Nina ♥'s Reviews > Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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Nov 12, 12

Read on June 30, 2010

WARNING: I did not like this book. If you did, and would hate it if someone (me) ranted and bitched about it, then DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW.

REVIEW: I don't know why this book is so popular. And I honestly don't know what all the rave is about. I heard so many great things about this novel, that's why I read it. While this was a good book, well written and all…the plot was just not good enough—no, the reasons leading to Hannah Baker killing herself were not believable enough for me. I mean sure, they did some horrible things to her in high school, that doesn't mean you should just go off and commit suicide. As far as I'm concerned, those kinds of situations happen to everyone. And I don't believe for one second that no one noticed that she wanted to commit suicide. What about her haircut? Didn't the author mention that the teacher passed out a flyer called "The Warning Signs of a Suicidal Individual?" And wasn't there "A sudden change in appearance" on top of the list? What about "Giving away possessions?" Didn't they discuss suicide in the same class? Didn't Hannah leave an anonymous note telling the teacher that? After she told Mr. Porter? And he didn't stop her? Come on, they couldn't have been that dumb! Hannah, above all, just sounded whiny. And I just couldn't sympathize with her character. And committing suicide and then blaming people for it is just a stupid excuse for killing herself. She was the one that decided to kill herself, not them—not anyone. She just needed someone to blame. And poor Clay! If Clay wasn't one of the reasons Hannah killed herself, then why put him through the agony? Why give him the tapes? She could've just written him a letter. And Tony! Hannah put even the ones that had nothing to do with her in pain. For example: what did Tony do to her? Because I know he was hurting, too. He felt helpless because he couldn't have saved her.

It was also very difficult and confusing to keep up with what Clay and Hannah said/thought. One second I'm reading in Clay's point of view, the next Hannah's. And sometimes I had to reread a whole paragraph because I got the POV wrong in my head.

Also, I think suicide is a very serious issue so I didn't really buy Jay Asher's portrayal of Hannah's feelings. If someone wanted to commit suicide, their emotion had to be deeper, stronger than just hatred and petty resentment for having a bad reputation in High School. Therefore, I thought Hannah's emotions weren't very serious, even childish and overly dramatic at times. And after finishing the books I was like, "seriously?! That's why she killed herself?!" I honestly felt like Asher was making fun of the teens who have been through terrible things in their life and are still trying to stay strong after everything they've been through. This was like telling them, "what the heck, end your life if you're so miserable."

UPDATE: Just found out this is going to be a movie. Starring Selena Gomez.

Also, if you want to know more about Hannah's reasons, read message 6.
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Quotes Nina ♥ Liked

Jay Asher
“If my love were an ocean,
there would be no more land.
If my love were a desert,
you would see only sand.
If my love were a star-
late at night, only light.
And if my love could grow wings,
I'd be soaring in flight.”
Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why


Reading Progress

06/30/2010 page 230
80.0% "i knew it! i knew Tony was the one watching them!"

Comments (showing 101-150 of 427) (427 new)


message 101: by Alondra (new)

Alondra wow. thanks for the realistic review. I'm in a young adult novels class right now and my friends keep saying how good it is and such, I was actually considering to read it. I hate people complaining about life. And like you said, that he was making fun of the whole suicidal issue, makes me very upset that anyone would do that. Very glad you wrote this (:


message 102: by Alondra (new)

Alondra and with Pao, yes there's girls out there going through the same things and honestly they have a mouth, they have councilors, girls need to be informed that they are not alone and writing a book like this clearly doesn't help them solve their problems. It just gives them one option, suicide.


message 103: by Jess (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jess Thank you for this. Completely agree. I found the book insufferable.


Victoria Lie Completely agree. This book was awful.


message 105: by Francesca (new)

Francesca Exactly the reasons why I found this book was such a pain to read.


