All the differences between season three of YOU on Netflix and the book it’s based on

Joe gets arrested and the ending is completely different


Season three of YOU is filled with classic Joe Goldberg drama, twists and murder. It sees Joe and Love move to Madre Linda to start fresh as a family, but of course their wholesome dream doesn’t last very long. The third season of the Netflix show is based on the third book in Caroline Kepnes’ series, titled You Love Me, and there are some huge differences between how the story is in print and on screen.

The differences between the book and season three of YOU on Netflix make a big difference to the overall story of Joe and Love. Things played out very differently in the two for Joe in the end, for example, and one particular big twist didn’t even happen in the books. Plus, a lot of characters are very different in the books, and their storylines differ too.

Here are all the differences between how season three of YOU was in the Netflix series, to how it was in the book the series is based on. There are some spoilers ahead!

All the differences between season three of YOU on Netflix and the book series it is based on

via Netflix

Joe gets arrested!!!

It’s been a long time coming, but in the books Joe very nearly gets caught out. In the break between what we saw in season two and season three starting in the show, whilst Love is pregnant, Joe is arrested. Back in season one and the first book, Joe is stopped by a police officer during a car accident he has on the way to Peach’s house. At that point, he gave a false name. The same officer then recognises Joe when Dr Nicky is speaking about someone being obsessed with Beck.

In the book, putting together some of the clues about Joe, his connections to Beck and his whereabouts when Peach died, Dr Nicky and the officer realise Joe is very much of interest. He’s arrested and kept in prison until Love gives birth. He obviously gets off in the end though.

Love and Joe live separately and Joe doesn’t meet his son

Despite his release from jail, in the books the Quinn family then want nothing to do with Joe. They give him loads of money and a house in return for agreeing to leave them, and his newborn son, alone. Joe moves to a place called Bainbridge, not Madre Linda, and signs a contract to never reach out to Love or his child – who actually is called Forty in the books.

All the differences between season three of YOU on Netflix and the book series it is based on

via Netflix

Love isn’t even a murderer?!

Season three of YOU really saw Love come into her murdering ways – so one of the main differences between the series and the book is that Love isn’t even a murderer!! She’s never killed anyone in the books – Joe murdered Candice and Delilah, her and Forty’s au pair wasn’t killed and her ex-husband died in an accident. Absolutely nobody dies at Love’s hands in the third book.

Natalie doesn’t exist in the books

Joe’s obsessive ways are very different in the third book. For a start, he doesn’t have his signature glass box in his new house. He instead has a soundproof basement, which he calls “the whisper room” and he locks one woman down there. In the series, we meet the mysterious neighbour next door, Natalie, who Joe becomes obsessed with. In the book, Natalie doesn’t exist and Joe only has one new obsession – who is the equivalent character to Marienne in the series.

Marienne’s character is slightly different in the books, but Joe does obsess over her

via Netflix

In the books Marienne is a librarian, but she is a married mother called Mary Kay DiMarco. In the series Marienne is a recovering addict, who is trying to get custody of her daughter from her ex. In the books, Mary Kay too has a daughter, but she’s a lot older – she is a senior in high school called Nomi.

In an attempt to win Mary Kay over, in the books Joe adopts three kittens and actually becomes a pretty good pet owner. Mary Kay’s partner dies whilst she and Joe are having an affair – Joe doesn’t kill her partner in the books, he dies after suffering from a relapse over his drug addictions.

Joe and Mary Kay end up having a much more serious relationship than he does with Marienne in the series – they move in together and Joe proposes.

Sherry and Cary Conrad don’t exist in the books

All the differences between season three of YOU on Netflix and the book series it is based on

via Netflix

Madre Linda’s golden couple, Sherry and Cary Conrad, don’t exist in the place where Love lives in the books. However, there is a fairly similar couple, called Melanda and Seamus, where Joe lives in the books. Melanda is known for gossiping on social media, whilst Seamus is fitness-obsessed. Joe puts Melanda in his whisper room when she learns a little too much about Joe’s interests in Mary Kay, and she dies by suicide there. Seamus attempts to kill Joe, but whilst this is happening is shot by someone else.

Joe is caught burying a body by a private investigator

In the book, the Quinns hire a private investigator to watch over Joe. This investigator then watches him bury the body of Melanda and then blackmails Joe. The private investigator has a huge role in the books, with his presence stopping Joe from getting up to a lot of his old tricks. It’s also the investigator who stops Seamus from being able to shoot Joe.

All the differences between season three of YOU on Netflix and the book series it is based on

via Netflix

The ending of the show and the book are very, very different

After seeing that Joe is now settled down and living with a new woman, in the books Love then asks Joe to meet up with her in California. He thinks he is going to meet his son, but instead Love is there with a gun! Love says she feels used, and shoots Joe in the head before turning the gun on herself. Love dies, but Joe survives after spending two weeks in a coma.

In the series we see Love poison Joe and attempt to kill him over his relationship with Marienne. However Joe over powers her and gives her a lethal dose of the same paralytic drug. He frames his dead wife for all the murders in season three, fakes her death as a suicide and burns the house down.

Joe doesn’t go to Paris at the end of the book, he goes to Florida

At the end of season three of YOU on Netflix, Joe fakes his death and leaves for Paris for a fresh start. In the book he still leaves town after everything that has happened, but instead he ends up in Florida. In Florida he opens a bar and bookstore.

Joe still doesn’t get custody of his son

The final of all the differences between season three of YOU on Netflix and the book is what ends up happening to Joe and Love’s child. Despite Love’s death, in the books Joe still doesn’t get custody of his son. Forty stays with Dottie Quinn, who allows Joe to follow her on Instagram to see pictures of his son. In the series Joe leaves Henry with Dante and Lansing.

Season three of YOU is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, quizzes, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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