All parent member reviews for Thirteen Reasons Why

Parents say

(out of 26 reviews)
age 14+
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Parent Written byThe Literate Mother May 18, 2012

The Literate Mother reviews 13 Reasons Why

I have really struggled with how to review this book. Let me start by saying that I didn’t enjoy it at all. Suicide is a topic that we definitely need to discuss with our teens, no question. But I was disappointed in Hannah’s propensity for blaming others. Hannah’s method of exposing the crimes against her leaves no room for forgiveness or change. While she does accept the ultimate responsibility for taking her own life, she lays a lot of blame along the way, becoming by her own actions, everything that others labeled her. The main message of the book is that how we treat and interact with others truly has an effect. A quote from Hannah sums it up this way. “I guess that’s the point of it all. No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.” I think most of us, and our children as well, need a reminder of this fact. We can all be a little more kind, compassionate and understanding, because just as the people on Hannah’s list contributed to her fall, we each have the capacity to be the one who literally saves a life. Also, suicide is never a solution. Hannah had some really hard things happen to her, but they were not insurmountable. Because she lacked a strong support system, she allowed herself to believe there was no other way to go on. We need to teach kids that they can overcome anything. We need to empower them to face and solve their problems, not give up and run away. I also struggled with the heavy sexual content. I don’t think that we need rape, premarital sex, and a girl allowing (and by her own admission she does allow it) a boy she doesn’t even like to misuse her body, in order to discuss suicide and how our actions affect others. I am a married 40-something woman and I was very uncomfortable with the hot tub scene. I felt dirty reading it. What will young adult women feel when they read it? We can discuss suicide and the consequences of our actions without this kind of content. Overall I can’t recommend this book for anyone younger than 18. I can already hear the emails being written about how these are real issues teens deal with today, which I completely understand, but I think there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of dealing with them. And while books do offer opportunities to discuss difficult topics with our children, they are by no means the only avenue to start a conversation.
Adult Written byJess02 April 20, 2010

Excellent Book

I don't see what's terrible about this book. It talks about sucicide, and how she was depressed. Like thousands of teens are today.This book could be very educational, and could teach teens how to choose their actions wisely.
Adult Written byBrej123 April 5, 2012

I loved this book and it was one of my favorites and in a way still is but I gave it one star because....

This is a very entertaining and powerful book however for some people it could trigger suicide. In a way it glamorizes her suicide and for some people this could lead them to commit suicide. You probably think this is ridiculous but I know firsthand it isn't. Of course the majority of people are not going to respond to it that way. For those people they could learn to watch out for someone who might harm their-self or realize that Hannah's problems weren't so bad and she could of gotten through them. Also my other issue with the book is while she went through some tough stuff there are people facing much harder challenges. What type of message does this book send to them?
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bycookie2001 April 8, 2010
The only redeeming character is a boy that befriended the main character. Ironically the suicide girl wants to make him feel badly after she committed suicide. At the end of the book it depicts this boy as feeling responsible and feeling that he should try to help other lonely kids. So if this book conveys the msg don't say anything that is mean, fine, but the msg should also include if you feel someone might commit suicide seek help from an adult. Responsible adults were absent from this book. It is a depressing book and unfortunately does not present information on how to deal with a suicidal person.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byGabrialGrewOnUp May 30, 2011

It's truly informative, It's truly true. It's the truth that you need to know about you.

I thought this book was very well written, and being that I'm 18 I dind't find to much wrong with it. Althought it is not something I would recommend for younger ages. I lent this book to some of my friend's when I was done with it and it was interesting to see the mixed reviews, some of them understood why I loved it so much while others couldn't understand what just happened, they had been hoping for a perfectly happy ending in which Hannah had saved herself - which of course if that had happened we wouldn't have a book. I myself was hoping maybe she went back to her home town and just didn't tell anyone. But the book is very informative it covers a subject most authors tend to shy away from and doesn't just mention it. The book is full of teen problems - I mean not every teen may have a peeping tom, or a party every weekend - but a lot of us go through points in our life where we're harrassed by someone, or are feeling down and just need to be told that we're special to somone. I really enjoyed it and although it may have certain thins that are off putting to you, I think the book is a must read for all teenagers. There's never a reason to kill yourself, and everyone who feels that way needs to look for some help, whether it's a friend, or a help line, just because someone says something about you, or people talk about you behind your back, doesn't mean any of it's true.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 11 and 12 year old Written by4CKids April 19, 2011

