Click through to find out the seven biggest changes from Caroline Kepnes’ 2014 novel to the 2018 television series starring Penn Badgley (which is now on Netflix). SPOILERS AHEAD!
The character of Paco (Luca Padovan) wasn’t in the book, but rather, executive producer Greg Berlanti came up with the idea. “It was Greg’s suggestion to bring a boy into the story so that we could see a more honest and vulnerable side of Joe,” showrunner Sera Gamble told EW. (Furthermore, a lack of Paco in the book means that Joe also never killed Ron in the book.)
In the book, Beck (Elizabeth Lail) focused on writing short stories. In the show, they changed her specialty to poetry (and even included an actual poem by Gamble).
A missing bookstore employee
In the book, Ethan (Zach Cherry) wasn’t the only bookstore employee we met outside of Joe (Badgley). There was actually another employee who robbed the bookstore after Joe fired him. The show chose to eliminate that character (and plot point) altogether.
Peach's big exit
The show gave Peach (Shay Mitchell) a much grander exit. In the book, Joe chased her down during one of her runs on the beach and once again hit her over the head with a rock before dragging her out to sea. For the show, Peach got to have a massive confrontation with her adversary before he shot her. “We just really wanted to go there with these two characters,” Gamble told EW. “They both want the same thing and they’re standing in one another’s way, and all of the writers were just craving the most delicious showdown possible.”
Beck never met Karen
Karen Minty (Natalie Paul), otherwise known as Joe’s other girlfriend, is in the book, but the show took things one step further (in an episode written by Kepnes, by the way). In the show, Beck and Karen come face to face and Karen issues a warning about Joe… which Beck promptly ignores.
No Da Vinci Code
In the book, Beck’s time in the cage is filled with her reading The Da Vinci Code alongside Joe. In the show, she spends most of her time in the cage writing. Also, in the book, Joe killed her by stuffing book pages down her throat and suffocating her. Meanwhile, her death wasn’t shown on the show.
The book did end with Joe meeting a new woman, but her name was Amy Adam. The show put a twist on the ending by bringing back Joe’s ex, the presumed-dead Candace (Ambyr Childers). “Toward the end of the book, a new woman walks into the bookstore, she goes by Amy Adam, and she sort of transitions him into his next story,” Gamble told EW. “And we just really liked the idea of combining some of those elements into Candace.”