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 15+
Based on 200 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 403 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.

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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.

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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
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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, 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

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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.
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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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!!!

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Teen, 13 years old Written bygiggles35 August 20, 2017

Plz read

I say 13 reasons why is for mature teens. It's rated MA on Netflix. Before u think about watching it here is a few tips. Sex: There are some nude scenes but only the buttocks being shown. There are two rape scenes. Drinking: Some teens drinking outside of a store. And some underage drinking. SPOILER Violence: The main character commits suicide by slitting her wrists . I say look away or skip over that scene. Language: There are a lot of uses of the word f*uck but I hear worse at school. They also use b*tch ,sh*t just to name a few. Positivity: There is a good role model which is Clay. Overall I say for mature teens only!

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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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Teen, 15 years old Written bymoviewatcher12345 May 9, 2019
The show, though many reviews say it glorifies suicide and others say it's extremely inappropriate for younger teens, has an important message that's unfortunately far too relevant for kids growing up in this generation. Yes, it is based on and revolves around a girl who committed suicide, but the show does not glorify the idea of it. The show begins after Hannah Baker has already committed suicide, and leaves a box of tapes with thirteen reasons why she did it, and those reasons are people. Within the show you see how devastatingly her actions affected people who were her friends and family, and even people she didn't know well, or people she used to know but no longer did. It opens people's, as well as my own, eyes to how little things you say or do affect people, and it gives a realistic viewpoint at how the lives of people around a person who commits suicide deteriorate as they question why they said that one thing or did that other thing to the victim. The show successfully gets its point across, making suicide seem terrifying and leaves you far more aware of how it affects other people, even if someone doesn't think their actions will mean anything. Parents of teens watching this should however be checking in on them, to make sure they get the right message out of the show. It's too easy for misperception to occur and it results in teens seeing suicide as a cool thing because of this popular show. It has a good storyline, accurately represented events, and though the topics are tough, they are often discarded because they are taboo, and should be talked about with kids before, and while watching this show.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byHmrsmpsn June 8, 2018

I would have given this show 5 stars if it had just been the first season.

The first season was without a doubt great but the second season ruined it for me if you haven’t seen season 2 yet turn back while you still can just pretend only the first season exists let your imagination run wild and just make up what happens next trust me it’s better that way.

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Teen, 13 years old Written by_delaney_ April 26, 2017

It's not amazing

This was an okay show, but I'm disappointed by the way the portray mental health. There are flashbacks, and when Hannah's showing signs of being suicidal, they portray her as "annoying". When you have depression, you're apt to be a bit more clingy than usual and feel more need for love, but the producers and directors didn't show it that way. Furthermore, many mental health professionals told the producers that they strongly recommended not putting the actual suicide in the show. They did anyway, and it felt that they put it in not to raise awareness, but to stack up on views. Unlike the book where she overdoses, she slits her wrists and it's graphic. They dramatize it, and suicide/depression isn't something that should be dramatized. I said 15 and up because it has difficult problems to understand for younger kids, there's mastuerbation and rape involved, and there's quite a bit of swearing.

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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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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, 15 years old Written byHot Chocolate 06 August 19, 2021

Great Show

I think that this show was amazingly made. I suggest that before anyone watches it though, to know that it deals with serious topics like rape, suicide, drugs, etc. It may be best to watch with a parent if uncomfortable. This show is really good and keeps you interested the whole way through, therefore is a 5 star rating in my opinion. It discusses serious topics to raise awareness for these issues.
Teen, 15 years old Written byaiden2020 April 20, 2017

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Teen, 13 years old Written byriverscuomosfinsta September 14, 2021

don't watch if you're struggling with mental health issues

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Teen, 16 years old Written byOzark2008 September 1, 2021

RATED18+sex,nudity,language,substances,disturbing images,sexual violence,violence,sucide

EXTREMELY PORNY SERIES NO WAY FOR KIDS TO WATCH THIS (CONTE WARNING)THE GRAPHICS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IS VERY CLEAR+SEX SCENES THAT YOU MAY FIND EXTREMELY DISTURBING

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Teen, 13 years old Written byel. August 14, 2021

Educating, realistic, triggering, saved my life.

I have just finished the 4 seasons of 13 reasons why, this is now my favourite show, it’s filled with some great messages about how you can survive, u can live. and it was crazy how realistic it was too high school, what I liked was they didn’t shy away or soften from the sensitive and otherwise, taboo topics, and confronted them head on, no other show has done that and it’s not talked about in real life, only experienced. As someone that suffers with mental health this show has showed me another side of life, it got me into writing and made me realise my life is worth living and talking is good as long as it’s too the right person. there is sex, violence, and triggering/sensitive scenes so I’d advise you too watch it with someone else! but definitely do watch it. And parents watch this too as this is the world your child is living around and in and this show explains the struggle. Love it love it love it.

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