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REVIEW: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY BY JAY ASHER (10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

03:03Emilija A


Disclaimer: some people might consider this review to contain mild spoilers, so read at your own risk. 

I first read Thirteen Reasons Why back in 2010. It was a 5 star read for me then, and it was still a 5 star read for me now. I have, however, formed a lot of different opinions this time round. But before I get into my thoughts, I first want to go over what extras the 10th anniversary edition has because a lot of people have asked me about this already. The anniversary edition comes included with the story (of course), an introductory chapter from the author, deleted scenes, and the original intended ending, among other things like what the first draft was titled, the pitch to the editors, and his notes for when he wrote the story. They were all really nice to have a read through. 

Now, let's move into my thoughts. Like I've said, this still remains a 5 star read for me, still a favourite, still as heartbreaking (if not more) as the first time. Right off the bat, I'm just gonna say that even though this book is a favourite (has been and always will be), I'm going to be very critical here, just thought I'd let you know so that there's no confusion going forth.

Now that I'm 6 years older than I was the last time I've read it, this of course made me change a lot of my opinions. Those opinions being that even though I do see where Hannah is coming from and I feel empathy towards her and her situation - some of those reasons still felt weak to me now. But maybe that was point? Maybe we're supposed to see flaws in this mentality of hers and see that there was a lot more that she herself could have done to help herself instead of resorting to ending her life. We even see glimpses of it where it could have happened, Clay being the primary example. Of course it's literally impossible to tell what Hannah was going through because the story isn't even written from her perspective, we only get to hear the tapes she left behind so we never really get to feel and see the extent of her pain - maybe that's why some of the reasons felt weak. 

The story is told in a dual perspective, that being Hannah's voice through the tapes, and Clay who is one of the people who get's to listen to her tapes. I think this aspect worked well in this book because overall, the dual perspective paints a well rounded picture. We get to see the past and the present. It's probably one of the things I enjoyed most about this book, actually. We get to unravel of what happened in the past, but at the same time see how everything is affecting everything (see what I did there?) in real time. Or rather, "real time". It paints a better story. If the book was told only from Hannah's perspective we would have never got to know the aftermath of the who whole Clay/Tyler/Marcus situation, among others. I thought that was very nicely done. 

In all honesty, even though this book is emotional enough as it is, I still think this story lacked details and descriptions. I wanted so, soooooo, much more of them. Like, almost to the point where the need was a physical itch under my skin. I feel like if this was written by someone else it might have been much better. Who knows. Now, I gotta give a shoutout to my homies out there who make sure stories get edited to make them better. Editors, you rock. Seriously. I am so damn glad that the ending got changed before it got published. I think if Thirteen Reasons Why got published with the original ending it would not have done as well as it had. It completely took away the point of the story. It made it feel cheap in a way. A cop out, if you will.

Anyway. Those are my thoughts. I'd love to hear yours! Have you read Thirteen Reasons Why? What did you think? 

Much love, 

Em

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