This review was harder then most. I had watched the first season of the tv show before reading the book so I already had some preset ideas. I will try and give the good vs bad when comparing this against the tv show.
The ages of the main characters are way younger in the book. Creek is only 17-18 (having just recently graduated high school) and Manfred is maybe 22-23. Wheras the tv show Manfred is 33 and Creek is 25. The whole idea of a just graduated from high school girl and her love life gives me the creeps. I can identify with the tv characters way more. I can’t buy into characters at their book age.
The cast in the book are very whitewashed. Having watched the tv show first I got to meet Lem as a very impressive looking black man. The book version is a white guy with bleach/white hair. The Lem in the TV show is far superior in looks, and personality. I would comment on Fiji but I can’t recall her exact description in the books, but I got the impression she was white, whereas the tv show had a much more engaging character including looks and personality as well.
There is actually more good then bad compared to the tv show. The first book itself is much quieter paced then the tv show. The story is focused and you get to know about the characters more.
There is no focus on Manfred. He is one of the characters, but he isn’t the focus. I would argue Fiji is the biggest focus but all of the characters take turns. Also there is no dead grandmothers yet (maybe that is in the second book). This keeps the book more engaging as learn about the individuals, without focusing on the white guy as the star.
There are less tropes dealing with Aubrey, she isn’t even that deserving of dislike. I won’t talk more about her except to say her death/murder and her personality come out differently in the book. I definitely prefer this view more.
There is more good, but I can’t write about it since I don’t want to be 100% spoilery
The overall feeling resulting in a 3, meaning reading it is better then not. I did enjoy the book, and I recommend others read it. Just be warned it doesn’t measure up in some ways to the tv show, and is better in others. I just wish we could have Lem from the tv show, that would be great.