13 Reasons Why is a Netflix series based on the book Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher. It follows Clay as he listens to tapes left behind by Hannah, a classmate who has committed suicide. The tapes tell the reasons that led to her decision.
I really enjoyed the book and I have a review of that up if you want to read it and it’s spoiler free.
The Netflix show was good. There were things that I liked and things that I didn’t like, which happens with any film I’ve watched based on a book. I liked the actors, they really chose good people to play the characters and the acting was great as well. I enjoyed all the parts of the novel that they kept for the show. They did a good job of keeping the seriousness of the subject matter and I really liked the flashback’s. Those for me were the best part. I also liked some of the things they changed. I liked that Tony had a bigger role in the show and I loved the actor that portrayed him. I also enjoyed the relationship between him and Clay. I also liked seeing how everyone reacted after Hannah’s suicide, especially her parents. Another thing they changed was that Tony gave a copy of the tapes to Hannah’s parents and Clay didn’t send the tapes on, but instead gave them to the guidance counselor, Mr.Porter. This worked because they changed the order in which Clay got the tapes (he was number 9 in the novel and number 11 in the show) so Bryce was the only one who didn’t hear them. I liked this because now there is a chance for justice, a chance for the people who need to take responsibility, to pay for their actions.
Now on to the things that I didn’t like about the show. I didn’t like much of anything that they changed to be honest. The biggest issue I had was with the second to last episode. The person who shoots himself at the end, that never happened in the book and I just didn’t really think that the change added anything to the series except the potential for a possible second season. I also didn’t like how they had Hanah kill herself. In the book she takes pills but she cuts her wrists in the show. I understand that it probably was more graphic and would have a bigger impact but I think having her take pills and then her parents walking in and finding her would have left a big enough impact. I know that just reading about her taking pills and her parents finding her was enough to tug at my heart strings and the author didn’t even go into much detail about her suicide itself. I also didn’t like what they did with the character of Justin. They made him an ass in the show but he was an even bigger ass in the book. He allowed the rape of Jessica to happen because Bryce was “working the night shift and only had a few minutes before he had to leave.” In the show he fights him off and cries and you can tell that he felt bad about it. Another issue I had was with Bruce. Yes he was an ass and a rapist but in the show I didn’t like how they handled his scene with Hannah. In the book Bryce does things to her but she doesn’t say no. She doesn’t try to fight him off. She says on her tapes that she was using him because she needed him do she could let go of herself. She says that she didn’t say no or push his hand away. She says that she turned her head, clenched her teeth and fought back tears. She also says that he saw but he told her to relax. Reading this I interpreted it as Hannah being done with life. At this point she was done, she had given up, she just didn’t care anymore. She was numb. She didn’t want to be with Bryce but she didn’t try to stop it either because she had already made up her mind. I do think that it was sexual assault. Although she didn’t say no or try to push him away, she didn’t really respond to him in a romantic way and she was crying. He saw that and he knew that she obviously wasn’t into it, but he told her to relax and kept going anyway. In the show, it was a more graphic rape scene which I didn’t really think they needed. I know that it had a greater impact but I just didn’t really care for the scene. One other thing that I didn’t like was the role of the guidance counselor. I didn’t like his part in the novel or the show. He just basically tells her to do something about it or move on with her life. I just hope that there aren’t real school counselors that are like that because it’s not OK.
My favorite episode was definitely Clay’s tape. I loved the little bit of romance that we got between Clay and Hannah. Also I cried like a baby during this episode, especially after he finishes the tape. The part where he imagines what would have happened if he had stayed with her at the party. OMG! I cried during a couple of episodes but that one was by far the worst.
There is a line in the novel and the show that Hannah says that stayed with me long after reading the book and watching the show and it was something like “some of you cared, but nobody cared enough.” That stayed with me. She knew that people cared about her but she felt like it wasn’t enough. She felt alone and felt like she had nobody to turn to. There is also a line in the show that I love, when Clay is talking to the counselor and he says something like “I cost a girl her life because I was too afraid to love her.” That was so heartbreaking and I really felt for him in that moment. I just fell in love with Clay right then and there.
This review is a lot longer then I intended for it to be so it am going to end it but definitely go and read the book and watch the showhole. I highly recommend them both.
Also if you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal there is help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255. You can also go to their website at suicidepreventionlifeline.org where there is also an online chat option. Know that you are not alone.
*Image is from Google.com