19 huge differences between Netflix's 'You' and the book it's based on

8 January 2019, 16:33

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

YOU was a novel before it was adapted into a Netflix series...

If you haven't watched YOU yet, what are you doing? The critically acclaimed series was added to Netflix at the end of 2018 and since then it's become a bit of an international phenomenon. From its gripping storyline (the show is about a bookstore owner called Joe who stalks and starts a relationship with an aspiring writer named Beck) to its iconic cast (Penn Badgley and Shay Mitchell are in it), it slaps.

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However, many fans of YOU may not know that the series is actually based on a best-selling novel of the same name. Back in 2014, Caroline Kepnes released a book called YOU about Joe Goldberg and his obsession with Beck and it immediately entranced thousands of readers. She even wrote a sequel to it called Hidden Bodies that is being used as inspiration for season 2 of YOU.

Is YOU loyal to the book? (SPOILERS BELOW)

YOU Netflix: 19 differences between the series and the book
YOU Netflix: 19 differences between the series and the book. Picture: Netflix

YOU is for the most part pretty loyal to its source material. Joe stalks Beck, Benji gets in the way. Joe kills Benji, Peach gets in the way. Joe kills Peach, Beck ends things with Joe. Joe and Beck get back together, Beck finds out everything that Joe did. Joe kills Beck. Nevertheless, like any adaptation, it takes a couple of noticeable liberties with the source material and they are major.

With that in mind we've gathered together 19 of the huge differences between YOU and the novel its based on.

1. Joe really killed Candace in the book.

No shock reveal at the end like in the series. Candace is long gone.

2. There is another girl called Amy Adam.

Instead of Candace walking in the store at the end, Amy Adam makes an appearance. Joe is captivated by her just like Beck so we can only imagine what happens to her.

3. There was another character called Curtis.

In the books Curtis works at the bookstore with Joe and Ethan. However, when Curtis accidentally tells Beck Joe's address, Joe fires him. Curtis then beats Joe up.


4. Paco isn't in the book.

Yeah. Paco doesn't exist in the original YOU universe. This is a good thing to be honest. First things first Joe isn't inspiring a future psychopath and secondly he's not taking advantage of a small child.

5. Claudia and Ron don't exist either.

Neighbours don't really make a feature in the book at all. This means that there's no abusive neighbour and Joe has one less body on his hands.

6. Mr. Mooney is much more prominent.

In the series, we mainly see Mr. Mooney in flashbacks but in the books, Joe borrows a car from him to follow Beck and drive to Bridgeport in secret.

7. The Charles Dickens festival was set on a boat.

Into it.

8. Beck never realises that Joe is at the Charles Dickens festival.

The fact that Beck never spots Joe behind her is wild but this actually makes more sense then her buying his terrible excuse as to why he was at the festival in the first place. A huge JOE IS A STALKER red flag, if ever there was one.


9. Peach doesn't link Beck up with a creepy publisher friend.

That horrible taxi ride in which Beck is sexually assaulted is just in the series.

10. Raj doesn't exist.

It's just Beck and Peach in Connecticut.

11. Peach tries things on with Beck alone.

Peach still makes a move on Beck. Beck still rejects her.

12. Joe has to go to a hospital in Connecticut.

Yeah. Joe doesn't actually stalk Peach and Beck in Connecticut in the book because he accidentally runs over a deer with his car and has to go to hospital to get stitches. He pretends to be someone else obviously.

13. Joe kills Peach with a rock while she's running.

So instead of the dramatic gun tussle in Connecticut, Joe murders Peach on one of her runs. He still makes it look like she committed suicide though.


14. Beck never catches Joe stalking her in Central Park.

In fact Beck never has any clue that Joe is stalking her in the books until the final reveal.

15. Joe meets Karen on public transport.

Living legend Karen Minty is still part of the books of course but she meets Joe by chance.

16. Beck never got a book deal.

Poor Beck.

17. Beck doesn't even write while she's locked up.

Joe makes her read the Da Vinci Code instead lol.

18. Beck's death is a lot more gory.

It was pretty graphic and terrifying in the series but the novel involves ice cream sex, Beck pretending to be dead and Joe strangling her when she tries to run away.

19. Joe kills Beck on the shop floor.