Monday, August 1, 2016

My first BAD review. Thirteen Reasons Why

It was bound to happen eventually.  I mean, I couldn't just be in love with every single book I read, could I?  I hate giving negative reviews, I really do.  Authors are good, hard-working people and deserve our at least our gratitude for their best efforts.  I just had to on this one, though.  From the Back of the Trade Paperback:

You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

My problem with Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is not that I didn't like that book.  I actually did, it was an enjoyable read. Suspenseful and intriguing.  Great character development with the protagonist, all the makings of a great novel.  After that, it fell a little short, and dangerous. 


1.  The main character and narrator, Hannah, is a spoiled brat, hell-bent on punishing others because she doesn't get her way.

2.  Hannah is hypocritical, constantly saying that the suicide is her choice and she doesn't blame others, but the whole book is laid around exactly how she blames the others.  Actions speak louder than words, honey.

3. Suicide is used a revenge tactic.  In a society where we are trying to teach the younger generation to see mental illness as a real thing and not make light of a serious situation, this book does exactly that, uses a serious thing such as suicide to take revenge on a bunch of high schoolers for spreading rumors. 

4. Hannah blames the teacher/counselor the most and says "he can rot in hell".  I was expecting something horrible.  All he did was not follow her when she stormed out of his office the ONE and ONLY time she went to visit with some very cryptic questions AFTER she already decided to off herself. 

5.  The good guy was TOO good.  Yes, I liked the protagonist.  Who wouldn't, but he was too good, and had no flaws.  Sure, he lied to his mom, but he made sure she didn't get her feelings hurt and did it for a really good reason, and felt bad about it.  Seriously, what planet did this kid come from?

6.  When Hannah really wanted to hate herself and submit to the rumors with the guy everyone warned her about, at the after party.  Said guy was already in a hot tub, with another teen age girl, who lived there, and didn't really like Hannah.  We are supposed to believe that this other girl just quietly got up and walked away and left Hannah with her guy?  RRRIIIGGGHHHTTTT. 

7. Pack your bags everyone, you are going on a guilt trip.  FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES.  Hannah kept saying she just wanted everyone to see that their actions effected everyone around them.  Hello?  Hannah, you irrevocably traumatized these people for the rest of their lives. 

8. After all this "revenge" she takes, she still doesn't tell the police who raped that poor girl at the party.  You're dead Hannah, what do you care about the consequences.  Save that other poor girl some strife. 

9. Suicide is not a revenge tactic. (Worth repeating in case any teen with a mental illness were to get a hold of this book.)

10. Hannah showed ZERO signs of mental illness.  She just up and decided one day to end her life.  This both put misinformation in the hands of teens, and makes light of a very serious situation.  Perhaps if the author had gone a different direction with Hannah, or better explained thing, I would feel differently, but he didn't. 

11. In a classroom discussion in the book, the students say that a suicidal person is just looking for attention.  It is books like this that make light of suicide that cause people to think that way.

12. Hannah, I have to say it again.  You are a spoiled brat.  You constantly drone on about how actions effect others.  What about your actions?  Are you immune from this, or just selfish?  Who left you to be the one in charge that gets to teach this lesson to everyone?

13.  Mostly, don't buy this book because it is popular.  I know that sounds weird, but it is how I feel. Think about it.  If more people buy it, it will get more reviews, and then more will buy and more and more get the picture.  This book has already done enough damage.  It's time to let it die. 

If you want to read my Amazon review of it, go HERE

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