6 TV Shows That Are Better Than the Books They Are Based On

When it comes to books and their movie adaptations I almost always prefer the book. Like when The Hunger Games trilogy first came out, I bought the first book, loved it, and then brought the second and third book on the days of their release and read them within less than two days, but when it came to the movies I really couldn’t stand them. They cut out so much because they wanted to knock it down from a 15+ to a 12+ to make more money.

In most cases, movies that are based on books always end up cutting a lot out because they don’t have time to cram an entire book’s plot into two hours. However, TV shows have a bit more freedom since they can stretch on season after season, and there are actually a lot of TV shows that I actually prefer to the books they were originally based on. Here are a few shows that I think actually beat their book versions:

(I’ll try not to spoil anything, by the way!)


I loved Dexter and I’m so gutted that it ended. I watched it all the time and it was my favourite show. I didn’t even know it was based on a book until I did more research into it. I ordered the book and when it arrived I started reading it and… I never even finished it. Compared to the TV show it just wasn’t as good to me. I didn’t relate to the Dexter and Deb in the book like I did in the show. I didn’t like book Dexter’s humour, and his voice just seemed off compared to the TV show Dexter’s.

True Blood

True Blood came about when the whole Twilight-vampire craze was happening. It was one of those shows that I thought was going to be shit but it wasn’t. I watched the first season and I loved it. Then I found out that it was based on a book series called The Southern Vampire Mysteries. I read the first book, and the TV show had been pretty loyal to it, apart from one character they had to cut out since that character was basically a very famous dead celebrity turned vampire, and there was no way they were going to get permission to use his image. That character was replaced by Jessica Hamby and she actually ended up being my favourite character.

When it came to the second season onwards, they pretty much just veered away from the book’s plot. They added and removed characters, the storyline was completely changed. The show’s finale episode and the book’s ending are also completely different. I think I read up until the eighth book and then I gave up. There are thirteen of these books which are way too many for me, especially for a series I only thought was okay. I much prefer the TV show.


Game of Thrones

I’ll admit, I’ve only read the first Game of Thrones book so there isn’t a lot I can say about this. What I can say is that the books are huge and they take a lot of time to read. I do plan to read them all, but it’s going to take a while to summon up the commitment needed. However, the TV show is pretty loyal to the book from what I’ve seen, sure they’ve cut out a few things, but the plot is pretty consistent, at least it is with the first book and the first season of the TV show. I also might be a bit biased towards the TV show because I love Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey.

The show has now caught up to the books and so I’m interested to see how the show is going to work now that it has no more material to base itself on.


Pretty Little Liars

I really love Pretty Little Liars and for my birthday my boyfriend got me the book and while I did finish it pretty quickly, some parts of it were different to the show. The main thing that bugged me was that some of the characters are described completely differently to how they appear in the show, and it was weird reading that Emily had blond hair, and Hanna had red hair, while the cover of the book had the TV show dark-haired Emily and blonde Hanna on it.

Despite preferring the TV show, I have to say I do like these books, but they are completely different to the show though. In the second book, a character dies who has a much bigger role in the TV show. ‘A’ in the books is also meant to be different to who ‘A’ is in the show. These aren’t spoilers, are they?


Orange is the New Black

I didn’t read the book that the show was based on until I had binged watched the two seasons that had been released. Piper Kerman (who Piper Chapman is based on) wrote about her 18-month sentence in a women’s prison. While the first season is pretty loyal to the book the series takes a complete detour from the book by the second season. Piper Kerman’s book only allows you to see through her eyes, while the Netflix show allows you to see from the perspective of all the women in the prison, because of this these women become more relatable and you end up loving them. While reading the book these characters just didn’t shine through as much as they do on screen.

13 Reasons Why

I recently reviewed Thirteen Reasons Why the book that the Netflix show is based on, and while I had a few problems with it, I still preferred it to the book. The main reason I didn’t like the book as much was because Hannah Baker is very unlikeable, which is inconvenient seeing as she’s one of the main characters so you’re kind of stuck with her. In the Netflix show, yeah she does some things that I don’t agree with, but she’s so much more relatable and she doesn’t come across as bratty as she does in book form. A lot of people had issues with the show because it glosses over a lot of important details, but to be honest, the book also does the same, but there are things in the show that are a lot more extreme than in the book.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of these! Also, if you think that there is a TV show better than its book form that I haven’t listed let me know!


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  • Hannah D

    I had no idea Dexter was even a book! I’m glad “shadowhunters” didn’t make the list! ?

    • Yeah it is, there’s actually a series the first book was so dull! I’ve heard good things about Shadowhunters, that it is better than the books, but I only watched the first episode and I didn’t really like the books tbh…

  • I agree with everything you said except for 13 reasons why! I feel like she was more unlikable in the show! I did love the show though, and am super excited for season two to come out! You know I actually didn’t know that Dexter was a book first?! The show is so good though, so I’m surprised that the book wasn’t as good xxx

    Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com