Book Discussion: 13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, deals with the idea of suicide which must be explored nowadays in books, considering the huge rate of teenage suicides. At first, the book felt intriguing. I mean a dead teen’s audio-taping her suicide note, expounding the 13 reasons why she killed herself, sounds interesting (and intimidating) enough! But I got really disappointed at the end. I somehow felt that this book has romanticized the notion of suicide. I think Hannah Baker, the protagonist, was a spiteful kid who enjoyed sending her acquaintances into innumerable guilt trips.

I do not like Hannah. I am sorry if that sounds harsh but I can’t help it. I am not belittling her problems. I know that even the most minimal reasons can trigger suicidal thoughts. But in Hannah’s case, I think she indulged herself in some post-death vindictiveness (wasn’t she a bit masochistic as well?). The guy Clay, from whose perspective we get to know the entire story, seemed a little over the top in terms of niceness. I don’t blame a single person, whom Hannah accused of ill-treating her, except Bryce Walker. Well, RAPE is an unforgivable crime. Other than him, all the other characters were just acting out of adolescent hormones. Being mean in high school is nothing unnatural. All of us have been mean at some point of time or the other and though it is not acceptable, it is also not inexcusable. It is just another human attribute. You cannot do anything about it. Hannah was herself responsible for some of the incidents. She allowed Courtney to treat her like a bag full of crap and did not try to patch things up with Jessica. Never once did she try to clear latter’s misconceptions. She was a silent spectator when Jessica got raped. She could have reported against Jenny and confronted Zach for stealing her notes. And how could she let Ryan go scot free? Above all, she allowed a rapist to have sex with her even though he was the object of her heart’s deepest contempt. And Mr. Porter was the most unrealistic character I had ever read of. What he did was unethical. You cannot just tell a suicidal person to move on (casually). She went to him with a lot of expectations. By the way what was Clay doing in your list if he had nothing to do with your suicide? What were up to Hannah? Sorry but I do not get what Hannah was trying to do with her life. She seemed to have lost all hopes upon herself even before fighting.

The muddling up of Hannah’s voice with that of Clay’s confused the hell out of me. Am I the only one who did not like this book? I am sorry if I spoilt it for you but this is exactly how I feel. This book was just not for me. Please drop a line at the comments section and tell me what your thoughts are about this book. I will be waiting for a response.

My rating- 2.5/5

Fin!

-Debanjana

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