Book vs. Series: 13 Changes in Thirteen Reasons Why


Photo from Netflix

It’s been two weeks since Netflix released their adaptation of Jay Asher’s bestselling novel, Thirteen Reasons Why. After Hannah Baker’s suicide, her school mate and friend, Clay, receives a set of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah herself detailing the reasons she chose to end her life.

It’s been polarizing to say the least, with some people loving it and others… not so much. Regardless, there are always changes when a book is adapted to film or TV. Here are 13 changes we spotted (spoilers ahead!):

1. Social media

In the book: Gossip and rumors spread through word-of-mouth.

In the series: Gossip and rumors spread through social media.

2. Clay listening to the tapes

In the book: Clay listens to all the tapes in one intense night.

In the series: Clay takes a long (and we mean looong) time to listen to all the tapes.

3. Bakers vs. Liberty High

In the book: Hannah’s parents take the backseat.

In the series: Hannah’s parents – especially their grief – are given focus. They also file a lawsuit against Liberty High.

4. Clay and Hannah are closer

In the book: Clay’s relationship with Hannah is definitely more one-sided. He didn’t talk to her much nor did they have many interactions.

In the series: Clay and Hannah are portrayed as being fairly close, with many more interactions.

5. New lingo

In the book: The Monet’s group (i.e. Hannah, Jessica, Alex) says “olly olly oxen free”.

In the series: The Monet’s group says “FML”.

6. Clay’s psychological issues

In the book: There’s no mention of Clay having any psychological issues of his own.

In the series: Clay’s mother tries to convince him to take medication for anxiety and depression.

7. The Baker business

In the book: The Bakers own a shoe store.

In the series: The Bakers own a pharmacy.

8. Hannah and Courtney

In the book: They stage a somewhat risque but generally innocent trap for Tyler (i.e. the guy taking photos of Hannah through her bedroom window).

In the series: They take things to a whole new level, ending up in a scandalous photo circulating (which also makes things worse later on).

9. Jenny’s now Sheri

In the book: The person who helps Hannah and later knocks over the sign with their car is Jenny Kurtz, a cheerleader.

In the series: The person who helps Hannah and later knocks over the sign with their car is Sheri, also a cheerleader.

10. Hannah’s suicide

In the book: Clay mentions Hannah killed herself by taking unidentified pills.

In the series: It’s shown that Hannah slits her wrist in the bathtub. And it’s very, very graphic.

11. Jeff’s death

In the book: The knocked-over sign causes an accident which kills a stranger.

In the series: The knocked-over sign causes an accident which kills Jeff, one of Clay’s few friends. #JusticeForJeff

12. Clay vs. Bryce

In the book: No confrontation happens.

In the series: Clay confronts Bryce, records him confessing to raping Hannah, and adds it as “side 14”.

13. Alex’s suicide

In the book: Alex is only mentioned as Hannah’s former friend.

In the series: Alex displays suicidal tendencies throughout, and is reported to have attempted suicide during the finale.

What do you think about the series?

Do you love it or hate it? Do you prefer the book to the series? Share your thoughts with us in the comments. For more exciting and exclusive content, join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Check out the other awesome articles here on the blog and sign up for our newsletter below:

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