Kimberley I absolutely agree with everything you said in your review.


message 107: by Jennie (new) - rated it 1 star

Jennie i totally agree with you. this book is ridiculous. i'm not having problems reading it because i'm listening to it on audiobook, but even that is kinda painful. i'm a psychologist and found myself getting frustrated with the clumsily inaccurate stabs at a suicidal person... like the author just looked up "suicide" on wikipedia. boo.


message 108: by Francesca (new)

Francesca Pao wrote: "Hahaha this book doesn't say at the beginning or at the end that it's a help for people considering suicide, the author didn't make this book for that, it's just to read it and enjoy it"

It's not at all enjoyable due to the unrealistic viewpoints and the ridiculous, almost petty 'reasons' Hannah gave.


message 109: by Charley (new) - rated it 1 star

Charley Totally agree with you - this was such a stupid book. How it is an international best seller I have no idea


message 110: by Sandra (new) - rated it 1 star

Sandra exactly how i felt! cant belive they're actually making a movie... sad


message 111: by Charley (new) - rated it 1 star

Charley are they really making it a movie? it was ridiculous! following the logic of the author its ok for alll of us to kill ourselves because high school sucked.. mental.


Kimberley Yes, Selena Gomez is playing Hannah.


message 113: by [deleted user] (new)

I completely, totally agree with everything you wrote. I HATED this book just for the fact that it centers entirely around blaming everybody else. They didn't kill her, she did it herself. And I would say that only 1 of the people actually provides any real "reason" for suicide (Bryce). I say "reason" but I don't say that it's Bryce's fault. She could have dealt with it. She didn't.

If it bothered her, why didn't she say no? However, she is vulnerable, and it is still wrong if he knew she was uncomfortable and did it anyway. So it is his fault for raping her (or whatever he did), but she can't blame him for committing suicide. Did the other girl kill herself? No.


message 114: by Nina ♥ (last edited Jul 01, 2012 03:50PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nina ♥ Thanks for the comments everyone. For those of you who disliked Thirteen Reasons Why, hey somebody actually agreed with me! And for those who loved TRW, I'm sorry if I've offended you (there IS a warning sign at the beginning of the review), and thanks for explaining to me why you loved this. I still don't like the book, but hey, now I understand why YOU do.

@Tabitha (and everyone else who's given this book less than 4 stars): Glad you agree with me on this since so many people don't (or maybe they do, I have no idea since this review's gotten so many different responses). You know what I wanted to do to Hanna all throughout the book? Just bitchslap her with all my might and scream, "wake the EFF UP, Hanna, the sun doesn't shine out of your ass!" The things she went through were kind of laughable to me, since personally, I've been through so much worse.

But you know, maybe that's not why I hated this book. I'm starting to realize it may not be that at all. Maybe it has to do with the way Asher told Hanna's story. It was laughably light for such a deep issue like suicide. He didn't get through Hanna's emotions enough, and maybe that's why it felt so unreal to me.


message 115: by Charley (new) - rated it 1 star

Charley Nina ♥ wrote: "Thanks for the comments everyone. For those of you who disliked TRY, hey somebody actually agreed with me! And for those who loved TRW, I'm sorry if I've offended you (there IS a warning sign at th..."

totally agree- the issues seemed so stupid to kill yourself over. but maybe it was just the way it was written? I think it could have been done a lot better.


message 116: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica I liked your review, although I did really like the book, I agree with some of your points. Towards the end, it was hard to imagine that Mr. Porter would not have done anything to help her and it almost seemed like he didn't care. Maybe that was the purpose, to have Hannah reach out for help and have nobody grab for her.
Great Review!


Kimberley Jessica wrote: "I liked your review, although I did really like the book, I agree with some of your points. Towards the end, it was hard to imagine that Mr. Porter would not have done anything to help her and it a..."
I felt like Hannah didn't really want Mr Potter's help. It was as if she only went to him to set him up for the tapes.


Nina ♥ Exactly! Her precious tapes.


message 119: by Aly (Fantasy4eva) (last edited Mar 18, 2012 10:44AM) (new) - added it

Aly (Fantasy4eva) I love the discussion this review has brought about.

