Saturday, May 6, 2017

13 Reasons Why - The book vs. the series

Here's a breakdown of some differences between the book and the Netflix series, first of all with each individual tape.


Tape #
Book
Series
1
Justin
Hannah and Justin date a short while and Justin spreads rumors that Hannah was easy and went much further than the kisses they shared.
Justin
Hannah and Justin hang out one night at a nearby park and kiss.  Justin takes a picture of her coming down a slide that makes it look like she posed for a crotch shot which he then sends to everyone.
2
Alex
Alex makes a list of best/worst body parts and assigns girls to each section.  He puts Hannah under “Best Ass” which leads to boys objectifying her and Bryce feeling free to grab her ass in a store.
Alex
Alex only contributes the best/worst ass section to the overall list, mostly to make Jessica mad.  Hannah gets groped by Bryce in the store
3
Jessica
Jessica begins dating Alex which effectively breaks up their three-way friendship.  She blames Hannah for the list and slaps her.
Jessica
Same as in the book
4
Tyler
Hannah becomes aware that someone is following her and taking pictures of her.  She confides in Courtney who comes over to help her catch the perpetrator.  The two girls stage a seductive backrub, Courtney makes comments about the lewd stuff supposedly kept in Hannah’s drawers
Tyler
All the same except that when Courtney comes over she comes on to Hannah and ends up kissing her.  We find out later that Courtney is gay but closeted.  Tyler spreads the picture of the two girls kissing but people can’t tell who they are.
5
Courtney
Courtney is a fair weather friend, apparently with everyone.  Hannah thought they were starting a real friendship but after Courtney uses Hannah to get a ride to a party, she tells everyone that Hannah had all sorts of freaky stuff in her drawers, furthering the idea that Hannah is easy.
Courtney
Courtney uses Hannah to get a ride with two other friends to a school dance. Hannah is excited to be starting a friendship.   The picture becomes a topic of conversation and Courtney spreads rumors about Hannah to cover up her sexuality.
6
Marcus
Marcus is just some guy, not SCA president.  He says he got her name on the Oh My Valentine list but Hannah later wonders if that was true or if he just said that because of what he had heard about her.  He stands her up for awhile on their date.  When he shows up he leads her to a booth (she’d been sitting at the counter) and proceeds to feel her up under her skirt. 
Marcus
Mostly the same except that Hannah pushes him off and yells at him.
7
Zach
Zach was at the diner and tried to talk to Hannah after the incident with Marcus.  She blew him off.  In retaliation, he takes every positive note out of her bag in communication class.  In her tape, Hannah says that she really needed those notes because she was starting to think negatively.  In fact, she puts an anonymous note to the teacher that indicates she is thinking about suicide.  The class response is judgmental, not supportive.  Hannah sets a trap with her bag and confirms it is Zach taking her notes
Zach
Nearly the same as the book except that it is obviously Clay who is sending her notes.  When Hannah sets her trap she writes Zach a note and then yells “Why?!” at him in the hall.
8
Ryan
Takes Hannah’s poem without her permission and publishes it in his Things I Found in the Hallway newsletter.  The poem indicates some suicidal tendencies and it gets discussed in every English class.
Ryan
Publishes the poem.  The poems are not identical between the book and the show.
9
Clay
Clay finally gets up the nerve to let Hannah know how he’s feeling and they kiss at the party.  She shoves him off.  Says that she regrets not following through on things with him and that he doesn’t really belong on the tapes
Justin
Justin and Jessica are dating and Jessica gets very drunk at the party.  Justin leaves her alone in a room where Hannah is hiding (after her encounter with Clay but we don’t know that until a couple of episodes later) and she hears Justin and Bryce talking in the hallway.  Bryce wants to come in and have sex with Jessica.  Justin makes a couple of feeble attempts to stop him but eventually steps aside.  Hannah witnesses the rape and blames Justin for not protecting Jessica
10
Justin
Justin is NOT Jessica’s boyfriend, they have just started making out at the party.  He steps aside and allows Bryce into the room
Sheri (Jenny in the book)
Sheri offers to give Hannah a ride home from the party.  She does a cartwheel to prove she is not drunk.  On the ride home she runs into a stop sign, knocking it over.  Sheri refuses to call the police because she will be in trouble with her dad.  She drives off.  Hannah goes to a convenience store, makes the clerk loan her his phone, and calls the police.  She is relieved to hear that someone else reported an accident and assumes it was Sheri but, of course, it is not the stop sign accident to which the dispatcher is referring.
11
Jenny (Sheri in the series)                                          
Offers to give Hannah a ride home but doesn’t go out of her way to prove she’s not drunk.  Neither girl knows the boy at school who dies.
Clay
The two are in the bedroom at the party when Hannah starts thinking about all the other boys who have screwed her over.  She pushes Clay off and tells him to leave her alone but says on the tape that she was hoping he’d come back.  Still says that he wasn’t actually to blame.
12
Bryce
Hannah goes to a party at his house and they have sex.  Hannah specifically says that although she was crying, she never said no nor did she push him away.  She is thinking about the least painful way to commit suicide and decides on pills.
Bryce
After losing the bank deposit for her parent’s store, Hannah is wandering at night and ends up at Bryce’s house where a party is winding down.  She gets into the hot tub with others who leave.  Bryce comes into the hot tub and rapes her.
13
Mr. Porter
Hannah decides to try to get help one last time. She goes to her English teacher/guidance counselor and talks to him cryptically about her problems.  She says enough things that he understands she is talking about suicide but she changes what she says.  She talks about her reputation and he gets that she was taken advantage of by a boy.  He asks if she said no or pushed him away.  He asks if she had sex and now just regrets it.  He asks for the boy’s name but she doesn’t give it. He asks if they should contact her parents or the police.  When Hannah rejects that idea and makes it clear that she doesn’t feel there’s much the police can do and that she doesn’t want to file a report, Mr. Porter says that she really on has two options:  file a report or begin to move on.
Mr. Porter
The conversation with Hannah is pretty much identical to the one in the book.  Mr. Porter is only a counselor in the show, not an English teacher as well.


