As I’ve mentioned before, I like reading books. A large part of the books I buy have already been made into movies, but this one was on the waiting list. It was inevitable that it would become a movie because of the popularity of the book. Just before the movie came out, I re-read the book. Here’s what I thought of both.
I bought the book without knowing what it would be about. Honestly, I just bought it because of the beautiful cover and the fact that people recommended this book to me. The summary on the back is pretty short.
“Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. Violet Markey is devastated by her sister’s death. They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. It’s only together they can be themselves… But, as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?“
So I went to read the book. I was hooked from the start – the mystery regarding why they both are on the bell tower. I really wanted to get to know the characters. Violet, who lost her sister and Theodore, who seems to have a lot of different personalities.
I have difficulties reading books at home. There’s just too much distraction around me. My school is 40 minutes by train which is the perfect amount to read a bit. However, when I get to my stop, I can’t continue reading. There was one time where I just wanted to keep reading while walking to school. The story’s addictive!
Jennifer Niven did a great job writing this book – her first YA book. The way each character has his own problems, things young adults might have problems with themselves. Just like John Green did in The Fault in Our Stars, where both the book and the movie were huge hits.
Let me start off by saying that Elle Fanning is perfect for the role of Violet. Casting Justice Smith, however, was a bit of a mistake. It’s not that I don’t like Justice Smith, it’s just that I don’t like Justice Smith as Theodore Finch. Who would have been better, you ask? Maybe Timothée Chalamet or Cole Sprouse?
I was a bit disappointed by the movie. I’m just honest, I really thought it would have been better. While the book is very in-depth about both personalities and the wanders they make, the movie really doesn’t. And I’m very disappointed that they changed the beginning of the movie entirely. That beginning that got me hooked, where both of them meet on top of the bell tower.
I obviously can’t only talk about the not-so-good-things in this movie. Location-wise, it’s perfect. The town is exactly as I imagined, as are their homes. And the lake is also pretty much exactly as I imagined it would be.
I have named a few differences in the movie, but here’s a list of some more:
- Finch’s character
It’s pretty obvious in the movie that Finch has his problems. I can imagine that Finch might confuse people who haven’t read the book. It’s explained in the book that Finch has a fascination for death. He writes about different ways to die. He also has different alter-egos, which he switches every few weeks. This eventually leads up to him being diagnosed with a bipolar disorder.
- Finch’s family
Finch’s father is briefly mentioned in the movie, something about a scar. In the book, he’s pretty prominent. He remarried a younger woman and is raising her son, which might be his father son (from before his parents divorced). He visits them every few weeks, something he’s not quite looking forward to.
- Violet and Finch meeting
This is the biggest difference between the two of them. The book starts with Finch and Violet on the roof of their school’s bell tower, where Finch saves Violet’s life. The entire school sees this happening but the story is that Violet saved Finch’s life – thus the other way around. This makes Finch seem like an even bigger freak. In the movie, it’s just Finch running at night, he sees Violet on a bridge and talks her off and that’s about it. The book handled it way better.
- Their wanders
While the wanders are pretty prominent in both the book and the movie and they’re about the same, there are some things that I missed in the movie. Especially in the ending. The end of the book is beautiful. Finch made a small quest for Violet, which leads her to the tree with all the shoes in it (the tree they visit together in the movie) where Finch left his shoe with something written on it. He also leads her to a place with the largest paintball, where he used the color ‘Violet’. Then, he leads her to a monastery where there’s a black-light room, called the Ultraviolet Apocalypse. This eventually leads her to the church dedicated to people who lost their lives in car accidents – a scene which is in the movie.
- Their romance
While Violet’s and Finch’s first kiss in the movie certainly is great, it was even better in the book. Remember the scene where Finch and Violet are visiting the “Before I die I want to…” wall? The original scene, in the book, is about the same, Finch writes “Before I die I want to kiss Violet Markey” and then they kiss.
I think it’s pretty obvious that the book is better than the movie, which is the case with most books-made-into-movies. It’s not that I didn’t like the movie, it was alright. I’d still give it a 6. However, they should’ve made the movie 20 minutes longer to fit in more of the original story. If you feel like you missed information while watching the movie, just read the book. However, I don’t think this will be such a big hit as To All The Boy’s I’ve Loved Before or The Kissing Booth, which were huge hits on Netflix.
What do you think of this movie?