When I did my first book vs. movie article, it was about Harry Potter. This time I decided to do this with a TV show. I present to you 13 Reasons Why: books vs. TV Show!
I might do a lot more of those, so if you have any suggestions you’d like to make, feel free to leave me a comment!
First, I’m going to be honest. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book. You can actually see that my review of the book was published more than four years ago, in February 2016. But I remember most of the story and the way it unfolds, so don’t worry.
I really liked the book. I read it when I was 20, and it has really helped me get out of some dark times in my life. It’s not that I was suicidal, but I have to admit that sometimes I have really dark thoughts. And most of the time, what gets me through it, is the thought of my family and friends, and how selfish I would be to put them through something like that. I’m not saying that it’s going to work for everyone, but for some, it might work.
That being said, I can understand why some people might be triggered by it. But I’ll really get into it in the last part of the article.
The book, for me, was really cathartic and the fact that it was from Clay’s point of view. Who was just “an innocent bystander”. It really broke my heart; all he could do was hear what happened to Hannah, without being able to do anything.
I only watched the first season. I was totally against any subsequent season, as I felt the show didn’t need a more depressing storyline. So, I’ve never watched them. I was happy when I heard that Netflix was going to adapt the book into a TV Show. Most of the time, TV adaptations are much better and much more faithful to the original material than a movie.
But it’s one of the rare times when I think that the adaptation really didn’t do justice to the original material, aka the novel. What I was most disappointed about afterward was the fact that the show got renewed until the end of its fourth season. And I cannot say anything about the quality of the subsequent seasons, because I’ve only watched the first.
I didn’t hate the show, but I didn’t really enjoy it that much. First, I think a lot of the scenes that are alluded to in the book, like Hannah’s suicide or sexual assault, are portrayed way to graphically, and it can be harmful to a lot of people to watch them.
Also, in the TV Show, it almost seems like Hannah’s suicide is a form of vengeance on everyone that inflicted pain to her and contributed, directly or not, to her choice to kill herself. Which is something I didn’t really get in the book because it was from the sole point of view of Clay (?). And the fact that killing herself seemed like retribution to all the people that had harmed Hannah or been harmful to her in one way or another is really unhealthy. Especially for teenagers this type of shows are aimed at.
How do they compare?
If you read this far, you’ll know which one I prefer!
As I said before, I may be biased because I read the book over four years ago, but I still remember not being as shocked reading the book as I was watching the first season of the show. But, if you’re prone to harmful thoughts, or suicidal ideas, I would neither watch the show nor read the book. If you’re not in a good place, mentally, it might be harmful.