relief. Well technically I didn’t reach the last page because after I realized I was at the Appendices, I marked it close.

I’ve been stuck with this book for more than half a year. My extra-curriculars were all over the place the past year (which is why I haven’t updated the blog as much as I wanted to / but I’m making it all up now – I hope you’re noticing it) but yes that was just merely an excuse. My schedule has nothing to do with finishing the book. Truth is, I dreaded going through its pages.

I pushed myself to finish and today I finally did, which is why I’m so happy and relieved I’m free. Lol. I mean I won’t have to deal with it anymore. I know I have the option not to continue but I wanted to give it a chance. Like there might be a major twist which could change the way I think and feel about it. Plus, the comments and opinions that I have heard about it are pretty good. I wanted justifications for their words.

The plot is interesting. It’s not the usual Young Adult fiction dwelling on junior high school love or anything else common. I found it cool and I was excited to start. I wanted to know why. And Clay Jensen is a nice name.

I thought the stories were arranged according to the degree. But as I went on (and now that I’ve finished the whole thing), I think they really were and the reason why I had that WTF reaction is that, they all have the same degree. At least for the first eight. Only Hannah Baker thinks they aren’t and that they are good enough. I mean, enough to justify what she did. I waited for the most reasonable casette tape. Unfortunately, (I’d like to think) it’s one of those tapes Tony have.

Suicide. It’s a strong subject.

I found Hannah’s thirteen reasons too superficial. In my perspective, the ultimate reason was because she was being bullied. She could have gotten past through all of that if she had not been too emotional. Too full of pride. She distanced herself from other people which is why she was always alone and felt lonely. She seeked for attention rather than strength. The pain was self-inflicted. Everything that were on the tapes, I don’t think they were extraordinary. Every teenager goes through that phase in life where strength and way of coping are being challenged. I don’t aim to sound like some I’ve-gone-through-with-that-I-know-how-you-feel being but those things in life are meant to bring out the beast (yes I did not misspell) in you and transform you into someone who’s more ready. Life won’t be kind at all times and no one is getting younger, you have to be armed.

The tenth tape onwards though, well they were too much for a teen to bear. But again, had she not let the first eight eat her up, the last four wouldn’t happen. It’s true, everything affects everything. And the way she dealt with her shallow problems (if you can really call them as such) affected the others that came after.

I skipped the ninth tape because, Clay was the main man. Supposedly the main man.But there was nothing about him. What a major disappointment. If I were Clay I would really consider it as an absolute waste of time. Imagine he lied to his mom and made up different excuses just to hear what was on those tapes only to find out he wasn’t significant at all. Hannah could have spared him, really. She could still terrorize all those people who bullied her without including Clay. And I figured how much you can feel my sympathy for him. Lol.

Suicide has become more common nowadays and it’s alarming. In our country, I’ve been hearing teens taking their own lives due to superficial reasons, too. Failing grades, poverty and even bullying as well are three of the common reasons. It’s sad (at the same time annoying) to realize that teens today cannot move past the transformation stage, that they are becoming weak. I don’t mean to generalize teens here, I just need to say that to make my point. Sorry!

I have two points:

1. If I am a teenager and I am dealing with bullies everyday, and I happen to read Thirteen Reasons Why, if I am emotionally weak I’d probably kill myself too. Sending out casette tapes to all those that I blame my misery for would be cool. Like, maybe even for the last time they would stop looking at me like a loser.

2. On the other hand if I choose to be victorious from bullying, reading this book might empower me. Like, I don’t want to end up like Hannah Baker who’s a weakling therefore I’d be stronger and won’t let the bullies affect me. I’m bulletproof and titanium, you know. *Insert smiley here*

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