A Review of the New Netflix Series ‘13 Reasons Why’ From a Fan of the Book

As a huge fan of the book, I have to admit that I was scared about the book turning into a series on Netflix. Jay Asher’s book, 13 Reasons Why, means so much to me and I hoped that they would do the book justice. After binge watching the whole series on its premiere weekend I can happily say that the show is just as addictive as the book. If you have not read the book, here is the premise:

“Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.”

(Source: Goodreads)

This book pulls on your heartstrings and it’s hard to put down. Chapter after chapter, you are left wanting to know more. I first read the book my freshman year of high school. Even though the book is quite morbid, I am glad I picked it up when I did. High school is difficult for everyone in different ways and for different reasons. It makes you rethink everything you have ever said and done in the past.

The Netflix show did great at portraying the world that the book created. There were 13 episodes and each episode told the story of one reason. Secrets were revealed episode after episode. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was still caught by surprise with the plot twists. One thing that I found different from the books was the characters. It wasn’t that they were portrayed by the wrong people. The acting was actually phenomenal! It was the fact that I really felt for some of the characters on the show than I did in the book. Yes, the book made me realize that just because you did a bad thing doesn’t make you are a bad person (in some cases). But while reading the book I couldn’t help to dislike some of the characters. The show did a good job in giving the characters more dimension. I was able to feel some remorse for certain characters even if they did something bad. I guess there is a difference between reading it and seeing it.

The show also left some major cliffhangers. If they wanted to make a seaon 2 they could. Even though there is no second book to base it off of, I believe that the creators of the Netflix series will do just as good as they did with the first season. Selena Gomez, the executive producer, has talked about a season 2 without confirming or denying it. She knows that each character has a story that can be explored even further and because of that there is a slight possibility. Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah Baker, also agrees that the dialogue of this story could continue because there is so much more to tell.

Overall, the show got the message across. The message that Asher wanted to get across in his book. We never know what people are going through behind closed doors. Everything might seem okay on the outside, but in reality everyone has their secrets, issues, and demons that they have to either fight or live with. It is important that we feel everything we are feeling. It is important that we talk to each other. It is important that we empathize. And it is important that we all love and take care of each other because tomorrow isn’t always guaranteed.


Photo credit: Cover photo, Photo 1, Photo 2