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13 Reasons Why Show vs Book

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13 Reasons Why Show Title Screen

Rylee Fry, Writer

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*spoiler alert*

Netflix recently came out with the very popular show 13 Reasons Why on March 31st. If you didn’t know, it’s actually based on a book by Jay Asher which came out in 2007. If you have read the book, you’d know the show very vaguely follows it. For people who loved the book, the show was disappointing.

The differences tween the show and the book are pretty easy to point out, because there are quite a few. First of all, Hannah Baker, the main character, killed herself differently in the book than she did in the show. In the book, she swallowed pills and overdosed, and she also explained in her tapes that she wanted to die painlessly. The show, on the other hand, she slit her wrists and bled out in her bathtub. Very different ways to die. Also, social media is not a factor in Hannah’s bullying in the book.

Of course social media was around in 2007 but there were only a few references to Clay Jenson’s cellphone. The book is written in Clay’s point of view and the movie also is in his point of view. The show has Clay taking his sweet time listening through each tape and trying to deal with the conflicts that go along with each one. Clay also confronts characters in the show and starts to see hallucinations on Hannah.

The book, being quite opposite, explains that Clay goes through all of the tapes in one night, still dealing with the conflicts, but internally and he doesn’t confront anyone or see visions of Hannah. The tapes are actually in a different order in the show than in the book, and there is not a 14th tape (in the show Clay adds in a 14th tape which is a rapist’s confession). Also, the show has two episodes where rape occurs, to make the show more thrilling to watch, but the book only depicts one.

There is a warning that shows before both episodes stating that the episode has scenes some may find disturbing. Many people, however, thought the scenes were too graphic and very triggering.

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13 Reasons Why Show vs Book