I read the book when it first came out in 2007 and ever since that I’ve been eagerly waiting for a remake in form of a movie or series. I finally got my wish, but surprise, the book was better! As it usually tends to be and yes, I am one of those people. I feel extremely superior over people who haven’t read the book.
Though as the makers of the Netflix original “Thirteen Reasons Why” said, yes it’s a little different from the book, but the message stays the same. Which after all, is the most important. Especially when dealing with sensitive topics like bullying, depression and suicide.
If you don’t already know about “Thirteen Reasons Why” and live under a rock, then here’s a short rundown. Hannah Baker committed suicide, but before that she recorded 13 tapes with 13 reasons why she decided to take her own life. Each tape covering a different event/person who ultimately drove her to her suicide. Tapes are then handed from person to person, unfolding dark events and ruining peoples lives as they once ruined Hannah’s.
I started off loving only the main characters and straight up hating everyone else. Because I already more or less knew what they had done. But to my surprise I started loving some of them even though their mistakes and flaws.
Talking about characters, I was very happy about the mixed cast. A mix of people with different ethnicities and race, as well as multiple gay characters sprinkled throughout the series. I’m also happy to report that they chose to break stereotypes, not just portraying a flamboyant gay boy and a butch lesbian. As well as including a character with same sex parents!
As much as I resented certain characters for their stupid mistakes or ways of dealing with things. I also somewhat related to them and could see the reasoning behind some of their actions (PS this does not go for all characters, because some actions are unforgivable!) Even though sometimes it was incredibly frustrating for me, but then I had to step back and remind myself that the characters are indeed only 17-years-old.
Having personal experiences with some of the topics covered, this book has always been close to my heart. I’m glad the screen version didn’t let me down either. It’s dark, suspenseful and raw. A true emotional rollercoaster, as stupidly cliche as it sounds. But it really was, therefore this is no easy watching. I felt very involved and it took me days to process some events. Because even though Hannah Baker is a fictional character, bullying and suicide are very real.
There are hundreds, thousands and millions of Hannah Bakers out there and they all need a little hope.