I did interview the author some time back. And that really helped me get those answers that had been bothering me.

The main one being, that i really don't have to like her and feel guilty about not liking her. It never really crossed my mind that I didn't have to until he said it.

You can read it here. Hope it answers some of your guys questions ;)

http://blueicegal-fantasy4eva.blogspo...

I was really conflicted on some aspects of this book for some time. Mainly, the whole -were her reasons enough - aspect. But then I really thought about it and as frustrating as she was at times, I just really felt for her. She was clearly depressed, and just hurting and was going so downhill, so fast, that I'm not even sure if she wanted to be saved anymore.

I like how the book makes you think. I just remember being blown away when I first read it. It's probably a book that I should reread and decide fully how I feel about it - since it has been a while.


Kimberley Aly (Fantasy4eva) wrote: "I love the discussion this review has brought about.

I did interview the author some time back. And that really helped me get those answers that had been bothering me.

The main one being, that i ..."


Great interview. Thanks.


message 121: by Nina ♥ (last edited Mar 19, 2012 03:01PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nina ♥ @Aly: Awesome! (Nice blog, btw.) I admit, that interview got me thinking, too. I'm still not fond of the book (maybe this genre is really not my type--I have not liked one book I've read of this particualr style of writing so far, just like A Monster Calls) but at least now I see what Asher was trying to do; I especially liked the answer to the ninth question:

For some of the characters, what she's doing is definitely more hurtful than what they did to her. But just as she wasn't blameless in some of the events she talks about, I also don't think she considered all of the ramifications of her cassettes. Again, some people wrongly think I intended for Hannah to be a perfect citizen. She wasn't!

I don't really know if I like Hanna or not. It's mainly because I really didn't learn much about her (despite the tapes), and I had not idea how to label her: a bitter, selfish, self-centered young girl, or a really depressed, abandoned one. I guess you can't really classify a person.

Thanks for the link. :)


message 122: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Aly (Fantasy4eva) wrote: "I love the discussion this review has brought about.

I did interview the author some time back. And that really helped me get those answers that had been bothering me.

The main one being, that i ..."


Really good interview! :)


message 123: by Afifa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Afifa Your review made sense but you have to understand that some people go through brutal torment like in the book all the time. Some are really strong with it and just shake it off or have parents who help them. Some have absolutely no one to go to and are always put down by other people who they really trust. I think you sort of missed the point of the book. I am guessing you really never have been bullied before. Some people might not be as strong and those vulnerable people are preyed on by those bullies. Hannah couldn't take it anymore so she chose suicide. It's been few months since i read the book so i forgot some details but in the book clay was supposed to notice her signs but he didn't and didn't do anything about it, she didn't have anybody she trusted to talk to anymore so she made poor Clay listen to those tapes. Clay needed to listen to all that anyway, he always wondered what happened to her and the author wrote like how described it because that's how the story fit and din't you expect to hear his reaction to certain people who he thought was completely harmless and realize what they have done. Also the author thought that's how the story fit and i thought it fitted perfectly and wasn't like a normal book, which actually made it unique. And imagine you being her( you probably will react absolutely differently but imagine that your shy and scared and stressed at what is happening) and imagine that everybody you trusted turned on you, you have no friends, people hate you, there is terrible, fake rumors about you, your parents don't trust you and that you got bullied into depression. If this doesn't change your perspective, this book is definitely not for you.


message 124: by Afifa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Afifa i meant Clay's reaction to people who he thought are harmless and vulnerable and weren't you expecting his reaction. anyway you seem like a good judge of books. :)


message 125: by Kaye (new) - rated it 1 star

Kaye Miranda Thank you Nina! After reading your review, I feel normal again. Hahaha... I thought I was the only one who disliked this book. :) Everything you said I agree with!


