THIRTEEN REASONS WHY – A BOOK REVIEW

                                         

The book “Thirteen Reasons Why” gained a lot of attention when Netflix started streaming a series based on it.

I have not seen the series yet so I cannot comment on the similarities between the book and the series but let us leave that for another time and focus on the book itself for today.

Title - Thirteen Reasons Why

Author – Jay Asher 

No. of Pages – 288

Price – INR 262/- for paperback , INR 174/0 for kindle edition

Publication – Penguin UK

Genre - Mystery, Young adult Romance, Realistic Fiction

It is a fast paced book that deals with coming of age, friendship and sexuality. 

The opening pages announce the arrival of a mysterious box, the size of a shoebox, at Clay Jensen’s home. The sender is his classmate and crush Hannah Baker. Sadly for Clay, Hannah committed suicide just two weeks before the box arrived.

The box contains audiotapes made by Hannah and the first tape starts with Hannah explaining the “Thirteen Reasons why ” she was pushed to the brink and ended her life, Clay and his friends happen to be among the 13 reasons.

The book has a dual narrative with Clay and Hannah taking turns to narrate the story. The narration keeps going back and forth between the present and past. There are flashbacks from Hannah’s life sharing about her little joys and triumphs after shifting to a new school. While this technique of dual narrative keeps the interest alive, at one point it actually became quite confusing and I had to go over some paragraphs again and again to get a better grip of the events.

From the outside, a teenager’s life seems a life filled with endless fun and frolic with friends. But this book gives us a closer look into their world. A world where parental discords makes them insecure, the pressure of carving their own career paths, bullying from seniors, peer pressure, body shaming and  struggling to come to terms with the physical and emotional changes triggered by their raging hormones… suddenly you realize that coming of age is quite a challenge in itself.

“ Thirteen Reasons Why ” is not only an edgy thriller but also serves the purpose of sensitizing parents and the generation X to the issues of depression and suicide among youngsters. Sensitizing is half the job done when it comes to preventing suicide and self harm.

While reading this book I could not help but compare “ Thirteen Reasons Why ” by Jay Asher to  “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami. Even though both deal with suicide and young romance, the main characters in Murakami’s book are older and Murakami’s book has a romantic mellow sorrowful strain throughout the book that haunts you even after closing it. On the other hand “Thirteen Reasons Why” has adrenaline pumping suspense and deals with the much younger Hannah undergoing a constant struggle to find her feet on the slippery slope of life before finally choosing to give up.

Though it makes for interesting read as a suspense thriller , I like " THIRTEEN REASONS WHY " because it can serve as a reference point for conversation around mental health issues in teenagers.

I rate it a 3.8/5 

                  " This post is a part of Blogchatter's initiative #CauseAChatter "                                       

You might also like to read 

1. Mental Health Disorders in Children and How to Cope with them

2. A Complete guide to Post- COVID Mental Health Issues

3. 10 warning Signs of Suicide

5. Why is #COVID19 associated with so much Social Stigma ?

Comments

  1. I haven’t watched the Netflix series but will check. This book seems to have touched upon many important areas of teenage life. We need it at this hour.

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  2. Ohh I remember a series on Netflix based on this book. in fact, I had watched few episodes too but could not watch till end. I loved the fact that the book has a purpose of sensitizing parents and the generation X to the issues of depression and suicide among youngsters.

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  3. Thirteen reasons why must be an emotional read too, as the character shares journey reaching upto the brink whereas other character cannot do anything. Shall get the kindle copy of it.

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  4. The show made it on and off my list past years and I've still not watched it. You review has got me intrigued and I would like to read the book now and then watch the show. Lovely review.

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  5. I have watched the Netflix series, though not the book.13 Reasons Why is truly a heartbreaking story. It's an eye opener and gives insights about the mental health and emotional issues faced by the teens. I have this book on my Kindle... will read it one of these days!

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  6. Issue around Mental Health need to be approcahed with every child and I am truly happy to know about a story that talks about it to kids. I would love to read this with my read too

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  7. The book sounds pretty interesting and I have not watched this one will look it up now.

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  8. This book will definitely give us an insight about how and why teens feel the way they feel and the reasons of their vulnerability. But be heartbreaking but I think I would like to read it as a mother of teen would love to know.

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  9. You have evoked my interest in this book buddy, mental health that too for teenagers is like you said is something everyone must delve in

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  10. This book has been In my TB R list for a long time and I have not yet picked it up as yet but your review makes me want to read it soon so hopefully after finishing the book that I am reading right now I will pick up this book.

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  11. I haven't watched this series. You review has got me intrigued and I would like to read the book now . Lovely review.

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  12. I have watched the series and wanted to grab the book some day. Your review is so compelling. Loved how you analysed the book.

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