Thirteen Reason why – Very dangerous book! 1 “not even sure” star 30


OK before I forget let me say this: All concerns about this book are well-founded!



One “not even sure” star

About the book

Thirteen Reasons Why

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

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.










[Please believe me. I KNOW what I’m talking about]

I heard about this controversial book [now a TV show too] and I was like… Hyped? Young Adult? Contemporary? Mental Health premise?


So I did.

First let me say that this is a good book. It’s well written, the plot is griping, the dual narrative is handled very well. If I was just rating the book I would give it at least 3.8 stars.


It was hard for me enjoy the story, the plot, and the tension because, first of all, Hannah is one of the most unlikable MC I have ever read!

Many bad things happened to her. I get it. As in MANY. First, that didn’t feel very realistic. I’m sure some high-schoolers experience many of this situations. But ALL OF THEM? Hummmm… So, even though Hannah is the victim of bullying, and rumors and mean jokes she comes across way too MEAN, with big, fat, bold letters. And Even though I condemn every single thing that was done to her, I could not relate to her reactions and thoughts one bit. Her thoughts seemed those of a sociopath and utterly inconsistent.

I won’t talk for everyone, but in general when you feel suicidal you don’t care. You don’t care about anything AT ALL. And, there is so much rage and determination behind Hannah’s plan! All the careful planning and recording of the tapes requires a good deal of passion and drive which usually doesn’t exist when someone doesn’t want to live anymore.

But most importantly, I agree with all the concerns about the content of this book and TV Show. It can definitely be a trigger [page 256 omg!] and it does feel like suicide glorification.

It’s just plain dangerous.

Again I doubt someone that is considering suicide would have the drive to plan something like Hanna did BUT it could inspired something very similar that is a spur of the moment thing and requires a lot less planning.

Apparently, according to this article it has already happened.

So, one more time…





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30 thoughts on “Thirteen Reason why – Very dangerous book! 1 “not even sure” star

  • Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I’ve heard so much about this book and show, and not very many good things. I just can’t get behind mean characters, regardless of what was done to them. I mean, lots of people have bad experiences and still manage to treat others right. But yeah, the glorification of suicide is never a good thing.

  • Emma

    I have seen this around but didn’t know anything about it, I have missed feelings now given your review. The part that tells me it’s well written maybe thinks it would be interesting but the other part of me thinks leave well enough alone.

  • Runwright Reads

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the story. I haven’t yet and don’t ever plan to read or watch the movie because suicide is such a dangerous thought and I don’t want to contribute to anything that might sway someone toward it. I talked about a similar idea in this post

    • Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

      I enjoyed your post about suicide thanks for leaving the ink! I made me reconsider my review of Suicide Squad. I enjoyed the comments your visitors left too! I always enjoy your posts 🙂 did you decide to make that last post a regular feature? it would be great!

  • Christy LoveOfBooks

    It’s interesting seeing many polarizing thoughts on this. I’ll just say I was torn on a lot of what happened in the show and think some of it is harmful, but I totally identified with many of Hannah’s feelings.

  • Laura Thomas

    Thanks for your excellent honest review. I didn’t read the book but I heard all the hype about it so I watched the series. You nailed it in your review. I think parents should be careful about letting their teens read it or watch it. So much of this was disturbing. It left me feeling uncomfortable. Glad I watched it though. My son went through hell in middle school and I had to place him in a small private one where he thrived. I was also bullied mercilessly in middle school. That stopped in high school when I grew taller than most of the girls and took up sports. Still didn’t have but one close friend and that’s fine. A true friend makes all the difference.

    • Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

      Sorry to hear you and your son went through hell Laura! I often say that reading YA about high school often feel like a horror book. We, human, can be very nasty creatures; especially when young. But glad to hear you and your son did find ways to thrive. How old is he now?
      Does he still feel very affected by that experience?

  • Greg

    This is interesting as I’ve seen the Netflix show but haven’t read the book. I thought the show was well done, with the caveat that it could be triggering and/ or really upsetting to someone who has struggled with some of these things (and TBH there is so much going on, bullying, assault, shaming it’s not hard to imagine a LOT of people might be affected). I can’t really comment on the book though, but I’ll take your word for it. Suicide should never be glorified. And you have a good point, she went to an awful lot of trouble preparing these tapes?

    While I did think after watching the show that it might be a good conversation starter for teens, I totally get your point too. I know everyone in the high school was talking about it. Thanks for sharing, good to know.

    • Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

      I think that if I had watched the show instead of reading the book I wouldn’t have probably had such a strong reaction. I think that being in her mind the way you can only be when reading from first person POV may have made it more disturbing for me.

  • Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I’ve never read the book. I saw the series and thought it was pretty interesting. That being said, if I had a teen, I don’t know that I would want them watching it. Like you, I think Hannah’s plan was very thought out. In fact, I think a great twist would have been if she hadn’t actually died and after all was said and done, she returned and was like “Gotcha…now don’t you all feel like crap???” I really like the kid who played the other MC though. Thought his acting was pretty good.

  • Anna @Adventures with a Book Nerd

    I can’t make any comments on if it glorifies suicide, but I think that reviews like these are important. It’s important to have discussions like these. I haven’t read the book or seen the TV show, and I don’t know if I want to risk anything right now, but I am kind of excited to jump into this discussion with everyone! 🙂

  • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I haven’t read the book yet, but I did watch the show and I had some major reservations about it. I felt like it could easily be the type of thing that a depressed teen might decide to emulate to “get back at” all the people that they see as having wronged them. Which is kind of a dangerous notion to put into someone’s head, in my opinion.

  • Cee Arr

    I’ve heard really bad things about the book & series. I think if you’re gonna write a book like this, you need to do two things: 1) don’t make it YA, the risk is too great; 2) WARNINGS ALL OVER THE COVER AND TITLE PAGES.

    You may also want to add 3), an author’s note which explains why this is BAD. (Why don’t authors utilise author’s notes dammit?!?! I know a lot of people are like, ‘oh but you should be able to figure out…’ yeah, a lot of people can, BUT gestures vaguely at general state of the world I think we need to start being more explicit in our explanations.)

    • Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

      Yes I think your comment and La La’s comment are spot in. we need to be more careful with the YA content we are putting out there. That’s why I take the time to read books I KNOW I won’t like so I can post a review. I know you are big on author’s notes and you are so right! 🙂

  • La La in the Library

    You are so right! I have seen a couple of articles about the television series being toxic, but they both said they hadn’t read the book, so they didn’t know if the adaptation had been overly dramatized, but I guess not from your description. I have been saying over and over again that YA being popular is the worst things that ever happened to it. I know mist YA authors still feel a responsibility to make their books make either a positive or insightful statement, or at the very least, do no harm, but now there are authors who only care about the money, and of making the book dramatic in a negative way is the only way to do that… they don’t care. Plus, shame on the editors, publishers, and television producers for pushing this garbage. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I am going to link this post in my The Sunday Post tomorrow.

    And you are right, being angry about something is not suicidal behavior.

  • Olivia

    I decided not to read it because of the reasons you mentioned. I’ve read All the Bright Places and I absolutely did not like how it treated mental health and I think I’d rather stay away in future unless I hear reviews say a book has done it well.