Book Club


13 Reasons Why?: Book vs TV Series

I have recently finished watching the Netflix series of Jay Asher's "13 Reasons Why," and I noticed some SERIOUS differences. If you haven't seen the shows then this post may contain some spoilers so beware.

The obvious difference was how long it tool Clay to listen to the tapes. In the book, he listens to the tapes in a single night, but this would obviously not make for a very long show. So I will instead focus on some other plot changing differences.

Courtney, a girl Hannah befriends briefly, is casted as a gay character. Though her sexual orientation is not necessarily stated in the book it can be implied that she is straight since she pretends to be gay to help catch Hannah's Peeping Tom. In the book, Courtney spreads rumors about Hannah to increase her social status, but spreads rumors in the series to hide the fact that she is gay.

A second difference is Tyler's secret gun compartment. Tyler was Hannah's Peeping Tom who got severely bullied in the show. This leads him to collect more than a few guns and it can be implied that he plans to shoot up the school or at least kill those who bullied him. This does not happen in the book at all.

Perhaps the biggest difference is Hannah's suicide. In the book she swallows a handful of pills, but the show depicts a very graphic scene where she slits her wrists and bleeds to death in the bathtub.

Does anyone think that the show would have as big as an impact without these differences? I am all for being as true to an author's work as possible when it comes to making it a movie/TV series, but I think the liberties the director took made for a very good interpretation of the book. What are your thoughts?