"13 Reasons Why" is a book that was released October 18, 2007. I had just started 5th grade and I was obsessed with reading. I remember walking through my town's library and coming across that book in the juvenile section. (Thinking back, that was probably the last place it should have been given the grown-up topics dealt with). I thought the concept was interesting. A girl takes her life and leaves behind a series of tapes explaining why she did it. The book was good. Jay Asher did an excellent job by not mentioning how Hannah took her life. To be completely honest, that probably would have scared me pretty badly as a 5th grader.
The book gained more attention in fall of 2015 when it was announced that a television adaption of the book would be in the works, and again on 2017 when it premiered on Netflix. I was skeptical about watching the show due to the fact that I had been struggling with my own personal and mental issues, however, my girlfriend seemed interested in it, so we both watched it.
As I made my way through the first season, there were a few of things I noticed.
1. The ButterFly Effect
Maybe you've heard of it, or maybe this is the first time you've read the words but it's actually a really cool theory that I've been obsessed with for a long time. The theory is that a small change in one state can make a difference in a different state in the future. For example: If a butterfly flaps its wings in the right spot at the right time, it could cause a hurricane.
So in "13 Reasons Why" the butterfly effect is demonstrated by how Hannah's relationship with Justin in the first episode ultimately leads to her suicide. Was the relationship the direct cause of her death? No. However, if she had not started that relationship with Justin, there's a good chance Hannah would not have killed herself and there would be no story.
2. The Domino Effect
The Domino Effect is similar to the butterfly effect, but this doesn't just connect point A to point B. This takes point A and shows how all of the little things in between causes someone to reach point B.
In terms of "13 Reasons Why," it would be the following:
Justin took a picture of Hannah and Bryce sent it all over the school, Alex made a list, Tyler stalked her, Courtney spread rumors about her, Marcus harassed her, Zach hurt her. The lack of trust that was caused by the previous events is what caused her to shut Clay down at the party. If that hadn't happened, she wouldn't have been in the closet, she wouldn't have seen Jessica get raped. She wouldn't have gotten in the car with Sherri, and Jeff would have lived. She would have never gone to the party and she wouldn't have gotten raped. She wouldn't have had to go see Mr. Porter. She wouldn't have felt like suicide was the only answer.
Further theories believe that if Kat had never moved away, Hannah wouldn't have killed herself.
3. The Timestamp
In the Season 1 finale, the students of Liberty High are giving their testimonies, and if you look closely, you'll see a timestamp at the bottom reading "November 10, 2017, 8:00:51 AM" however, the show was released on March 31, 2017. This tiny detail means that none of the tragic events in Hannah's life hasn't happened yet. Jessica (and Hannah) hadn't gotten raped, Jeff was still alive, Hannah hadn't killed herself yet. And for me, that kind of made me think of the Hannah's in my life. Someone who had been hurt and was going through a time where they needed a friend. It may be too late for Hannah but it's never too late for us to show love and compassion for the people around us.
I feel like the last one is the most important. It not only opened my eyes to realize that these things portrayed in the show happen in real life. They happen to real people - even people who are our friends. It showed me that there were people in my own life that were hurting and needed help just like Hannah did.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please call the national suicide lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or log on to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.