Kid reviews for 13 Reasons Why

Common Sense says

Disturbing book adaptation sheds light on teen suicide.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 92 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 192 reviews
Teen, 16 years old Written byBookNerd1842 April 2, 2017

A Must-See For Any High School Student

Back in sixth grade, I eagerly picked up the novel "Thirteen Reasons Why" from a shelf in the back of my catholic school's library. It had an eerie cover and an intriguing, unconventional synopsis, two factors I immediately found appealing. So I started reading. In no time, I was horrified and confused. I sought answers from my peers who pretended like they understood, but frankly knew just as much as me. I even gave the book to my Mom to read, because I still desperately needed to understand what happened to Hannah. Of course, my young and conceded self pretended as if I only wanted to pass on the story to her, but once she finished, she understood my actual intent. She sat me down and asked what I truthfully understood from the story, and explained how she didn't really want me to understand other topics addressed in the book just yet. She specifically used the term "shelving topics", so that later on, when I was ready, we could revisit them. I agreed, and we moved on. I was an avid reader, so it didn't take long for me to grow an obsession over another book. However, the story gradually developed a bad stigma in my head , because it was the book with the "bad things I shouldn't understand". I eventually left the catholic school I had discovered the novel at and transferred to my local public school in pursuit in a healthier environment, which I quickly and happily found. When I heard whispers about a film adaptation a couple years later, I grumbled a bit. I could only think, "No one should see that on screen". However, this was the time in which I was only really starting to meet genuine people and read honest stories. Everything was suddenly and beautifully becoming three dimensional. It was then I heard about the established Netflix TV Series, and I quite suddenly became curious. What had happened in that book I only had snippets of a memory left of? Over time I'd figured out bits and pieces of what I couldn't understand in the book, but some things were still fuzzy and hazy. I knew the main message--you have a bigger impact on others than you know. It made me a bit paranoid at times, but in the best possible way. Well, now that I've finished the TV Show, I wish I could tell you how much I cried. As a book nerd it pains me a little to admit I like it better than the book, and not just because I finally understood it. It offered so, so, so much more closure and character development, depicting messy teenagers who screwed up but realized it and tried to fix it. For any parent reading this, don't let your younger ones watch this show just yet. Please don't. It'll confuse and traumatize them, and it's frankly unnecessary and cruel. However, encourage your High Schoolers to. I'm now a ninth grader, and seeing that a majority of this happened to kids only a year older than me was frightening. These were the big kids who did bad things according to my younger self, and now they were me. They could have been me. Families should know that there's violence, there's drinking, there's swearing, and that there's sex. Worse, there are kids trying to do right who are beat up, there are kids who are pressured into drinking, the F bomb is spoken countless times throughout every episode, and there's a great deal of detailed rape. There's suicide that isn't glossed-over or sugar-coated in anyway, and viewers are forced to watch it all. But I'm not selecting the warnings reading there's "too much violence" or "too much sex", because the overwhelming large amount of violent content is the perfect amount for this story. Suicide and rape are not pretty, and they shouldn't be portrayed that way. The audience needs to want to look away and cry. The audience needs to understand that what's happening on screen isn't right. This is a painful story, but sometimes pain resonates stronger. This story battles the wants versus the needs of a dead girl and the tragedy of assuming a person's story. You never know what's going on in someone's life, and letting them down once could end up being the final straw in letting them down for a life-time. High-schoolers need to see this not only to find comfort in spotting themselves in Hannah's pain, but also so they can offer open eyes for peers like Hannah. Teens need to look up and around them, and this story will powerfully startle them into doing so. I love and hate this story all at once, and I hope you decide to as well.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Teen, 16 years old Written bylulu2255 April 1, 2017

The review makes the violence and sex sound less extreme

The rating of 16+ is pretty accurate for this TV show, but there is not a good description of how much sex and violence are in the TV series. In the first episode the amount sex is fairly tame, but as the series progresses more is applied or shown (both straight and gay, plus a teen is shown masturbating). The rating for sex is not entirely accurate, and should at least be three. Also the whole emotional aspect of the series is hard to process. The chilling suicide scene is hard to handle, and the description for violence does not even mention it. I have conclude that the rating was only for the first episode because there are plenty of important details that the review completely ignores. It is a very interesting series that shines a light onto the things that people need to know about, but just be aware that there are many things that are not covered in the review that should be.

