The Daily Gamecock

'13 Reasons Why'... or why not?

Author Jay Asher comes to Richland County Public Library Saturday

With the rise of interest in the new Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why,” the Richland County Public Library is hosting an author event this Saturday to pick the brain of Jay Asher, the author of best-selling novel “Thirteen Reasons Why.”

“13 Reasons Why” has sparked major controversy in both the parental and psychological communities. Some psychologists and parents believe that the show glorifies suicide and does not enforce the mental instability of Hannah Baker, the main character and adolescent victim. Because teenagers are the largest percent of the population who experience suicidal thoughts, many are concerned that vengeance and death are the motifs celebrated in a series that excites a lot of the young adult population today.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Selena Gomez came to the defense of the show saying that though the content is uncomfortable, “we might as well do it in a way that is honest, is real and stays true to the book.” Gomez, who is also the executive producer of the show, continues to say that the show brings forth a transparency that others are unwilling to talk about. Even if this is true, does the idea of bringing to light a misunderstood topic outweigh the potentially negative effects in the growing minds of children?

Fortunately for Gomez, Asher believes in the strength of fiction to address tough topics. Asher has led an anti-bullying campaign called “50 States Against Bullying” that strengthens the validity of the message in “13 Reasons Why." Asher will be at the Richland County Public Library from 2:30 - 5 p.m Saturday.  Come to the auditorium to hear the New York Times bestselling, young adult writer speak about his creative processes and his other works. You can also get a copy of “Thirteen Reasons Why” signed by the author himself after purchase in the new space on the first level of the library.