In Jennifer's novel, Vivian Carter (Hadley Robinson) is a junior in high school. She's definitely an introvert, but she isn't exactly the wallflower loner that she and Claudia, her best friend, are set up to be. She isn't fearing the first day of school, hoping not to be noticed, and she's definitely not making excuses for Mitchell Wilson (Patrick Schwarzenegger), who is a sexist dick. In the film, Viv approaches the new girl, Lucy Hernandez, after Lucy has been harassed by Mitchell and tells her to just ignore him. To which Lucy responds, "I'm going to keep my head up. High." YES, GIRL.
Because the novel is written in first person and is so internal, Viv doesn't feel as naive as in the movie. Scared to rock the boat? Definitely. But she doesn't excuse the behavior of the boys. She's actually on the cusp of a perfect storm of frustration, anger, and hopelessness. Either way, in both movie and film, Viv takes all of those emotions and pens her first issue of the zine.