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thirteen reasons why

If We Were Having Coffee: It Feels Like I’m Playing Catch Up 

Hello everyone and Happy Easter! It feels like I’m playing catch up with these #weekendcoffeeshare posts because it’s been awhile since my last one. I would say this is accidental if it weren’t that I honestly just didn’t feel like doing one of these posts these last couple weeks. I don’t think making excuses for myself will change that truth for me so I figure I might as well be honest about it. But I’m back with this post and hopefully I’ll continue to do more of them in the months to come. But for now, I’ll try and see if I can catch you up to speed with what’s been going on in my life. 

If we were having coffee, the first thing I’d probably tell you is we’ve been watching friends of ours pets lately. We watched someone my Mom knows dog and cat a couple weekends ago and are now cat sitting for another friend. So far, we’ve gotten along with all of them and there haven’t been too many problems. I just recently spent the night with the two cats, one of which slept on top of me and was demanding my affections. 

Look at that sweet boy. How could you say no to that face? 

The other cat is more guarded around people, but he’s just as sweet. But it was nice spending the night with them so that they could have someone around to take care of them. It was also very quiet and peaceful in their house, which was also nice because it allowed me to finish one of my coloring pages and start on another. 

I really love the way this page turned out for me.

I really love coloring. It’s very peaceful, a nice way for me to relax and do something stress free. It also makes me feel like I’ve really accomplished something, even if it’s just filling another blank page to life. 

Speaking of which, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve been working on writing more in my journal. Right now, I’m trying to write in it once or twice a week, whenever the need calls for it. I think this is pretty realistic because I know there are going to be times I want to write, but not want to post on here. But right now, we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes. I know I’m currently optimistic about it because I really believe I can do it. I’ve also been working on a poem too, which is currently called “Forgiveness.” I’m not sure if I’m done with it yet, but once I am, I’ll be publishing it here for you all to read. 

I’ve also recently watched Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix, which was released March 31st and wrote a review about it. I’ve actually watched it twice since it’s release, because I enjoyed it so much I had to see it again. I even got my best friend to watch it and am letting her borrow my copy of the book now that she’s watched the show. I’ve also recently finished reading Wintergirls and am now planning on reading All the Rage, which I’m hoping will be a much better read. After finishing Thirteen Reasons Why, I’m now watching American Horror Story to see what it’s like. So far, it’s interesting, to say the least. But I haven’t made an overall opinion of it just yet. 

If we were having coffee, I’d briefly talk about work. I’d tell you it’s gotten somewhat better for me. Knowing I only have one week, then it’s summer makes me happy. It means I’ll be able to work on improving my resume and hopefully get a job in my field very soon. I’ll also have more free time to write and doing other things I love. So knowing after this week I’ll get a little bit of a break makes me feel good about what’s left of work. Also, the job I was interested in at work, someone else was interested in it and talked about it before I could so the position has already been filled. But I’m actually glad someone else is doing it because I would still be at this place. 

Other than that, nothing else has been going on. Tomorrow is Easter. I’ll be celebrating by going to Sunrise Service with a friend at 7, then later going to dinner at a friend’s house. I hope you all have a good Easter with your loved ones. 

TV Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

After reading Thirteen Reasons Why, I found out it was becoming a Netflix show and decided to watch it once it was released. While I normally don’t do television reviews of any kind, I figured I could make an exception for this, considering I enjoyed the book so much that I was interested to see how it would look on TV. 

I wasn’t at all disappointed. It was everything I expected and more. The story transformed on television much better than I anticipated, bringing to life serious topics young adults need to discuss, such as bullying, rape and suicide. This is one of the things I enjoy about the book, but enjoyed more when I saw my imaginings come to life.  The directors made sure not to shy away from any of the issues Hannah brought to light in her tapes, even if it meant that the show was graphic with its content. These are all issues that need to be openly talked about so I was very pleased to see the directors highlight them. It showed that they really cared about bringing awareness to really heavy subject matter and making the show represent the books as close as they could. 

Hearing Hannah’s voice narrating her story really sucked me into wanting to see how these events unfolded. When reading Thirteen Reasons Why, it’s much harder to imagine what Hannah’s voice sounds like. But now, I find I’m not disappointed by what I hear not only because the audio is authentic, but because the actress who played as Hannah did a really good job at portraying her character. She made her much more sympathetic as a character because you could clearly see she was struggling and needed help. You can see as she continues telling her story how disappointed she becomes when the people she trusts continue letting her down. You can see Hannah falling apart leading up to the point where she can’t take it anymore and ends her life. All of these things make Hannah such a sympathetic character that you can’t help but follow along to hear what she has to say. 

Since we are already on the topic of character, I’d like to add I actually like the way all of the characters and the story is portrayed on the Netflix series much better than the book. When reading the book, I felt like all of the characters were flat since the whole story centered on Clay spending all night listening to Hannah’s tapes. You didn’t meet most of them besides being introduced to them with regards to how Hannah talked about them. In the TV original, however, you get to see and meet the characters Hannah’s story focuses on. You get to see how they all interact with each other and how Hannah’s tapes effected their lives. You also actually get introduced to both Hannah and Clay’s parents, both of which play a crucial role in the overall story arch in the show. In the book, these characters didn’t have much of an appearance other than Hannah’s parents no longer being at their house since her death. In the show, they are investigating the school with regards to Hannah’s death, trying to find out why their daughter committed suicide. The same can be said with the characters mentioned on Hannah’s tapes. In the show, they are all in a panic when Clay is listening to the tapes because he’s reacting to what he hears Hannah say about them. They’re worried he’s not going to pass the tapes on or turn them in to the school. 