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Sexy stuff
Teen, 13 years old Written bydandann April 1, 2017

Very GOOD message! But can be very disturbing at times!!

This show puts a very good point across but is very different from the book! Be warned that in the middle of the season there are rapes scenes where you see part of it and no nudity other than part of a butt. There is a lot of language and it is very constant but it's pretty much the same as what you might hear at an average high school. Very good and highly recommend !! BINGE-WORTHY!!!

This title contains:

Positive messages
Sexy stuff
Language
Teen, 15 years old Written bywizardortitan April 12, 2017

Very mature? Yes. However...

Anyone who is offended by the content here, or who seriously thinks that no one under 17 should be watching this, needs to actually TALK to a high school student. If you're offended by the language (which isn't that bad outside of the occasional F-bombs), walk through a high school hallway sometime. I've heard more F-bombs in one five-minute passing period then the entirety of this show. Another complaint I've heard is about the vivid detail of the suicide scene. Yes, it is quite graphic, but it's not tasteless or gratuitous. Netflix and the producers worked closely with actual psychologists who decided that the impact of the scene was important for the viewer to see. It doesn't glamorize suicide or make it look appealing in any way.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Violence & scariness
Language
Teen, 17 years old Written bybeanstar April 2, 2017

"13 Reasons Why" is here, and it is not only brilliant, but also dark and unflinching. So keep in mind what to expect.

Note to people living through teen angst: "13 Reasons Why" is essential. Adapted from Jay Asher's book of the same name, "Reasons" explores into the affected lives of people involved in the aftermath of the suicide of high school student Hannah Baker, who killed herself two weeks before the show's events. "Reasons" explores the events through mostly the perspective of protagonist Clay Jensen, Hannah's former classmate and crush. Two weeks later after Hannah's death, Clay received a set of thirteen tapes in which Hannah recorded just before her death, explaining thirteen reasons why she killed herself -- some of whom were minor and others of whom are emotionally and physically traumatizing -- and accuses several people as the culprits in their respective tapes -- and Clay finds himself accused as well, but doesn't know why. In an effort to make amends, Clay attempts to confront the people responsible and try to understand why. Meanwhile, the accused people try to find ways to stop Clay from finding more about the truth, and Hannah's parents started to suspect that Hannah's death was more about than just a suicide while confronting the school system in a lawsuit that can affect everyone involved. Directed in part by Academy Award winning director Tom McCarthy of "Spotlight" and written with confidence and elan by Pulitzer Prize-winning Brian Yorkey, the first two episodes initially establishes itself as a mystery revolving around Hannah's death, with an understated sense of subtlety and complexity contextualized within its story and characters to accompany the show's sense of noir-ish uncertainty and investigative intelligence. However, as the show continues on, it expands more from its initial viewpoint and becomes more than that. "Reasons" doesn't only explores the ambiguity within teen suicide and bullying, but also is an expansive overview of the world affected by Hannah's death. It fleshes out its characters as more of flawed human beings rather than stereotypical archetypes, and the story within is so complex that there's no doubt it can expand into several seasons, even though the story is written in its one original book. Acting performances are very solid across the board -- professionals and newcomers alike. Aussie newcomer Katherine Langford's compelling performance of the tormented and sad Hannah is the MVP, but Dylan Minnette is almost equally compelling as the guilt-ridden Clay, haunted by the unpredictable tragic circumstances of these dark events. Meanwhile, performances are very strong from the board, especially from the accused teenagers (in particular, Alisha Boe as Hannah's former friend Jessica, and Brandon Flynn as ashamed athlete Justin Foley) and also from Hannah's parents, played in devastatingly great turns by Kate Walsh and Brian d'Arcy James. Almost everything else, such as the writing, direction and cinematography, makes it all stand out, making it all the more memorable for those to watch. However, be careful what you'll see, because "13 Reasons Why" is not only your usual YA show in narrative and character sense, it is also unusual in a maturing and thematic sense. It is dark as it can emotionally tender, brutally unflinching as it is subtle, and intense as it is urgent. That being said, this is for mature audiences. There are frequent instances of strong language throughout the show (mostly by teenagers), with frequent uses of "f--k", "s--t", "god---n", "a--hole" and other several uses of profanity. Occasional instances of drug use and sexuality are shown, as well as some very bloody fist fights, but the one that's strongly cautioned is three disturbing depictions involving two instances of sexual assault and an infamous scene of suicide. If you can handle the difficult subject matter, "13 Reasons Why" is definitely recommended to watch. It is a brilliant show because of how it stands out from the crowd of the young-adult genre in the media, but it can be very dark and unflinching at times, but if you can handle its difficult subject matter and complexity, then it is totally a must-see. VERDICT: I found myself glad to have seen "13 Reasons Why". It was engaging, addictive and emotionally direct in many complex ways that made me give this show my respect. Even if it is intended to be a story that is about teen suicide and bullying, it feels more like an exploration, a complex tale about regret, loss, unhingedness, mistakes and recuperation, even though its bleakness can be a bit too much for viewers. There are people like Hannah Baker in the world that need support now and it's important to help them so that they won't have to be through the events that Hannah have been through. We owe them that respect, that integrity, that care, all as much as this show do. So, for one last time, go see the show and understand why. You won't regret it. April 2nd, 2017

