A Teenager’s Suicide Story Comes to Life with Netflix’s Adaptation of “13 Reasons Why”
By: Jennifer Weeks
“13 Reasons Why” is a compelling story about a teenage girl driven to commit suicide. It has gained popularity since teen suicide is currently a widespread issue.
The novel will be adapted as a television show on Netflix. The first season will be released as a set of 13 episodes on March 31.
In the book, character Clay Jensen returns home from school and finds a mysterious box with his name on it waiting on his front porch.
In the box he discovers a cassette player with tapes of recordings from the deceased Hannah Baker.
There are 13 tapes, each with a reason for committing suicide.
It’s revealed that Clay is one of the reasons Hannah committed suicide. The cassettes reveal each person who drove her to her breaking point. Listeners pass the set to the next person who was involved.
The book was released in 2011, by Jay Asher.
Asher wrote the novel based on the transcripts from audio tapes that 16-year-old Hannah Baker recorded before committing suicide.
The book was first published in October 2007, by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Group, U.S.A. The book was an instant bestseller, spiking book sales and gaining attention from production companies.
“13 Reasons Why” was written as a fast paced, thriller-like novel. It’s narrated through Hannah and Clay, which gives it a more heartbreaking perspective.
The book explores several themes throughout the story, such as rape, underage drinking, sex, depression and suicide.
Due to its content and high school setting, the book is catered to young adult readers, ranging from ages 13-18.
Hannah was depressed and had so many secrets. The most tragic part was her parents inability to help her.
It’s difficult to read a young woman’s first hand experience with bullying and secrets, which ultimately drove her to believing her only solution was suicide.
The purpose of the novel is to open the reader’s eyes to the help they can receive if they share their struggles with someone they trust.
“13 Reasons Why” makes you want to get involved by spreading suicide awareness. No one deserves to feel the way Hannah Baker did, thinking suicide was the only way out.
It will be interesting to see how Selena Gomez depicts the novel on screen.