Book Review - Thirteen Reasons Why


Suicide, a word which is very disturbing in itself already, imagine people choosing this over their life. We might hear this in the news a few times but ought to forget because it was someone who we didn’t know. But when it comes to your family or friends, then we think of digging deeper into the possible reasons, causes and consequences. It basically has become very common in teenagers of the modern world. 

They go through a lot and people don't seem to understand, and especially when it comes to India, forget about understanding, there are rarest of times they will even acknowledge teenage problems as real issues. One such book written on teenage suicide, life before and after it, in a very formulated way, 13 reasons why.


Book’s Name - 13 Reasons Why

Author’s Name - Jay Asher

Genre - Young adult fiction

Language - English

While reading this book, I could narrow down some of the things that I would now remember for all the time in a much better way. I’ve been told all of this before also, but this time it struck too hard. The all time mantras are:

  1. You can never trust everyone. 

  2. Words are way much more powerful than we could think of, and they can have a lasting impact on people. 

  3. Don't ever be scared to love a person, they might be the only and all of whom you would end up with.

  4.  If karma is a thing, then your actions really have their consequences. 

  5. Just because someone seems fine, doesn’t mean they are okay. We will always be clueless about the amount of pain they go through.

About the Author

Jay Asher was born on September 3, 1975. He is an American writer and novelist. He is popularly known for writing the bestselling book, Thirteen Reasons Why in 2007. He published four books, Thirteen reasons why, which became a New York Times best-selling young adult fiction, The Future of Us, which was co-written by Carolyn Mackler, What Light, and Piper. 

His most famous novel, Thirteen reasons why has won several awards and also received five stars from Teen Book Review. Asher came into more light when the book was adapted into a Netflix originals web series and was released on March 31, 2017.

About the Book

This bestselling novel revolves around the story of a teen girl's life and reasons to commit suicide, which she enunciates in 7 audio tapes which she sends to 13 people in her high school. The book includes discussion of rape, wiretapping, alcoholism, sexism, revenge, and at last the survivor's guilt. 

What’s most significant in this book is that regardless of being based on a negative suicidal theme, there are loads of positive messages about how treating people nicely becomes important. With kindness, care, support and a bit of love, one can genuinely change various bad things happening in somebody’s life. 

The book got adapted to a Netflix series, which made the discreet book a more wider opportunity for the readers to take it a level up, visually. The show totally justified the original essence of the novel without making it an over-dramatic, and some other entertainment based OTT series.

I would forewarn the readers of the teen novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, that it has never been so difficult to page-turn a book for reading. This sounds sort of a criticism, but is actually a compliment, because the novel didn’t became toxic all over, and it isn’t based only the suicide part either. The story written doing the suicide’s aftermath further, has flourished Asher’s ability for conveying even the heartache and torment of the people who were left behind after a single person’s suicide, and how it affected their lives altogether.

Psychological Analysis

  1. As concluded by this book itself, further in story, after the suicide, the parents of other students and even the school itself prohibits everyone to talk about the issue, in order to avoid it’s repetition. But what we should actually understand is that talking about suicide doesn’t lead people to be a suicide victim, rather talking about it gives a voice to the underlying covered problem.

  2. The book covered the teenage phase in such a way to make us understand that teenage is not all fun, romance and idiocies, instead how much painful life gets during this phase and how life-changing it could turn out to be.

  3. The most prominent aspect we should grasp from the book is that, suicide just doesn’t happens overnight. It is the final step, a final decision and an final act, but the situations piling up for it, gets started much earlier than this.

The Bottom Line

As a verdict in end, the book is actually an opportunity for us as youth and a part of this new generation society to begin with a step. It is a jumping off point and it will not speak for itself. We should always be mindful of our own feelings and surroundings that this book taught. Perhaps our disinclination for accepting the book for what it is, could be our own fear of death, depression, and a shred of hopelessness. But we should always remember, these are the very things we should be speaking more often about, and not shutting down.

You can easily order a copy of it from Amazon - Thirteen Reasons Why

Written By - Pavas Shrigyan