Guys, I just finished this series on Netflix & I need to talk about it. Obviously, SPOILERS AHEAD!
If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s based on a Young Adult novel by Jay Asher of the same name. It centers around a Hannah, who committed suicide & left cassette tapes as to her reasons why she took her life. Jay Asher is a well known & loved YA author & Netlfix optioned the series & released it in April of 2017. The story deals with depression, bullying, drugs, drinking, isolation, suicide, high school, friendships, sexuality, sexual assault, abusive families; it’s obviously incredibly sensitive & heavy material.
First off, what do we think about Justin? I couldn’t stand him & the stunt he pulled with Hannah on the playground is unforgivable. But, my God- his home life? Bryce totally took advantage of him & held it over his head & then exerted control over him. His mother constantly picked her abusive boyfriends over her son & when he was crying to Jess because he had no place to live & wanted to do whatever he could to get back with her, my heart broke.Jess, my Lord, did this girl suffer a huge downward spiral or what? Drinking liquor in bed, running around with Justin, slapping Hannah. I found it hard to like Jess. I know she was damaged & obviously has some serious self-esteem issues, but she was a Really crappy friend to pretty much everyone. I feel like I wanted a little more of Alex. He was kind of a voice of reason at different times & I am Really Into Miles Heizer. I loved the coffee challenge we was doing with Hannah & Jess at the cafe, but when he & Jess began to date I knew the triangle wouldn’t last for long & that crushed me. We’ve all been the third wheel & we’ve all been squeezed out of friendships, but this one was brutal to watch. Tony is my man. He is so sweet, kind, gentle & was dedicated to helping Hannah’s tapes get out the way that she wanted. Sometimes he was a little weird, remember the rock climbing with Clay, but he was my favorite character in this series. Bryce is undoubtedly the scum of the Earth. The fact that his house had a photo of an adult elephant next to a dead baby elephant speaks volumes about what kind of guy he was. This high school & this town is insane. The fact that this piece of shit raped 2 teenage girls without any repercussions makes my stomach turn. Where the hell were his parents anyway? This situation hit a little too close to reality & reminded me of a certain swimmer convicted of rape & the devastation the victim & her family continue to experience. Clay & Hannah- why couldn’t they have made it work sooner? Argggghhhhh! Guys, make you move and tell and girl you’re Really Into her; the worst that can happen is that she tells you to go to hell. Ladies, same goes for you- if you’re Really Into someone- let them know. I guess It’s easy for me to say, I’m not stuck in this godforsaken high school with social media, bullying & lies.
Hannah, oh Hannah. When she was talking to Derek Luke (the counselor) about her feelings of depression & suicidal ideations…she hit the nail on the head. She just wanted everything to stop- she needed a break & my Lord, the girl couldn’t catch one. The suicide & rape scenes were near impossible to watch. I felt sick to my stomach after watching Hannah end her life & devastated that she felt that was her only choice. I read a few articles about why the writers chose to get so graphic with these scenes. Art is supposed to make you feel, even if you don’t agree with it & 13 Reasons Why definitely succeeded in that regard.
As a parent, this story was frustrating because I do feel like Hannah did not reach out to the right people. I don’t know if that could have saved her, but I feel like her parents would have done ANYTHING possible to help her. They were preoccupied with life, the business, but they were present & available for Hannah. I also don’t know how I really felt about the tapes. We all have an affect on everyone we meet & tiny decisions can have lifelong consequences (hello, Sheri & the stop sign) but to leave your loved ones behind & make their guilt & shame perhaps worse through these tapes is almost too much for me to handle. I suppose this was the best way Hannah had to get her story out & at perhaps all her friends, acquaintances & family understood her short, troubled life a bit better.
I need to know what you thought about this series- please leave me a note in the comments.