So this right here, we’ve got one of them “young adult” novels… Y’know how the kids like their easy reads these days. As well as the actual adults themselves. A nice, easy read. An easy read. An easy Goddamned read.
Recommended if you:
• Don’t like to read because of a lack of instant gratification
• Are a non-native English speaker who is learning the language
• Are under age 16
• Appreciate emo lifestyle and literature
Not recommended if you:
• Are literally suicidal (bonus points if you want revenge)
• Are looking for a challenge
• Want your life to be changed in an intellectual or philosophical way
• Have never been inside a Hot Topic
The Concept : ★★★★
It has got a good concept. The overall plot, I mean. It’s about a revenge-suicide where the antagonist mails eerie cassette tapes to everyone she hates. Yes, I’m calling Hannah the antagonist because, frankly, she’s kind of a petty bitch.
The Execution : ★
Oh, sweetie… No, I’m not giving it the benefit of the doubt because it’s a young adult novel. The writing is insanely bland. The story is well structured enough to support the lack of intuitive wordplay; that’s what kept me reading. But, damn, bruv. There wasn’t one word I didn’t know in that whole book. I really don’t appreciate that. There was no challenge at all, whatsoever. And, in that way, I feel like the author and editors were too careful. Too many precautions were taken with the words that were chosen. That’s LAME!
Characters : ★
One problem I kept facing throughout my read was my inability to remember the characters. The copy I have is the Netflix Original Series edit that has the pictures from the TV show. This helped a lot because when I forgot a character I’d search for their picture and the actor’s stereotypical image would help jog my memory on who they were. Except for Zach? There’s an image of a Zach in here and I don’t even remember reading about him. Who the hell is Zach? Yeah. The characters, even the most important ones, were painfully civilian. Which, for the setting, fits. But for my entertainment, it does not fit- it does not fit in my memory, girl.
Accessibility : ★★★★★
This is a great beginner’s book. IF YOU DON’T LIKE READING, THIS IS A BOOK FOR YOU!!! No, that’s not sarcastic. It’s one of those novels that is consistent with the anticipation. Every chapter is the next step towards knowing the full story behind Hannah’s death. And, like I mentioned, the language is simple enough for anyone to read. If you haven’t read a book since high school, 13 Reasons Why can get you back on the saddle.
Overall Consensus: ★★
I will forget everything about this book in 2 months. Not because it was boring, but because it was uninspired. The young adult ideal has ruined literature as it has with movies, you know, the whole PG-13 vs. rated R scenario. What kind of pisses me off is that this concept is really fuckin’ creepy, and it was dwindled down to the perspective of a petty teenage girl. I feel like the audience the author was shooting for actually put a lot of restraint on his creativity, but honestly, I also wonder if these young adult writers are held back by fear. Fear of releasing their true, artistic literary talents into this harsh, critical world. When you really give your all on something and no one likes it, that’s a real kick in the ass. But it can’t hurt all that bad if you don’t give your all, right? Well, I wish Jay Asher would have given his all in this novel. Maybe it wouldn’t have a Netflix series, and maybe it wouldn’t have “changed the lives” of thousands of people, but at least it’d have dignity.