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byswaintraub April 2, 2017
I have a big issue with the description of this show on this website; with several shows, actually. All of the information given is only from the first episode and that is definitely something to take into account when deciding whether or not to watch it, or to allow your kid to watch it. I just wrote that "I think it's for kids age 15 and up" because I'm 15; I don't know your kid. I don't know what bothers them and what they can tolerate. This show is very upsetting but it's also very important. I think that watching the informational thing after finishing all 13 episodes is essential. Everyone should watch something like this at some point so that they can be aware. It teaches a good lesson. There is a lot of violence, drugs, swearing, and sex; but there's a lot of heart too. To parents: don't not let your kids watch this because you're not comfortable with them being of aware of all the sex and stuff (they know a lot more about it than you think they do), I promise that watching this show will do more good for them than harm.
Teen, 17 years old Written bymatt54 April 4, 2017

Only for mature teens.

I disagree with all of the reviews on this website as none of them have watched the series from start to finish. The show contains Graphic depictions of rape and suicide itself. Firstly rape is graphically shown (although no genitalia can be seen). There are multiple scenes of which sexual assault and other types of sexual nature are shown. Secondly it is incredibly violent towards the end of the show. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD So the girl who killed herself is finally shown doing the act in the final episode. She deeply cuts her both her wrists while in the bath and she is seen bleeding to death. Also one of the characters kills themselves towards the end. Language is heavy but nothing that has not been heard by children around 13. Overall This Is An Incredibly Graphic Program that is covering mature topics. If your child is mature enough to understand that scenarios like this are happening in real life than they should be able to watch it.

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Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bybeachberry23 April 2, 2017
This is a good show, but includes more SEX and STRONG LANGUAGE than I was expecting. These scenes includes a girl's willingness to perform oral sex, a reference to masturbation, a clear brief sex scene between two teenagers (nakedness, thrusting, moaning, etc.), and reference to partners. Two long, horrible rape scenes are shown as well. F**k is used liberally and gratuitously (as teens do), as is sh*t, d**n, and almost every other swear in the book. Drug paraphernalia is seen and referenced quite a few times (Bongs, weed, getting "high/stoned"). The saddest and most disturbing part of this show is that it is extremely accurate compared to real life. Don't get me wrong; this show is gripping and emotional, but it is hard to watch. In my opinion, the general rating should be a 4 for sex, at the very least. I don't think I could bring myself to watch it again.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bybooknerdlol223 April 1, 2017

good story - inappropriate show

i loved this book. this book and tv show really makes you think about the way our teen community works and i appreciate that. except this show is rated tv-ma for good reason. theres sex thrown around (straight and gay) and a guy jerks off in one episode and the language is pretty strong. the stuff they show is pretty disturbing but if you have/are a mature kid then this really is a great show. i really enjoy this show but some of the stuff is just really really graphic.

