Six years ago, a children's librarian recommended a book to me, 13 Reasons Why. She told me the premise and I was immediately hooked to the story. Before I explain my critique, I do think it's a good book and the idea behind it is unique but the plot is just not good enough; the reasons leading to Hannah killing herself were not believable enough for me. Yes, her classmates did terrible things to her in high school but "best ass,?" Yes it is objectifying her but it's not like she she was called the ugliest girl in school. Once I started reading it, I just couldn't get into it. There were so many things that turned me off, there's hardly any character depth and for a book about teenagers, that's problem number one for me. When your in high school, you want to fit in, you want to be able to relate to other kids so you don't feel alone. The second major flaw, there's no connection between the characters and reader, especially because it's confusing to keep up with what Clay and Hannah said and thought.
The concept and the differing perspectives I love but the execution in the novel, not so much. If the author would have approached this story correctly, it needed to be much longer than only a few hundred pages, there needed to be more background on the main players and more explanation on a lot of things. I think suicide is a very serious issue so I didn't really buy Asher's portrayal of Hannah's feelings. Hannah's emotions would be deeper and stronger than just hatred and petty resentment for having a bad reputation in high school. Asher's portrayal was just childish and overly dramatic at times. There were even times, I thought - is the author making fun of the teens, I've even read and heard from others that this book almost encourages teen suicide. What are your thoughts, did you like the book? Just last weekend Netflix released a mini-series on the ten year old book and it exceeded all my expectations. It did so much more than the book ever could. They use what's current to the culture of high school students today, and I think it's so great they were able to take the backbone of Jay Asher's story and meld into a very real experience that teens face right now. It plays on addiction and the misuse of technology, bullying in varying degrees, the role of social media and rape culture. It's heart wrenching and so real, it may be the first time ever when the film adaptation just completely surpasses the novel. Also, I love the actors! What are you watching? Also, I've decided to start watching Felicity again.