I love that the show went off script from the books for a couple reasons. For one, it makes the story more interesting and continues to show how one person’s actions results in many different consequences. It also makes you as the viewer more interested in seeing what’s going to happen next as Clay continues listening to the tapes and reacting to them. Seeing Hannah’s parents invested interest in getting justice for their daughter plays a role in this too because they along with the tapes become Hannah’s voice since she can no longer speak. This all shows how suicide impacts everyone’s life, which is a very strong message that I appreciate the directors taking the time to portray in the script for the show. 

For all of these reasons, I find myself enjoying Thirteen Reasons Why as a television show more than a book. I find the show does a good job of bringing the words from the text to life in a way that every viewer can relate to. It also has more of an emotional impact on me because of my own personal traumas, some of which can be seen in my “Truer Than Fiction” blog post  I also highly recommend those going through personal problems of their own to watch it so that you can know you are not alone and that you can always get help.

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why


Rating: 3 stars

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.

I remember being introduced to this book by an old friend of mine when I was in high school. At the time, I remember reading it, becoming so engrossed with Hannah’s character. She was a mysterious girl because when reading, you didn’t really know too much about her. She told you about the things that happened to her during her freshman year of high school and that she wasn’t the type of girl the rumors portrayed her to be. But I also felt a connection to her, having been in high school at the time and understanding the struggles she was going through.

I felt that I could relate to her. Even though I never had rumors like that about me flying around school, I was bullied during my early years of education. So I completely understood where she was coming from and could see how the events that transpired turned her whole world upside down. Even though I’m no longer in high school, reading Thirteen Reasons Why a second time around didn’t change that perception for me.

Hannah Baker is a very sympathetic character. She attends a new high school, trying the best she can to fit in only to find her peers never taking the time to get to know her as a person. They are so busy believing the rumors about her to realize how alone she was and to see that their actions unintentionally lead to her death.

Another reason this story pulls at my heart is because it’s a very sensitive topic. Suicide isn’t something a lot of people feel comfortable talking about, due to people not understanding how the smallest things can have a big impact on a person’s life. Like mental illness, people don’t know how to talk about suicide and don’t understand it as well as people who’ve felt that pain before. Despite how hard suicide as a topic is to discuss about, these discussions need to be had and I appreciate Jay Asher, the author of Thirteen Reasons Why, for writing about it. It makes me hopeful that one day, suicide won’t be such a big stigma.  This book also brought up a lot of other key issues, such as rape and drunk driving, which aren’t heavily talked about either and are just as important to discuss.

I also enjoyed this book because of the way the story is told. The novel is from the perspective of Clay Jensen, who receives cassette tapes one day after school with Hannah’s voice on them explaining why she killed herself, saying the responsibility lies with those who receive the tapes. The people involved also receive a map of their town, marked with stars of locations where the events Hannah mentions take place. I enjoyed reading this book through Clay’s thoughts and actions and Hannah’s voice. It made it seem more in depth and personal. I also liked that Asher used cassette tapes for Hannah’s death note. As a 90s child, I grew up using cassette tapes and a Walkman whenever I wanted to listen to something on the go. It made the story a little nostalgic with those elements, considering how far technology has advanced in today’s day and age.

However, I do have a couple criticisms for Thirteen Reasons Why. While I enjoyed the way this story was told, I felt like Asher had Hannah more telling the story than Clay. Yes, he’s the one who had the tapes and his thoughts about what transpired where pretty clear, but I felt like there was more telling in the story than showing. I also didn’t really see a whole lot of character development in any of the characters in this story. I think part of that is because of hearing from Hannah her thoughts about the people who affected her life made it hard for us to really get a good understanding of the other characters. We knew Hannah didn’t really like them, but I wish we could’ve learned more about them and why they were such terrible people.

I also just didn’t really get how Clay is supposedly a nice guy. He’s included in the tapes and the story is told from his perspective, but you don’t really get to know him as a person outside of him listening to those tapes. Throughout the book, he only interacts with a couple people and even those few interactions didn’t give us a real glimpse of his character. Yes, he did some nice things, helped people out, but that isn’t enough for me to truly believe someone is a nice person. I also didn’t see how this whole thing really changed his life either. I get he had a better understanding of what Hannah was going through after the tapes, but he didn’t seem all that different to me than before. But I did sympathize with him because it was evident in the story how much he cared about Hannah and wanted to help her in any way he could.

I felt like I knew more about where Hannah and the rest of her classmates lived than the characters in this story. Part of that was because of Clay going to some of the locations Hannah mentioned in the tapes and Asher describing those places in perfect detail. While I don’t mind knowing more about the world characters live in, it’s a little frustrating with this story because I wanted to know the characters better other than knowing all the terrible things they did to Hannah.

While I sympathize with Hannah, I sometimes find her character to be very weak. I understand how depression works on a person’s mind, making them feel completely helpless, but I just didn’t always understand some of her actions. For example, the incident with the sign I felt like she could’ve very easily done something about. I know she had called the police, but I felt like she should’ve told them who knocked the stop sign down. I felt this way with some of the other incidents that happened in the book too because they were things she could’ve very easily done something about. Especially all of the things that happened towards the end where she’s still struggling to make up her mind about whether to take her own life. Despite these issues with her character, I understand that she was probably already too far gone at these moments in the story to really do anything about these situations. I feel like that is probably why she didn’t stop certain things from happening and why I feel myself questioning some of her actions.

While I have all of these criticisms for Thirteen Reasons Why, I still enjoyed reading it again. It left me sad knowing the story was over and remembering Hannah being dead, but I still found it as good of a read as the last time I read it. I hope others read it with an open mind and find themselves understanding suicide being a much more complicated issue than it seems. Because even though the reasons Hannah gave seem very small and insignificant, together they created a snowball effect that resulted in her not able to get any help until it was too late.

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