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Positive messages
Sexy stuff
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Teen, 15 years old Written byLissydoodle13 April 5, 2017

By Far the Best Book I've Ever Read

Some parents may keep their kids from reading this book (or watching the television show.) I completely understand why, but hear me out because this is important. Most kids have seen and heard much more gruesome, crude things on the school bus than they will watching this show. Some kids go through depression. Some kids become suicidal. It isn't all teens who contemplate these things. This book is very moving so let me explain why. I was suicidal early this past year. This book showed me how suicide affects others. Some people said Hannahs problems could've been worked through. That's the point. Don't give up and commit suicide because you can work through it no matter what it is. It also shows that everything you do has an impact. You never know what little thing you did that negatively impacted someone. Never take another's struggle for granted. And, finally the negatives. 1. Hannah does go through quite a lot. I'm not saying you should hide what happens from your children, I'm saying you should explain it. I didnt know what rape was until halfway through middle school. That's not something you want to learn about from kids at school. Explain these things to your child. I suggest letting them read the book/watch the show and only talk if they have questions or become frightened. Kids know more than you think. There is alchohol, drugs, violence, sex, and a lot of swearing. But it's not more than they will hear about in school. The only other con is that I spent the whole book desperately wanting Clay and Hannah to fall in love. And they didn't really get their chance.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byCassie.pandax April 13, 2017

SO GOOOODDD!!

This is an amazing show with an amazing message and it really shows how small actions on top of eachother can build up to something huge. I truely loved this show and i really recomend it

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Positive messages
Sexy stuff
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Teen, 14 years old Written byyassss April 23, 2017

nice

It has a really deep message, that is very real- and although it does contain some violence, that sort of thing does happen in real life, and it helps awareness for preventing suicide. It is a good show and entertaining.

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Teen, 16 years old Written byLilyLynne May 7, 2017

Vindictive, Not Educational

I was told by someone that was this movie was eye-opening and educational, and that it teaches valuable lessons on the consequences of our actions. This movie had the potential to do this, but i think it's actually incredibly harmful to viewers, especially teenagers. The 13 tapes Hannah sent out to the people who she felt had caused her to commit suicide were vindictive. The show left me feeling that I had just watched Hannah bring 13 other people down with her. It glorifies suicide as a way to hurt the people who hurt you. There's nothing to be gained here. On another note, I wish I could unsee the graphic rape scenes. Unfortunately, they'll stay with me for quite a while. Parents, I would suggest doing some serious research before you decide if you'll let your kids watch this.

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Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Teen, 17 years old Written byeglemcke April 21, 2017

Inaccurate depiction of mental illness

Although 13 Reasons Why brings up the issue of suicide in an engaging and powerful way, this show does more harm than good. First of all, there are far more resources and ways to get help than what is shown on the series. It is important for teens to understand that they CAN be saved before they consider suicide as a method of coping, and that there ARE people who are able to help them. Second of all, as someone who has gone through depression and been around suicide many times in my life, the show impacted me in a negative way. I personally had to skip over the suicide scene because it triggered some very strong negative emotions that I have been trying to overcome. I can only imagine what a child who has not experienced these things will begin to think about after watching the show, especially if they are beginning to have confused feelings themselves. Finally, Hannah's tapes essentially set out to make her friends feel guilty for what they have (or haven't) done. Usually suicide is to end personal pain, and not to blame others. Of course the show is a drama, but many teenagers don't need much drama to have mental illnesses or to kill themselves. I would not recommend this show. There are many other ways to teach young children and teens about the reality of mental illness and suicide.
Kid, 12 years old April 8, 2017

Intense extremely well made teen suicide TV series

This show is based on the young adult book of the same title. However some readers of the book will be socked by how confronting it is actually is seeing some of the themes in this show. The concepts of this show are very adult and are disturbing for not just the teen audience but the adult audiences as well. The story is about a teenage girl that records all the shocking events that happened to her on tape before she kills herslelf. All these 13 tapes have one reason of why she killed herself. She then gives all the tapes to all 13 people that caused these events. The tapes are given to all these people one by one. The tapes finally come to a 17 year old boy name Clay which is who is listening to the tapes throughout the series. The show is not for kids each episode has at least one very intense themes including sex language, drugs, violence and many more adult themes including: foul language : f**k, f**ker, c**t, bi**h, a*s, a*shole, motherf***er, s**t, sl*t, ni**r, d**k, p*ss, t*t. Sexual themes: kissing, sex, nudity, rape, sexual party games, masturbating, stripping, one character grabs Hannah's butt without her permission,and one character takes pictures of Hannah changing from outside her window, one character takes a picture underneath Hannah's skirt and says that he had sex with her then he sends it to everyone in the school, one character touches Hannah's vagina without her permission, Clay takes a photo of a mans butt and sends it to everyone in the school and one character creates a list that says Hannah ha the best butt in the school. Drug themes: Many characters are shown taking illegal drugs, characters buy and sell illegal drugs, characters smoke underage, people drink underage, people drink drive and one character dies in a car crash. Violence: many of the students get into brutal bloody fights, Clay falls of his bike and hits his head, Clay throws a rock at someone's head, Hannah slits he wrists and bleeds out it a bathtub and Alex gets his fathers gun and shoots himself in the head. Overall this is an excellent series it is very confronting at times but it will teach teens and adults that treating people like Hannah was treated is not ok and that you need to talk to the people you love. I think that all people over the age of 16 will appreciate and understand this series while not getting scared from the themes.