GREAT UNIVERSAL MESSAGE for High Schoolers

This book was a page turner for me as an adult. Much of the story line had an "I can relate" factor. Loved it! Well written for sure. GREAT UNIVERSAL MESSAGE for those entering High School, but NOT for those under 14 in my opinion. The sexual content (rape,fourplay,inuendos) is too much for the age group. I would not let my preteen read this until all of the topics related to this book have been addressed between parent and child thoroughly.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Adult Written byreadingredding February 18, 2012

Excellent Lessons, Unique Insight

This book is fantastic. A different take on suicide and important for people to read. It truly shows the impact every single one of us have on each other. I think it also offers a good opportunity to have a discussion about when you should do the right thing. I would definitely share this book with students and teens I know.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 14 and 17 year old Written byConnectedMom2010 June 23, 2010

Every high school student should read this now

Every kid 14 and older should read this book. I think this book applies not only to teenage suicide, but to many other issues facing our children today. Everyone (including adults) can find themselves in this book, whether you are the troubled, the trouble causing, or trouble- enabling. This book will definitely stay with you for a long time after you finish reading - hopefully, it can help you to become a more compassionate and understanding person. I know it has changed the way I look at people and what they may be experiencing. A must-read.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 5 year old Written byMarsBars March 7, 2010

Teaches a valuable lesson

This was a great book. I wouldn't recommend it for an elementary school aged child, but middle and high school students should definitely read this book. It sends a message to kids on how you should treat people well, and though you may not realize it, every negative thing you do has a negative effect. It can be used to teach tweens and teens to be decent people, not to mention how they should reach out to someone they think might be in trouble.
Parent Written byMrs.Kozojed December 10, 2011

Relevant and Engaging for Teens

In my opinion, 13 Reasons Why is appropriate for kids of all ages. Parents who feel that the book presents immoral behavior and exposes teens to the horrors of the sin of suicide are right, but also need to realize that our kids are already aware of the harsh reality of teen suicide. I, personally, feel the book is flat and doesn't accurately portray someone who is going through the intense inner-turmoil that would lead to suicide. Hannah kills herself because she doesn’t feel socially accepted and is chastised by her peers – which is too shallow to convince me that the author has real experience battling suicidal impulses. Maybe I feel this way because I am 25-years-old and beyond caring what other people think-- at least to the extent that I would consider taking my own life. However, my dad killed himself when I was 14; consequently, I thought about suicide a lot when I was an adolescent. The fact that we can have a conversation and spread awareness about suicide is healthy and I think this is a relevant and engaging book to recommend to a teen.
Parent of a 12 year old Written bygbatt December 21, 2010

Not good for younger than 13. Should be older than 13 at least.

I am 12 and I read Thirteen Reasons Why. It was not appropriate for anyone younger than 13. Although I didn't understand some of it, it might be scaring for youth. Overall the book is good but one should read it when older to understand.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byReading Teacher... April 7, 2011

Appropriate for high school readers

This was a good read but definitely not appropriate for middle school readers. I wouldn't let my own daughter read it until she was a sophomore or junior. It contains sexual content that is very graphic and teens engaged in destructive behaviors with drugs/alcohol. It does address some pressing issues of the day, but there are other good books that address bullying that are more appropriate for middle school readers.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byLibrary Book Guru November 22, 2010

A must for high school students and anyone who works with teenagers.