Kaitlyn When I read this book I felt that Hannah's reasons were completely rational given that they all built up so much and she just couldn't take it all. The things that happened to heractualky stunned me. Things like that never happen where I am from. At least not to my knowledge... If even a few of those things (even the ones that most people consider minor) happened to me I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I could not even imagine her situation... I guess it is all a matter of how you look at things and what you are used to experiencing.


message 127: by Gunne (last edited Apr 25, 2012 03:08AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Gunne "Also, I think suicide is a very serious issue so I didn't really buy Jay Asher's portrayal of Hannah's feelings. If someone wanted to commit suicide, their emotion had to be deeper, stronger than just hatred and petty resentment for having a bad reputation in High School. Therefore, I thought Hannah's emotions weren't very serious, even childish and overly dramatic at times. And after finishing the books I was like, "seriously?! That's why she killed herself?!"

YES. This.


message 128: by Ashton (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ashton agreed! And ew to the movie.


message 129: by A (new) - rated it 3 stars

A Exactly my sentiments. Good review!


message 130: by Maree (new) - rated it 1 star

Maree Kimberley Yep, pretty much what I feel about this book, too. I think it trivialises suicide, which is a dangerous thing.


message 131: by Sima (new)

Sima Thank you for the review! I'm just glad I'm not the only one who thinks TRW is ridiculous!


Elizabeth I back this review 100%!!


message 133: by Bec (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bec I totally agree. The things that happened to her seemed so high school-ish. Nothing that happened to her seemed so out of the ordinary. Bad things happen, but you don't end your life because of that...


message 134: by Shahad (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shahad AlHammad I liked the book but I agree with you, Nina.


Sskyzee Easy book to read, but I agree with you about Hanna's suicide reasons. He wrote her reasons and her explanations too logically '*The reason I feel this way is because xxx* Too focused on the event rather then her emotions relating to it. Just seemed a weak attempt to try and get into the head and feelings of a lonely depressed teen.


message 136: by Bianca (last edited Aug 03, 2012 10:51AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bianca Stephanie wrote: "i haven't read the book yet, so are you just saying that you thought the reasons were unrealistic for someone to commit suicide?"

I thought so. Suicide is a big thing and a lot of people already have their lives ended. Why do it by choice? She could have done something and then ended up happily married or atleast with kids. Life goes on. Life gets better. I thought that if anyone committed suicide, it should have been the girl that stupid Bryce raped.


message 137: by Bianca (last edited Aug 06, 2012 12:55PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bianca Lizzy wrote: "Those stupid thing that you say happen to everyone affect people differently, especially if they have depression like Hannah most obviously has. I should know since I've had depression for almost 7..."

Exactly. You had depression for 7 years. Hannah had it for a couple months and it wasn't even bad until like the last month. I have had worse stuff happen to me in my life, but I won't end it because I still have a future. I think she could have tried to talk to her parents or something. All she said was that they weren't paying attention to her. They still love her. She should have given Clay a chance. Or Atleast not give him a reason to blame himself. I loved the end, though, because it's like a sign that you can make someone else's life better without even trying hard.


Intplibrarian You have 151 comments on this, so you may never see this. Thought it was worth a try... can you put a spoiler alert on your review? I happened to just get to the part about Clay when I thought to update on here that I was reading this and happened to see your review. It *could* have been a spoiler for me. Just FYI. :-)


message 139: by Carla (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carla True! Ugh! But then, I like the book. It's just Hannah. I think this is the first book that I love but hate the main character. Please read my review and hit like if you like it. :)


message 140: by Rhonda (new) - added it

Rhonda Hartman You might not read my comment, but your opinions on suicide and the reasons why people kill themselves by suicide are pretty flawed. When I was 16 my friend killed himself. He was teased at school relentlessly. He did not see a way out and ended his life. Perhaps you should do a little research on suicide and depression.


message 141: by Bianca (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bianca Hannah was not teased, though. In fact, a lot of people liked her. She just didn't tell anybody. I guess it takes a strong person to stand up for themselves, but I don't want to read a book about a weak protagonist that blames people with ideas that to me, sound pointless. I wanted more depth. Some of the reasons were legit, though.


message 142: by Angel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angel Somethings are to over whelming for people to handle ok everyones reasons to comit sucidee might be entirely difrrent from yours people who don't like the book don't i understand that but i think her reasons where real enough watching someone get rapped would make me feel horrible. Shes been through alot in the book to me. I know to others your all like nuh uh. I think Jay Asher did a wonderful job. Its a lovely book.


message 143: by Bianca (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bianca Angel wrote: "Somethings are to over whelming for people to handle ok everyones reasons to comit sucidee might be entirely difrrent from yours people who don't like the book don't i understand that but i think h..."