Most of the other differences are things added to the show that were not in the book. 

  • There is A LOT more focus on Hannah's parents.  The only time she mentioned them in the book in regards to her suicide is when she thought briefly about them finding her after she was dead.  In the series we see their grief in detail as well as their attempts to find out who's to blame for her suicide.  We also see that they are having financial issues trying to keep their pharmacy viable against a Walmart-type store.  They are working on a legal case against the school
  • Clay's parents - No significant mention of them at all in the book.  In the book he plays the tapes one right after another so there is less time for his family to notice he is acting strangely.  In the series they are around a lot.  In fact, Clay's mother is a lawyer who is hired by the school district to represent them in the lawsuit filed by Hannah's parents.
  • Tony is gay in the series.  No mention of his sexuality in the book.  He is still the keeper of the tapes in the book but he is less involved with the story overall.  For instance, there is no rock climbing scene in the book to help Clay get ready for what's to come next.
  • As I mentioned, the book takes place over the course of a few hours.  I'm not sure how many days it takes Clay to listen to all the tapes in the series.
  • The other teens and their reactions to Hannah's revelations are explored in depth.  They meet in small groups to discuss how to shut Clay up because they're worried about the tapes becoming public knowledge.  They try to intimidate him by taking his bike, forcing him to drink a 40 ounce beer, putting pot in his bookbag which gets him suspended, and beating him up a couple of times.
  • Clay takes a picture of Tyler undressing and circulates it to everyone in retaliation for what Tyler did to Hannah.  This action prompts the others on the tapes to step up their worries about what else he might do or reveal.
  • Tyler is collecting an arsenal and it looks like he has a hit list based on the pictures he has hanging in his darkroom.
  • Alex commits suicide at the end of the series.
  • Jeff (the boy who dies in the accident due to the missing stop sign) is a known character.  He is someone Clay is tutoring who encourages Clay to confess his feelings to Hannah on several occasions.
  • Courtney is a closeted lesbian. She has two dads and says she doesn't want to come out because it would be a cliche in some way?  I'm not sure exactly why she's so worried about coming out specifically other than the usual reasons you might be closeted.
  • Ryan is gay.
  • Sheri (Jenny) is working on penance for knocking over the stop sign and the accident it caused.  She is helping the elderly man who was in the accident with Jeff.
  • Skye is a waitress at the coffeehouse they all frequent and she talks to Clay fairly often.  In the book she is someone he used to know who appears to be slipping into being the kind of person the others overlook.  He calls out to her at the end of the book, apparently to start helping others who might be feeling unnoticed like Hannah.
  • Jessica is slowly falling apart after her rape but she doesn't know for sure she actually was raped.  Others have told her that Hannah was lying on the tapes about a few things so she goes along with that story for a good deal of the series even while she becomes more self-destructive.  It seems she is going to tell her dad what happened as the show is ending (the only point I cried, btw).
  • Hannah's method of suicide is to cut her wrists in a bathtub.

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