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Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bybooknerd0720 June 21, 2017

Horrifying

This show is horrifying. Many viewers expected that the show would help shed a new light on mental health issues, depression, and teen suicides. However, Hannah Baker (the main character) doesn't actually suffer from depression (though Netflix and the author say she does). Hannah's suffering stemmed from being sexually assaulted and bullied (both of these were graphically depicted). Chronic depression doesn't have a cause, but is something that develops due to chemical imbalances in the brain. The character that is Hannah Baker most likely had a personality disorder (also a form of PTSD). Not only did the show misrepresent mental illness, but it actually seems to glorify suicide. Hannah Baker constantly haunts the characters (and viewers) of the show by horrifying tapes she recorded before her death. The whole theme of the show was that the only way Hannah was able to be heard and have a voice was by killing herself. Through the tapes Hannah also blamed other characters, even encouraging them to kill or harm themselves of others for hurting her (even if it was something like spreading some rumors about her at school). Hannah was ignored until her death, then she was remembered, heard. The whole concept of the title, 13 Reasons Why, is that the people that hurt Hannah were the reasons she died. Hannah committed suicide; no one forced her. Also, Hannah's actual death itself was shown in terrible detail. The show graphically shows Hannah's friend being raped, Hannah being sexually assaulted, Hannah cutting her wrists, and even her dead body (which was surrounded by realistic blood). This is so unhealthy and just gives all the kids/teenagers that watch it the wrong idea about mental illness and suicide. It simply sends the wrong, horrifying message(s).

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Violence & scariness
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byawesometeen April 23, 2017

Great Season!

When I was in 7th grade I found this book and read it cover to cover in one night. It was so good that I began telling some of my classmates about it and they seemed to equally enjoy it. Now it seems like everybody has watched it. Although there are two scenes where a girl gets sexually abused, I don't think that anybody in middle school hasn't heard about something like that happening. And the swearing, personally I don't think that any middle schooler hasn't either heard or said all of those words. I hear more swears during lunch than it this series. I'm going to say the same thing about the drugs, every middle schooler has heard about some or even all of these drugs. At our school we have a required drug awareness class where we are introduced to many if not all of these drugs. Even though that there are all these "bad" things, I think that the message that the film writers were trying to get accross made it. There are also great people in this series that try to help each other make a better decision.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byelijah batz April 8, 2017

Great TV series. Very intense in almost every way.

I love how this TV series shows us a realistic viewpoint of high school. It doesn't follow the annoying stereotypes and cliches that most high school films suffer from. This show has a powerful message behind it that might change you. I don't want to spoil that message for you. It was a tear jerking show and it was attention grabbing. Some scenes were hard to sit through, which could be a good thing and a bad thing. I wish I knew who the camera man and editors are, because they need a freaking Oscar. The direction is beautiful as well. 10/10, just a flawless show!

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Positive messages
Sexy stuff
Teen, 15 years old Written byliv15cheer April 30, 2017
I thought that the movie gave a good message out to people that if they get bullied or anything in the movie then you should tell an adult. This movie showed to not be afraid of telling your parents what's wrong at your school. If I had kids I would let them watch this because it shows what they should do if it happens to them.

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Positive messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byvvaterlily April 23, 2017

Sensitive Topic

This show is becoming popular very quickly, and even those who haven't seen the show know of it. It has a very graphic ending scene and leaves a lot of cliffhangers that can keep some teens bothered. 13 Reasons Why talks about rape, sex, violence, social issues, depression, self harm, and finally suicide. Not for people who are easily upset.

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