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“13 Reasons Why” Text vs. TV

Alex Green, Staff

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13 Reasons Why is a popular Netflix series that has gained a lot of popularity in the past few months. The popular show was originally a book published in 2007 by author Jay Asher, who has also written popular books like What Light, The Future of Us, and Positive: A Memoir. 

On Amazon 13 Reasons Why is the third best-selling book, with a near perfect rating of 4.5 stars. On the Barnes and Noble website, 13 Reasons Why is the bestselling teen book.

13 Reasons Why is a story about a 17-year old girl named Hannah Baker who is bullied and tormented by her fellow classmates and so-called “friends” from her sophomore to junior year at Liberty High School. Thirteen events caused by 13 different people drive Hannah to commit suicide. Instead of leaving a note, she leaves 13 tapes that she recorded and asked a close friend named Tony to distribute them among the 13 people.

The book goes through each of the tapes as Hannah explains what that person did to her and how it affected her life.  Hannah left these tapes because she wanted to teach each person a lesson to show what the consequences of their actions could be. This format is effective and unique to story because when people think of suicide they usually think of a hand written note, but Hannah left tapes which were more personal because you can actually hear Hannah’s voice as she explains. And her tapes were only labeled numerically so you wouldn’t know which tape you were on unless you listened to all of them. This created an interesting story and a lot of guilt and paranoia for each of the people on the tapes.

Although 13 Reasons Why is controversial, it teaches very important lessons. The novel stresses that the way you treat other people matters, and you need to watch what you say. You don’t know what other people are going through outside of school, and you shouldn’t judge anyone if you don’t know their life. Especially in this day and age, cyberbullying is very common; 13 Reasons Why covers this and shows what the consequences could be. In the book students would talk about Hannah because of the rumors that were going around assuming they were true and they would continue to spread them. Sadly many students must go through this in reality, students will her something that may be true or not and they’ll judge this person without knowing them or their background.

13 Reasons Why is very relevant to teenagers in this century, and it accurately captures the details for their lives. Things that Hannah goes through like first crush, first kiss, driving, heartbreak, bullying, drinking, partying, enemies, sex, and sexual assault are things that happen in real life for teenagers. Teens do these reckless things to fit into a crowd, that’s just how high school works. People at such a young age are willing to do something that may have a long term effect on them for temporary popularity.

 

 

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“13 Reasons Why” Text vs. TV