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13 Reasons Why Book vs. Movie (SPOILERS)

By Katie Durot and Tanasia Weaver

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It has certainly been an eventful month in the category of cinematography, thanks to the release of Netflix’s newest original series, 13 Reasons Why.

For those of you who are unaware, the plot centers on a young woman named Hannah Baker, who takes her own life and leaves behind a set of thirteen tapes in order to explain the reasoning behind her suicide. The series has sparked a great controversy by bringing many “taboo” topics to light, such as sexual assault, drug and alcohol abuse, and of course, suicide. However, many viewers are unaware that this popular series was based on the book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

Similar to every page to screen epic, there were quite a few changes.

“The show portrayed what happened in the book in a raw way that was uncomfortable but real,” said Maggie Kormann, a sophomore who watched the show after reading the book. “I thought it did a good job of tackling the issues facing Hannah.”

For starters, in the television adaptation, the group that meets at the coffee bar, Monet’s, consists of Alex, Jessica, and Hannah, and their patented saying was “olly olly oxen-free”, not “FML,” an expletive containing acronym that is largely unused these days by students. 

The car crash that killed Jeff in the show killed a complete stranger in the book.

A huge anomaly in the show was that Hannah’s method of suicide was shown in a very graphic scene in which she slits her wrists in a bathtub, but in the novel she swallows a fatal amount of pills.

In the book, there’s also no lawsuit in place against the school, but in the adaptation, Hannah’s mother solely blames the school for her daughter’s death.

Another change, although unimportant, is still prominent. The Baker’s line of expertise does not fall into that of pharmaceuticals, but rather in the cobbling profession.

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13 Reasons Why Book vs. Movie (SPOILERS)