Hulu's new Little Fires Everywhere adaptation makes a few major changes from the 2017 novel it's based on, and one of the most immediately apparent involves the character of Izzy. Like she is in the book, Izzy is the black sheep of the Richardson family, who rebels against her mother's picture-perfect lifestyle, but the series added another element to Izzy to put her at odds with Elena even more. Izzy's sexuality on Little Fires Everywhere was not explored in the novel, but it is becoming a big part of the new miniseries.
In the first three episodes of Little Fires Everywhere, which Hulu released on Wednesday, March 18, it soon became apparent that Izzy's sexuality was one of the reasons she has trouble fitting in at school. Her classmates made fun of her by calling her "Ellen" and referencing singer Melissa Etheridge. At the end of Episode 3, the mother of one of Izzy's classmates confronted Elena about Izzy sexually accosting her daughter, April. Elena immediately took the accusation as a vicious rumor, but when she told her husband Bill about it, he explained Izzy and April's relationship was complicated. He went on to imply Izzy had come out as gay to him, although Izzy hasn't outright confirmed it on-screen.
This is a major change from the original novel, which never really goes into any details about Izzy's sexuality whatsoever. In the book, Izzy is solely focused on creating disarray in the upper-middle class lifestyle of Shaker Heights that she views as hypocritical; much like in the show, she pulls pranks and makes bold, creative displays of disobedience to rebel, but her sexuality is never taken into account. Of course, novel-Izzy could have been been queer, since her sexuality was never mentioned, or she could not have. Either way, the series explicitly delving into that element of Izzy's character is something totally new for readers of the book.
Izzy isn't the only character whose sexuality seems to have changed from the original novel. In the TV series, Mia is shown to be a very sexual person. Pearl tells Moody her mom enjoys sex whenever she wants, and a flashback shows Mia having sex in her car while Pearl was a baby. The Mia from the novel, however, is implied to be very uninterested in sex, possibly asexual. Her inner thoughts in the book reveal she'd never seen an adult man naked, and the only love she had ever experienced was with her art and with Pearl.
It's clear Hulu's new series will have some surprises in store even for people who have read the book before, so fans will just have to see how all these changes develop as Little Fires Everywhere continues to air new episodes every Wednesday on Hulu.