Since Heartstopper has become a new hit on the streaming platform with the just-released 1st season, we’d like to look at the Heartstopper books vs. Netflix TV series and find out what the differences are between the books and the TV adaptation.
There are quite a few movies and TV series that have been adapted from books, and there’s a lot of debate about them: Which is better? Some claim that reading a book is better because it stimulates your imagination, while others claim that watching the film adaptation of a book is better because sight is by far the most important sense of us in this age of technology.
Of course, both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but real bookworms know that it’s almost impossible to mention everything that’s addressed in the book in a film adaptation, mainly because of the limited time. Back to our topic, let’s take a closer look at the differences between the Heartstopper books and Netflix TV series.
Heartstopper Comic Books
Written by renowned young adult author Alice Oseman, the Heartstopper comic books are graphic novels that have been available to read online since the 1st volume was published in 2017. The printed version of the book has also captured the hearts of millions of readers and has become a bestseller since it was first published in 2018. The book is a coming-of-age story about accepting one’s sexual identity and follows two teenagers, Charlie (played by Jon Locke) and Nick (played by Kit Connor), who develop romantic feelings for each other.
In addition to the lead story, Heartstopper has also received critical acclaim for its artwork. The book series includes a total of four volumes, the first two of which were made into TV series.
Acquired by Netflix in 2021, Heartstopper was finally released on the streaming platform on April 22, 2022, and was literally overrun by the books’ fan base who had been impatiently waiting for the series to premiere since the rights to TV were sold to See-Saw Films in 2019. The series has quickly become a huge success; it’s been rated 9.1 by audiences on IMDb and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. As a result, fans are already wondering when Heartstopper Season 2 will be released.
Heartstopper Books vs. TV Series
As die-hard fans of both the books and the series, we can assure you that there’s not much difference between the Heartstopper books and TV series. The script of the series was also written by Alice Oseman, who tried to stay true to the original script of the books. Therefore, the plot, the aesthetics of the graphics, and the tone of the story remained largely unchanged.
With that being said, we must note that there are some obligatory differences between the Heartstopper books and Netflix TV series, in terms of the change of medium. As mentioned earlier, a book and its screen adaptation must have some differences because the way the story is told is completely different.
One of the differences between the books and the series is the characters. Charlie’s younger brother Oliver and Aled Last, one of Charlie’s closest friends, had to be omitted from the screen adaptation. In their place, there are two new characters introduced in the TV series: Imogen (played by Rhea Norwood) and Isaac (played by Tobie Donovan).
The other and perhaps most important difference between the Heartstopper books and Netflix TV series is the change in the narrative pace of Nick’s journey. In an interview, Oseman says that the most important thing they changed was slowing down Nick’s journey of self-acceptance because TV series are expected to be more dramatic.
In summary, we can say that there are some small differences between the Heartstopper books and Netflix TV series, but most of the important elements from the plot structure to the tone of the story remain unchanged, as the series was written exactly by the author of the books themselves. So if you’re hesitant about not finding what you expected from the series, don’t worry and start watching it right away. And for those who haven’t read the webtoon yet, there’s still a lot to discover in the books, so you shouldn’t miss them.