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13 Differences Between Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” And The Original Book

You’d be surprised at how much has changed.



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13 Reasons Why might be coming back for another season, but before it was even a show, it was a hit YA novel by Jay Asher. While the overall story was the same, there were some changes that were made in order to adapt it for television.

So get ready to walk down memory lane as here’s the differences between 13 Reasons Why tv show versus the book…

 1. Clay takes his sweet time listening to Hannah’s tapes.

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In the book, Clay powers through all 13 sides of Hannah’s tapes in one long, coffee-fueled night, but in the show, he goes much more slowly.

2. Social media is a thing.

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When the book was first published in 2007, Facebook and Twitter existed but Instagram wouldn’t appear for another 3 years. In the book, gossip seems to spread the old-fashioned way, via word of mouth, but on the show, images and rumors circulate via text messages, social media, and Hannah herself laments how things like Facebook have made us all “stalkers.”

3. Tony follows Clay to check on his progress from the very beginning.

Clay finds out that Tony is watching him in the very first episode. In the book, Clay doesn’t figure it out till he’s on cassette four, which is also when Tony first confronts him about stealing his Walkman.

4. Hannah’s parents are suing her high school.

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The Bakers barely appear in the book, but they have a full-fledged story arc in the Netflix adaptation.

5. Clay and Hannah are closer to one another.

The book presents Clay and Hannah’s relationship as somewhat one-sided. He liked her, but was a little afraid to talk to her; she was kind to him, but they didn’t really speak much outside of work. On the show, Clay and Hannah have a lot more interaction, which in turn leads to more missed opportunities for Clay to notice something was amiss with Hannah.

6. Clay is taking medication for some of his own psychological issues.

At one point, Clay’s mother places a prescription bottle of duloxetine, used to treat depression and anxiety, next to his breakfast. If book Clay has any such prescription or past history with medication, it’s never mentioned.

7. The Monet’s group says “FML” instead of “olly olly oxen free.”

It’s 2017, after all — gotta update the lingo.

8. Courtney Crimsen and Hannah’s trap for Tyler goes much farther than a back massage.

In The book when Hannah and Courtney attempt to find out who’s stalking her, they stage a risqué but ultimately innocent encounter in Hannah’s room.

9. Hannah slits her wrists.

Clay says in the novel that Hannah killed herself by taking unspecified pills, but on the show, she slits her wrists in the bathtub.

10. Jenny Kurtz is now Sheri.

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When Hannah participates in the Valentine’s Day fundraiser in the book, the cheerleader who helps her is Jenny Kurtz, who later appears as the person driving the car that knocked over the stop sign, thus causing someone else to die. The show replaces Jenny with Sheri, still a cheerleader, but one who becomes close with Clay and eventually hooks up with him.

11. The other people on the tapes keep trying to stop Clay from listening to all of them.

Because Hannah’s tapes contain multiple crimes, including Bryce’s rape of Hannah and Jessica, the other “reasons” don’t want Clay spreading the information around, lest any of them end up charged with something. In the book, Clay keeps the tapes to himself for the most part, and there’s no coordinated effort to stop their spread.

12. Clay confronts Bryce and records his confession.

A change in the order of the tapes from book to show means that Bryce follows Clay, but instead of giving them to Bryce, Clay records Bryce as “side 14” and passes them to Mr. Porter. Later, Tony gives a copy of the tapes, side 14 included, to Hannah’s parents.

13. The story continues.

While the book ends with the final tape, 13 Reasons Why continued with another 2 seasons, with one more on the way. Season 2 focused on Bryce’s trail for raping Hannah and Jessica and Liberty High on trial for failing to stop Hannah’s suicide after she reported that she was raped. Season 3 will focus on Bryce’s murder and we already have some theories on who might have done it.



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