13 differences in the Netflix Original of 13 Reasons Why

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The novel first came to the scene in 2007 and threw off the world of young adult books with its dark and depressing plot. But that didn’t stop Netflix from bringing it to life as a show, but critics have pointed out differences in the show that aren’t in the book.

Julia Torres

The novel first came to the scene in 2007 and threw off the world of young adult books with its dark and depressing plot. But that didn’t stop Netflix from bringing it to life as a show, but critics have pointed out differences in the show that aren’t in the book.

 

  1. The novel was originally published in 2007 so many adjustments were made to accommodate what life is like in 2017. The use of social media and technology was brought to the show.  
  2. In the novel, protagonist Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) was the subject of tape 10 and in the Netflix Original show Clay was tape 11.
  3. The show focuses on the tragedy of Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) suicide and also added a major role for Hannah’s parents (Kate Walsh and Brian d’Arcy James). In the novel, Clay and Hannah’s parents had little to no role.
  4. Clay watches the tapes faster in the novel than the show. In the book, Clay listened to all the tapes in 24 hours, whereas in the show, the impact of the tapes causes him to listen in small intervals over the course of a few days.
  5. In the show, Hannah’s parents sue the high school, blaming bullying as the reason for her death. This lawsuit between the Hannah’s parents and Liberty High School sets a new plotline otherwise not seen in the novel.
  6. In the novel, Jeff Atkins (Brandon Larracuente) doesn’t have as big of a role as he does in the show. Clay had helped tutor Jeff and then sprouted a friendship with him. Sheri Holland (Ajiona Alexis) was one of Hannah’s close friends until they knocked over a stop sign coming home from Jessica Davis’ (Alisha Boe) party. In the show, Jeff dies in a car accident because of a missing stop sign. In the novel, the person who died in the accident isn’t Jeff, and isn’t relevant to the plot.
  7. The novel stays true to only 13 tapes, while in the show Clay adds an additional tape where Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice) confesses to raping Hannah.
  8. One of the biggest plot twists in the show was in episode 13 when Alex Standall had attempted to commit suicide. In the novel, no other characters were affected by Hannah’s suicide enough to think of committing suicide.  
  9. Hannah’s suicide was drastically different in the show than in the novel. The producers of the series explained in the episode, “Behind 13 Reasons Why,” that they wanted to make Hannah’s suicide uncomfortable for viewers and to not romanticize suicide. In the novel, Hannah committed suicide by prescription overdose but in the show, Hannah gruesomely slit her wrists and bled out in her bathtub.
  10. In the novel, Hannah’s parents didn’t know about the tapes after moving away. In the show, Hannah’s parents were given the tapes on a USB by Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro) in the thirteenth episode.
  11.    11. In the novel, sexual orientation and diverse ethnicities weren’t mentioned. The show is very diverse            including characters with different ethnicities and sexual orientations
  12. In the novel, the Netflix character Sheri Holland was actually named Jenny Kurtz.
  13. Tyler Down (Devin Druid) is Liberty High’s student life photographer, and is also known as Hannah’s stalker on tape four. In the show, Tyler added a new plot when Tyler was shown having a collection of guns and explosives, which was not shown in the novel.