How Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This Compares To The Book


In February 2020, Netflix released the comedy-drama series I Am Not Okay with This, adapted from Charles S. Forsman’s 2017 graphic novel of the same name; comparing the two, there are a few stark differences in this mostly faithful adaptation. Directed by Jonathan Entwistle and starring Sophia Lillis (IT: Chapter One) as Sydney “Syd” Novak, the series focuses on the aftermath of her father’s suicide.

As the story progresses, Syd finds that she has telepathic abilities that are often destructive. Typically, her telepathy is sparked when a triggering event occurs, such as an argument with her mother or seeing her best friend/love interest Dina (Sofia Bryant) with her jock boyfriend Brad. Syd uses a diary to document all of her outbursts and feelings throughout the series. By the second to last episode, the diary goes missing.

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Syd’s powers are growing stronger by the day and the discovery that her diary is missing leaves her with a new found sense of fear. At homecoming, she is confronted by Dina’s boyfriend who begins to read her passages and exposes her innermost thoughts out loud to the entire school. As tension continues to build, so do Syd’s powers. In an instant, her telepathy causes Brad’s head to explode.

How I Am Not Okay With This Compares To The Book

While the series does a remarkable job bringing Forsman’s characters to life, there are drastic differences amongst the well-crafted similarities. In the graphic novel, Syd’s father actually begs her to take his life, to which she obliges. In the television series, her father killed himself as a result of PTSD. Syd does not kill anyone until the end when Brad’s head explodes. While she kills him in the source material as well, it is actually far less gruesome and more on the disturbing side. After putting Dina in the hospital, the novel depicts Syd going to Brad and giving him an aneurysm.

The presence of Syd’s inner turmoil is present in both the graphic novel and series. She is constantly struggling regarding her relationship with her mother and the grief of losing her father. These two similarities spark some of the major differences between the novel and the series. In the novel, she grieves killing her father but, in the series, it’s his loss in general that she mourns. As these feelings of depression and guilt continue to grow, the end of Forsman’s novel depicts Syd blowing up her own head.

The graphic novel is far more graphic than the series with its depictions of suicide but, ultimately, the series holds up to the standards that Forsman’s novel set. Both the novel and series end with a head exploding, but only the series allows Syd to continue to live. This allows for Netflix to renew I Am Not Okay with This for a second season. As of this writing, Netflix has yet to announce whether or not audiences will see what happens to Syd after the homecoming dance.

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Mara Bachman (568 Articles Published)

Mara Bachman works as a Horror Movie Features Writer for Valnet, Inc at ScreenRant.

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