Teen suicide is never an easy topic to deal with, but sadly to say, a reality. This book deals with a tough issue in a way teenagers can relate to. Asher's book looks kids in the face and says sometimes your behavior, acts of omission or commission, can and will push an emotionally fragile person over the brink. It is not a book without hope. It is a book where at least one young man learns from his mistakes and decides to put away his politically correct behavior and demonstrate care and concern for those who are walking the edge. Not a pretty picture, but certainly one worth viewing and discussing with teenagers, reminding them there is always an alternative to our heartaches, sorrow, sadness, and problems. And death is not it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written byteenwriter2009 October 11, 2010

Perfect for teens especially those who suffer from depression and self-harm.

Everyone who has been bullied, witnessed bullying or went to high school in general should read this book. It is amazing in all aspects and you can learn a lot from it. Suicide is an iffy topic but, if more people knew about it then more people could prevent it. If I had had the access to books like this when I was younger, I would've turned out a lot more differently and wouldn't have tried to kill myself three times. Don't ban your kids from reading this book because quite frankly, they will learn a lot from it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 15 year old Written byrunner23 October 8, 2009

perfect for older kids I'm not sure about tweens

I loved this book I recomended it to everyone I know. It really shows what bulling can do to some one. It also teaches NOT TO JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
Adult Written byizzyjudd March 16, 2015

Fantastic

Please dont act like your children are innocent and dont know about suicide and sex. by the time they are in 5th grade, they will learn about this stuff. This book has changed my life, it teaches you how what you say and what your actions are can and will affect someone else. children need to be more aware of this.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written bykgraddy December 1, 2014

Passing the Blame

I gave this book one star, but it took me a long time to come to this conclusion. While it was well written, as far as interest and development, I have a HUGE issue with the message of the book. I was first introduced to this book by a few of my 8th graders who read it, but wanted to read as part of our after-school book club. These are the kids that are reading this book and perhaps getting the wrong message about suicide and taking responsibilities for your own actions. In this book, Hannah, commits suicide, but blames it on other people. She records messages for 13 people she holds accountable for her need to kill herself and ensures that these tapes are delivered to all 13 people. While those people played a rather large part in significant events in her life, mostly by starting rumors or doing things they felt okay about because of the rumors. This book is sending out the wrong message to children. This book was about revenge; not about suicide. Hannah wanted those people she felt slighted by to hurt as much as she was hurting. She took no responsibility in making the decision to take her own life. It is well documented that people who commit suicide do so because they know no other way to stop the pain. It is also well documented that people who commit suicide or attempt it have some form of mental illness, usually depression. None of that was brought up in this book. This book completely negates that and the author should be ashamed of himself.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byanastasiahuese May 9, 2012

Think About the Effects

I read this book for a school project, I was intrigued to read this book because I had a close family member take their own life. I think it is important for younger teens to learn about the long term affects suicide has on people that are close to you. From my point of view teens tend to be making sarcastic comments about suicide when really you have no clue who is standing beside you and how this may affect their life. Therefore this book talks about the serious impacts this can put on others in the surrounding community. I recommend this book to teens for the reason that suicide in our generation is increasing. Its not the way to go, and you will hopefully take that from this book. If there are problems in your life like that, talk to someone. Suicide is not the option.
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 2 year old Written bymissydeibert March 23, 2011
this book is for teenagers not younger childeren but it is a very good book for adults/teenagers
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 3 year old Written bybeckstr84 November 23, 2009

A must read...you will not put it down

I loved this book. I think that every incoming freshman should have to read it as a summer read book. When I see other reviews of this book by parents I feel that they r missing out on the point off the book. I have only seen negative post but there r positives such as: Education…in the book it lists some good warning signs how one may act if suicidal ( characters in the book did not know them and missing the signs the main character was displaying) also Positive Message…Though out this whole book the main character feels as though no one cares but she didn’t know that people did care. High school is hard and this book shows how if you don’t feel like people care and you want to give up don’t because people do care. I also think that when kids read this book they can see how lying and ridiculing others is harmful in ways that we don’t always see. Yes there is talk about drinking, sex, and the lack of support from an adult….but let’s be honest our kids know more than we would like to believe.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

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