If you have managed to crawl out from under that rock that you were living in, then you’re already probably aware that Netflix released its newest series that’s based on the novel written by Jay Asher.
For those who haven’t read the book, Thirteen Reasons Why is a Young Adult novel published back in 2007. It’s about Hannah Baker and the thirteen reasons why she took her life. Yes, you read that right. Dear Hannah took her life and unlike other people who commit the same act and just opt for a simple suicide note/letter, she instead decided to record tapes and verbally relay the reasons why she could no longer handle living on Earth.
“I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. Most specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.”
— Hannah Baker, 13 Reasons Why
And no, these were not in a generally-speaking type of thing. Every side of the tapes—7 tapes; 13 sides—is addressed to one specific person. And on the recordings, she pours her heart out and explains why this specific person is one of the reasons why she took her life.
Pretty heavy stuff, huh? Trust me, I was on the edge of my seat (my bed, actually) the entire time.
I fell in love with the book the first time I read it and I must say, I am just as in love with the series, if not more. And that’s saying a lot considering that with most book-to-series or book-to-movies, I always, always prefer the book because, well, they’re books and nothing beats them, in my opinion.
With this one, though, the series and the novel is similar and yet so different, but not in a way where you feel like they disrespected the author and the book. The series didn’t have the same minute details and not a lot was “on-point” with what was on the book but the feeling that I got when I was reading it and when I was watching it were pretty much neck and neck.
There were even times when I felt more while I was watching.
They even added a lot on the series that I actually wished were on the book too. Like the point of view of the other people that were on the tapes. In the book, it was only the voices of Clay and Hannah. In the series, the other people aka “reasons” were also heard and I think that’s amazing because as we all know, there are more than one side to a story.
But as with the novel, the show was only mostly narrated in the voices of Hannah and Clay; the latter being one of the reasons why.
Both the series and the book teach us one very important lesson: every little thing matters. You’d think that what you say or do don’t affect people but they do. And sometimes, you won’t know how much until it’s too late. So it’s really important to take a hard look at one’s self because we don’t know how our words and actions are affecting the people around us.
And while you’re at it, tell people who you care about that you care about them. It might be just what they need. And who knows, you might end up saving a life.
Also, if you think that Hannah was just being a shallow and over-dramatic teen, then you got your head all twisted somewhere. First of all, have some sympathy or if you can’t, at least empathize. Second, take a look at the bigger picture. Just because you had an amazing life so far, doesn’t mean that some people don’t experience shit on a daily basis. Third, some people are more resilient than others. Good for you for being able to handle every single problem that comes your way, but some people are weaker than the rest, hence need a lot of support from others. And lastly, don’t put yourself in Hannah’s shoes but instead, put yourself in the shoes of the 13 people that she mentioned—take a look at yourself and think about how you’re affecting the people around you.
Binge watch the series now on Netflix, like right this instant. And if you haven’t, grab a copy of the book as well; I suggest reading prior to watching. I’m sure you won’t regret it. As far as the series go, though, it has shown everything that’s on the book but I believe there’s a second season already on its way so what would happen there will definitely be a surprise even for those who’ve read the book already. But still, something to look forward to.