But she blamed the other guy for letting her get raped, but she could have spoken up too. She kept talking about how bad that guy was instead of the actual trauma of watching the girl getting raped when it was just as muh her fault. I wish she coped better, that's all. What about people geting abused or shunned because they are supposedly a slut or loser?? They have more of a background to me. I don't entirely understand your message because of the lack of punctuation, so could you explain the first part to me?


message 144: by ST (new)

ST I haven't read the book, I also don't want to just from all of this. All I can say is, when a book is about a girl who is depressed and in high school and can't get over the things that happen there so she kill herself I want no part of it. I agree that suicide is a serious thing and if the author portrayed a character in high school suffering through the regular "drama" and deeming that as the reason why she did it, he is totally wrong. The things that happened to her would put her into a state of severe depression lets say hypothetically, and all her past regrets and supposed failures may be thought of and it would go deeper and deeper. From what I have read, this is not what happened to the Hannah character. So immediately unrealistic. I also want to bring up the point others have mention of those reading the book. It could be a person who is 14 just entering high school and becomes scared or a person reads the book, something bad happens to them at school and they remember the book and what Hannah did. It ridiculous. I really do not like this idea of this book at all.


message 145: by Angel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angel Bianca wrote: "Angel wrote: "Somethings are to over whelming for people to handle ok everyones reasons to comit sucidee might be entirely difrrent from yours people who don't like the book don't i understand that..." I get what your saying and all, but all i was saying was that sometimes peoples problems are bigger to them than to others. I know some of the reasons were pretty stupid and uncalled for but some i understood. She couldn't do anything about that girl getting raped at the time and i think she was to scared to come out with even though she should have we all make mistakes and i think hers was to overwhelming. I kind of forgot about what the other people did though so who knows you people maybe right i haven't read it in about a year or so


message 146: by Bianca (last edited Aug 28, 2012 07:50PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bianca Angel wrote: "Bianca wrote: "Angel wrote: "Somethings are to over whelming for people to handle ok everyones reasons to comit sucidee might be entirely difrrent from yours people who don't like the book don't i ..."

True, but scared is different than blaming. I get that she wanted to kill herself, but plenty of 14-year-olds out there with problems that seem big to them might think back on this book and maybe start cutting or even commit suicide too. The point of this story was maybe just to make you cry. The fact that suicide is NOT OK is not emphasized really... The other people didn't really do anything. I'm not saying this just because my opinion is opposite from yours, I'm serious. I kept waiting for the big 'OMG, HE DID THAT?!' but it never came. If those problems seem big to her, then maybe some of it is her fault too. I thought that Hannah should stop acting like a victim. The world is cruel and everybody knows it. So expect it, don't run away...


message 147: by Angel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angel yeah i get what your saying i'm gonna have to reread it soon though to see if i still feel the same though i mean who knows my opinion might of changed i don't really know


message 148: by Bianca (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bianca Cool. It's not actually a bad read, I just didn't like the way suicide was portrayed.


message 149: by Brenda (new) - rated it 2 stars

Brenda de la Torre You have literally summed up all my feelings for this book in your review!


message 150: by Maddie (new) - rated it 3 stars

Maddie @Nina regarding message 6: you can't simply say that because a character dealt with situations differently than you would that that character is weak. I agree that Hannah's motivations are not very convincing concerning her drastic measures, but comparing her to yourself and finding her lacking in comparison gives no real insight into the writing or character, it just tells us how you would handle each situation.


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