14 Differences Between The '13 Reasons Why’ TV Show And The Original Book

20 April 2017, 16:26 | Updated: 7 December 2018, 10:49

13 reasons why cast

Some BIG changes went on during production.

Incase you didn’t know, 13 Reasons Why was originally a cult teenage book by Jay Asher. Documenting the life of Hannah Baker, Asher’s bestselling 2007 young adult novel told the story of brutally honest depictions of teen suicide, depression and grief. 

Brian Yorkey, however, decided to make a few huge changes when it came to transporting the book to the small screen. 

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1. Clay Originally Listened To All The Tapes In One Night. 

Some characters have commented on Clay’s lack of urgency when it comes to listening to the tapes. In the original book, Clay binges them in one sitting but in the TV show, Tony tells Clay he’s “the slowest yet”. 

2. Social Media Isn’t A Factor.

Websites such as Facebook and Twitter were definitely around in 2007, but they hadn’t yet become all consuming. There are references to Clay’s mobile phone, but the photos of Hannah and Tyler that got circulated around the school were only word-of-mouth gossip in the book. 

3. Clay Didn’t Have Hallucinations Of Hannah. 

Some of the more distressing scenes in the TV show come from Clay’s hallucinations. He sees Hannah bleeding out in the middle of the gym and at the school dance. This doesn’t happen at all in the book. 

4. Clay’s Injury Is Different. 

Instead of being involved in a bit of an incident with a car, he gets a nasty cut on his hand from a fence in the book. 

5. We Still Hate Courtney Crimson. 

In the book, Courtney’s reputation would suggest that she is a strait-laced schoolgirl and merely sleeps over at Hannah’s house in order to help her friend with her creepy stalker situation. In the book they give each other a massage in front of the creepy guy watching them, but it’s actually Courtney who spreads the rumours about Hannah being a supposed ’s**t’ instead of photos going viral, as they do in the TV show.

6. The Order Of The Tapes Is Different. 

In the show, Clay is the 11th person to receive tapes, chooses to skip person 12 due to thinking that they would destroy them and then gives them to number 13 instead. Wise move. 

In the book, however, Clay is number 9 on the list and merely sends the tapes off to the next person. 

7. Clay Doesn’t Confront Bryce. 

The order of the tapes is different in the book meaning that none of the kids are attempting to stop Clay from listening to them all, meaning that Clay doesn’t try and confront Bryce at all. 

8. There Is No Lawsuit. 

The Bakers only appear in the book very briefly and so the lawsuit against the school simply doesn’t exist. 

9. Clay’s Parents Are Barely In It. 

In the book, no lawsuit = no need for Clay’s lawyer Mum. In the TV show, however, Clay’s folks feature often.

10. The Suicide Itself Is Handled Differently. 

The scene of Hannah committing the suicide is incredibly difficult to watch in the TV show, but Jay Asher’s original text merely stated that she “swallowed a handful of pills”. 

11. Clay & Hannah Aren’t Exactly Friends. 

Clay pines after Hannah for the majority of the show whilst in the book, Hannah comments that she wishes they could’ve been closer and had gotten to know each other more. 

12. Sheri Isn’t Called Sheri. 

In the book, a nice cheerleader called Jenny Kurtz chats with Hannah during the Dollar Valentine fundraiser and is tied up in the incident with Jeff. She also doesn’t pursue a relationship with Clay in the book. 

13. Alex Doesn’t Attempt Suicide. 

Yes, Alex openly struggles with fitting in at school and finds it hard dealing with his remorse. However, in the book he doesn’t attempt suicide. 

14. Tyler’s Plan Is Slightly Different.

Nothing about guns or explosives is mentioned in the book… 

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