Normal People by Sally Rooney – The Book vs. The Show


Read This:

Normal People by Sally Rooney 

Watch This:

Normal People on Hulu

Why We Made this Selection and Background Knowledge

Julie: I actually watched the show about two years ago and have always been curious about the book.

Claire: I just went along with Julie’s suggestion because I’ve heard good things about Sally Rooney’s books and haven’t read any yet.

Before you say which you liked better, did you read the book or listen to the audiobook… because it matters.

Julie: Read on Kindle

Claire: Read the book

Overall Opinion of the Book

Julie: It’s a mood and the lack of quotation marks was hard to get used to. I also found the ending really unsatisfying but I kind of liked how I could imagine my own ending.

Claire: I didn’t like how the book ended so abruptly. As I was coming toward the end, I kept thinking “okay, how are they going to tie this up? There aren’t enough pages left!” I’m used to reading romance where there is always a HEA or at least an HFN, plus an epilogue, so I wasn’t a fan of how this ended. But I agree, it lets you imagine what comes next.

Overall Opinion of the Show

Julie: So much sex and male full-frontal nudity. The 30-minute episodes were nice because it was so slow. I hated the ending.

Claire: The show was… meh.

Which was better?

Julie: The book

Claire: The book


  1. Was the outcome the same in both the show and the book? Yes
  2. Was the main character/primary narrator the same in the show and the book? Yes
  3. Was the primary conflict the same in the show and the book? Yes
  4. Would you read the book again or recommend it to a friend? No
  5. Would you watch the show/movie again or recommend it to a friend? No

Overall rating: 3/5

To listen to the full episode on Normal People check out But the Book was Better on Apple and Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe so you know exactly when each episode is released!


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