13 Reasons Why: TV Show Review (TW: Suicide, Depression, Sexual Assault, Mental Health) Also Spoilers

I finally finished watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, and now I am go give my thoughts on the series.

First, let me discuss my views on the book. I felt the book was little over hyped. I did like the ideas the book portrayed such as how bullying leads to suicide, the problem I had with the book was mainly the character of Hannah, and I didn’t connect with her like I did with Clay. I also feel that we didn’t get enough depth about the character on the tapes.

The show, follows the same beats of the show, it starts after the suicide of Hannah Baker, Clay receiving the tapes and starts listening. In the book Clay listens to the tapes in one sitting, but in the show he takes his time to listen to each tape and process the information. That was one of the show main strengths, is not just listening to tapes but also seeing how the school and the other characters on the tapes react to them as well.

Each episode is one tape, that was a big plus because the story could also be more fleshed out. I remember when I first read the book a movie was optioned with Selena Gomez playing Hannah. A movie would not have done the book justice. A TV show made it so much better, and part of me kinda wishes that Hollywood should adapt YA novels into TV series instead of movies.

Another plus was how the characters were a lot more fleshed out, and you them on the tapes and also after the suicide. The characters I felt were more fleshed out were Jessica, Justin and Alex. WIth Jessica especially with what happened to her is who I felt had the most development throughout the show. Justin, while it was a douchy thing that he did , you also see a glimpse into his family life. Alex, is a character who actually really felt bad with what happened to Hannah.. Some other characters such as Marcus and Courtney who didn’t really change in the end and kept conspiring against Clay.

The performances were also very outstanding. Katherine Langford who plays Hannah does an amazing job with the role. She added a lot of depth to the Hannah role, which I always felt was lacking in the book, in which we only see Hannah through the tapes and not her as a person. Another amazing performance is Dylan Minnette who plays Clay is also outstanding in the role, and you really feel for Clay throughout the show. Kate Walsh who plays Hannah’s mother is also great in the role. She does a great job at playing a grief sicken mother dealing with her daughters suicide. Hannah’s parents don’t really play a role in the books so I was glad that it was included in the show. The rest of cast are also very good, and I think it has the best teen cast since Friday Night Lights.

The show also takes a few liberties with the book. It deals with a lawsuit brought forth by Hannah’s parents. Also how Clay listened to the tapes, instead of one night its about a few weeks. Another is how Hannah committed suicide. in the book she overdosed on pills, while in the show it she slit her wrists. Hannah’s suicide could seen as very triggering.

Now to give my thoughts on themes of the show. This show is very split on how it handles suicide and depression. One half says it raises awareness of teen suicide, another side says it trivializes suicide. Some people will say that Hannah’s suicide and the use of the tapes sees it as more of an act of vengeance rather than trying to deal with her mental health problems.

As someone that has dealt with bullying, dealing with depression and has on a few occasions contemplated suicide. I think there is no right or wrong way to write suicide, or mental health stories, and I feel that Hannah’s story shouldn’t have to match my story or anyone else’s. While for some the material the show addresses could be triggering I could fully understand if anyone doesn’t want to watch the show. I kinda wish that both the show and the book did a better job at addressing Hannah’s mental health issues.

In the end, 13 Reasons Why was a very good show that expanded on the book and fleshed out a lot of characters. If they make a second season, I think they will address the lawsuit, maybe Bryce getting arrested for rape, Alex’s suicide attempt and maybe Tyler shooting up the school. I want to see where the story goes.

Season MVP: Katherine Langford, Kate Walsh and Dylan Minnette

Best Episodes: Tape 1, Side A, Tape 6, Side A and Tape 7, Side A.

Season grade: A

Hype or Like Friday #1

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Jillian, Larkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.

For this week it is Top 10 hyped up books. For this it doesn’t necessarily mean bad, I just felt they were over hyped. If you like any of these books or series that’s fine.

Top 10 Hyped Up books: not in any order

The Darkest Minds Trilogy

This is a book series that had a great premise but the story and execution was poorly done. I mean, kids with powers should be a great premise alone, but the problem was the powers were not clearly defined.

The Mortal Instruments Series

Talk about an over hyped series. Everyone kept saying its Harry Potter meets Buffy, and of course not a bad combination but I really hated the love story, and I actually like the supporting characters better than the two leads. I only read the first two, so tell me that it gets better.

The Winners Curse 

If you read my T5W DNF, this was on the list. I felt the characters were boring and flat and the plot was messy, and when the story finally picked up I didn’t feel anything for the characters.

John Green books

Ok, the only book I actually liked was the Fault in our Stars. But than when I read his other books I felt the tropes were very repetitive. It was Paper Towns that kinda had me lose interest in his books.

Nicholas Sparks books

A Walk to Remember was a book I really likes, I also enjoyed the Notebook. But like with John Green books the book tropes become so repetitive that every book is the same story.

Shadow and Bone trilogy

I read the first book, but it was such a chore to get through and I could see the plot twist coming a mile away. I though the book was okay but no where near the level of hype.

Alice in Zombieland

The title alone should have made this awesome. But what ruined it was the dumb insta-love and the poorly written plot.

Fifty Shades of Grey

In the end the book is just Twilight fan fiction, that is really poorly written and with poorly developed characters.

Thirteen Reasons Why

Okay you probably think I am a heartless bastard but hear me out. I thought the book was good, but I think because when I read Shooter by Walter Dean Myers, that book didn’t hold back. I also felt that Hannah was a thinly developed character.

Throne of Glass

I actually really like this series so far, only in the middle of Heir of Fire. I think the character of Celaena is not the bad ass female character that everyone says she is. I also sometimes feel the romance is taking too much time from the action that everyone wants to see.

Those are my choices for the Top 10 over hyped books. Hope you enjoyed it.