This is a new type of post that I will be having from time to time. It's all about books made into movies or shows. This is something that Hollywood has always done but it seems like there are so many more books being made into films these days. I had been hearing from friends all about this book by Jay Asher for quite awhile. I admit that I was only mildly interested because the way it was described to me was as a YA book that focuses on bullying in high school. The subject itself did seem like a good idea but I couldn't get myself motivated to read it and it didn't help that the local bookstore didn't carry it. Imagine my surprise when all of a sudden I hear that Netflix had picked it up and planned to feature it as a series and the executive producer was none other than Selena Gomez. Since Netflix is one of my favorite things in life there was no way I wasn't going to watch it and see what all the hype was about.
Typically I will be reading the book in addition to viewing the movie or show based on it but this time around I haven't read the book ......yet. The season has 14 episodes that run about an hour each. The story is based around Hannah Baker and her mysterious suicide. It opens with Clay Jensen coming home from school and finding a box with his name on it just sitting on his doorstep. He quickly realizes that inside are 13 tapes from Hannah that were recorded 2 weeks earlier just before her suicide. Clay was one of the first friends she made when she moved to the town. She was his crush and he is still reeling from the fact that she is no longer around. He opens the box and finds a map of the town with various places highlighted on it. Clay listens to the first part of tape 1 and finds out that Hannah felt there were 13 reasons why she took her own life and Clay is one of them. She says in order for him to find out why he must listens to all the tapes and visit all the places on the map. He begins working his way through the tapes and the viewer along side Clay has first hand knowledge of life from Hannah's perspective. My daughter (she's a Junior in HS) watched the series together all in one sitting. WOW...is all I had as an initial reaction. There are some pretty graphic scenes that I would not recommend for younger viewers but it is something I would recommend parents and teenagers alike to watch. The story is so haunting. It sheds light on the very real bullying epidemic that happens these days and how social media has amplified it. This sends a powerful message to anyone who watches it especially teenagers. My daughter's Dad and I have always been very involved with any sort of online/social media interactions she has and we try to keep the lines of communication open with her in the hopes that we can show her how to make smart choices. This series forced us to have some pretty difficult conversations with her but it needed to happen. It also opened up several discussions between her and her friends that watched the series as well.
I have read that there will be a season 2 coming at some point and I will be front and center for that. I can't say enough about how well done this series was. The actors and actresses in the show tackled some pretty heavy stuff and done an amazing job. This is a 5 out of 5 stars for me.