This is a comparison review about the book ’13 Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher and the TV show of the same name.
I watched the show first; mainly because I was waiting for the book to arrive. And I enjoyed the series as much as anyone can. The pacing was a tad slow for me but I understand it was like that to ensure you get the best experience and the most ‘feels’ out of it. I like that every episode showed one side of a tape. It meant I didn’t get lost trying to keep up and it I needed a time out, it was possible for me to pick up where I left off.
The book. I know it was written a whole 10 years before the TV show came out but I didn’t experience the same emotions reading the story as I did watching it. It’s vastly different to the show and I mean colossally different. However, the majority of the book was relayed in the show. Some of the conversations that I read in the book I could picture in my head because I had witnessed them. Plus the book travels quickly. Clay listens to the tapes in one night but in the show it takes him 2 weeks.
The pacing definitely makes a difference. I had felt more emotions with Hannah’s story being told slower (I blubbered like a baby) than quickly like the book (I hardly flinched). Even though there are a lot of inconsistencies between the 2, the story, the reasons and overall message stayed the same and at the end of the day, that’s what people fell in love with to begin with. The show left you with the possibility of a future series and it had aspects woven in that are issues within our generation (spoiler alert: gun violence). That I think is also what made the show better; it was current and in touch with the pulse of today.
Bullying is also a major issue and this story highlights its affects to the vulnerable. If more people watched/read this story, perhaps we can all take responsibility for our actions and realise that everything we do, can and does, affect someone else.
I know there are a lot of professionals out there criticising the show for its graphic content (as well as going against advice that was given) but I think the producers did really well with it. I’m sure it’s going to be a favourite with awards. It’s a favourite with me.
You can get it here