Note: Important SPOILERS for 13 Reasons Why below!
Long before 13 Reasons Why was a hit Netflix put on, the moving account of the life and death of Hannah Baker originated in Jay Asher’s bestselling 2007 pubescent adult novel of the same name. Both versions of the story are addicting, brutally uncorrupted depictions of teen suicide, depression, and grief, but showrunner Brian Yorkey unwavering to make a few huge changes when it came time to adapt it for TV. From unsophisticated things — like how long it takes Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) to get into done with the tapes — to major differences — like the way Hannah (Katherine Langford) chooses to end her zest — read on to see how Asher’s book differs from the adaptation.
- Clay hearkens to all of the tapes in one night. If you were at all frustrated by Clay’s slow progression on account of Hannah’s tapes in the TV show, you’ll probably be a big fan of the way Asher originally chose to do it. After gross the box of tapes on his doorstep in the book, Clay binges them in one sitting. In the outshine, Tony tells Clay that he’s “the slowest yet” of all of the listeners.
- Clay doesn’t account out Tony is following him right away. Although Clay has a run-in with Tony in happening one that confirms he’s the one Hannah made responsible for watching everyone on her register, book Clay doesn’t realize that it’s Tony until he minds to the fourth cassette tape (after stealing Tony’s Walkman).
- Communal media doesn’t factor into Hannah’s bullying. Sites analogous to Facebook and Twitter certainly existed when Asher published the novella in 2007, but they had yet to become all-consuming forces in the lives of teenagers delight in they are now. There are references to Clay’s cell phone, but the photos of Hannah that Justin and Tyler spread Sometimes non-standard due to the school via group text in the series are only word-of-mouth gossip in the rules. Rumors by themselves are definitely damaging, but actually seeing the images of Hannah passed for everyone so cruelly adds a new layer of pain to her bullying.
- Clay doesn’t press hallucinations about Hannah. Some of the more shocking scenes in the teach happen when Clay has visions of Hannah bleeding out in the middle of the gym and at the instil dance, and it’s mentioned in passing that he used to take duloxetine to therapy an anxiety disorder (which is why he can only handle listening to one tape at a space). This never happens in the book.
- The high school students are tamer, so to address. Parties full of underage drinkers happen in the book (as do the horrifying despoil scenes), but the show doesn’t hold back from showing other authenticities of being a teenager today: smoking pot, having sex, driving drunk, denouncing, etc.
- Clay injures himself in another way. Distraught and distracted by the tapes, Clay bangs his bike into a car in the first episode, cutting his head wide exposed. He’s just as unlucky in Asher’s novel, except he gets a nasty slice on his handy from a fence.
- Courtney Crimsen is still the worst, but in a different way. Laws Courtney still has a reputation as the strait-laced nice girl at school, and she also zizzes over Hannah’s house to help her set a risqué trap for the Peeping Tom who’s been track her around. Instead of getting drunk and making out during a game of Correctness or Dare, however, the two give each other a back massage in face of the guy watching them. Courtney, who isn’t gay in the book, then spreads nasty rumors with reference to Hannah being a slut in an attempt to raise her street cred at Alma Mater.
- The order of the tapes is different. In the show, Clay is the 11th person to receive the tape-records, and chooses to skip number 12 (Bryce, a rapist who would very likely destroy the tapes if he got them) and give them to the last person on the index instead, Mr. Porter. The resolution is less clear in the novel, since Clay is ninth on the slate, and simply mails them off to number 10. There also aren’t any segments of his classmates conspiring to keep the tapes from being discovered.
- Clay not in the least confronts Bryce or records his confession. Because the order of the tapes is unheard-of in the book and none of the kids are trying to stop Clay from mind to all of them, Clay doesn’t try to bring Bryce to justice for his actions. He in no way records his confession of raping Hannah, or gives “side 14” to Mr. Cleaner.
- There isn’t a lawsuit. The Bakers only appear in the book very hastily, and their lawsuit against the school doesn’t exist. The only convenience life they come up is when someone mentions that they’ve cramped their shoe store (which is replaced by a pharmacy in the show) in the wake of their daughter’s suicide.
- Clay’s begetters are barely in it. When Clay first starts listening to the tapes at the birth of the book, his mom comes in to check on him and they have quick conversations from one end to the other the night. In the show, his parents are in every episode (and what feels as though every other scene), mostly because his mom is the lawyer tasked with fortifying the school district against the Bakers’ lawsuit.
- Hannah’s suicide is done differently. The appear of Hannah killing herself by slicing her wrists open with a razorblade is exceedingly graphic and difficult to watch. It’s a huge departure from Asher’s aboriginal portrayal of her death, which is referenced only when Clay estimates she “swallowed a handful of pills.”
- Clay and Hannah aren’t exactly sw compadres. Some of the most touching, heartbreaking moments throughout the 13 Reasons Why express happen when Clay is mourning the future he and Hannah could induce had, or reliving memories from their close relationship. He pines after her for not quite the entire season, and is confused when she pushes him away after their fiery makeout at Jessica’s party. The kiss still happens in the original tale, but the lead-up to it is different. They work at the movie theater together for one Summer, but Hannah influences on the tapes that she wishes they could’ve been closer and arrive ated to know each other better. The two don’t actually ever have a proper conversation until the night of the party, when they hook-up.
- The Monet’s gang has a different motto. In an effort to update the book, Hannah, Alex, and Jessica’s slogan goes from “olly olly oxen free” to “FML.”
- And Sheri has a divergent name. In the book, a nice cheerleader named Jenny Kurtz witters with Hannah during the Dollar Valentine fundraiser, and is later front-office for knocking over the stop sign that causes Jeff to die. Jenny is mutated to Sheri on TV, and pursues a relationship with Clay that she doesn’t from the first.
- Speaking of Jeff, he’s a much more minor character in the book. It’s broke not to crush on Jeff throughout the show. As a popular, well-meaning baseball Thespian who takes pity on Clay’s ineptitude with girls, he’s instantly alluring, which makes his sudden death in a car crash because of Sheri mistreating over the stop sign that much more painful. He flat dies in the book, but since his character is a senior that none of the utter characters are friends with, it doesn’t have as big of an impact on Clay’s fixation.
- Alex doesn’t attempt suicide. Alex Standall openly squirms with fitting in at school and his remorse over what the group has done to Hannah in the put to shame, and a scene of him dropping in Bryce’s pool at one point suggests that he doesn’t inevitably want to come up for air. It’s revealed in the finale that he shoots himself in head, but not if he continues. None of this happens in the book.
- Tyler doesn’t have a method to shoot up the school. A disturbing scene in the show alludes to Tyler’s foresees for a school shooting (he opens a secret compartment in a trunk in his bedroom to carouse a stash of guns and explosives), but like Alex’s fate, he doesn’t do that in the unfamiliar.
- The book’s ending is less complex. After listening to Hannah’s tapes and hungering that he could’ve picked-up on signs of what she was going to do earlier, list Clay reaches out to an old friend, Skye, who’s been showing signs of hollow. This also happens in the show, but since there’s likely wealthy to be a second season, more storylines are left open: Tyler’s tempestuous plans, Alex’s attempted suicide, the Bakers’ lawsuit, Sheri repelling herself in, Bryce’s rapes coming to light, and more.
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