I actually read Thirteen reasons why back in 2014. I’d just discovered the joy that was YA/ teenage books and I couldn’t get enough. I remember enjoying it, and passing it to a colleague who definitely did not… but apart from that, very little. When I heard that they had dramatised the book on Netflix, I was super excited, if a little wary. I was hoping to re-read the book before writing this but (obviously) no chance…
Thirteen reasons why is the story of Hannah Baker, a girl who commits suicide. Two weeks later, Clay Jensen- classmate and friend- receives a set of cassettes from Hannah. There are 13 reasons why Hannah killed herself. Clay is one of them.
You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
With a synopsis like that, who wouldn’t want to pick it up? What surprised me the most was that although I did really enjoy the book and couldn’t put it down (I gave it 4/5 on Goodreads), I actually preferred the series. It translated so well into TV; bringing to life all of the characters (some seriously good acting) and the tapes. It was shocking, devastating and beautifully done.
There’s a lot of talk about how the show/ book has ‘glamorised’ suicide. What I saw- both in the book and on screen- was a young girl at the end of her tether, who felt completely desperate and alone. I cannot even comprehend feeling that low. There was certainly nothing glamorous about the scene where Hannah’s parents find her in the tub. Possibly the most gut-wrenchingly sad moment I have seen in a long time. It was a hard story to swallow, but I’m glad I did.
Well worth both a read and a watch.