Book vs. Movie: All the Bright Places

Avery Tracy, Staff Writer

There will be spoilers in this review. Read with caution.

All the Bright Places was written by Jennifer Nivan and was published January 6, 2015. The movie All the Bright Places was released by Netflix February 28, 2020. The book and movie surround two main characters: Violet and Finch. They both attend the same school, and they meet at the beginning when Violet is on a ledge contemplating whether to jump off. Luckily, Finch sees this and convinces her not to. Throughout the movie and book, we get to know more about each character and their relationship with one another. We get a whirlpool of emotions from romance to philosophical ideas on death.

Overall, when I read the book, I really enjoyed the whole concept. It gave me that “you only live once” kind of vibe but in a more dark way. In the book and movie, we see Violet struggling from being a popular girl to not really caring what anyone thinks; she’s overwhelmed and sad about her sister’s death. Finch, on the other hand, is this odd, quirky guy who’s infatuated by Violet and isn’t afraid to show his emotions for her. Soon after he saves her life, they get paired up to do a project on the wonders of Indiana. Finch breaks Violet out of her shell, and she helps him see the light. In the end, however, we see Finch deal with bigger issues which ultimately leads to him killing himself. 

Even though I enjoy both the book and movie there are some differences with both. Firstly, in the book, Violet plans to jump off a bell tower rather than planning to jump off the bridge. I felt that the movie downplayed Violet’s intent, whereas the book included witnesses watching Finch talk her down from it. Personally, I prefer the book version because I thought it added more tension and made it a more important issue. Another difference is Finch’s character in general. The movie didn’t have the same dialogue as the book where Finch would talk about new and crazy ideas of people killing themselves. We don’t really see this type of Finch in the movie, hence why it made it more surprising when he did commit suicide. He never really showed any motive behind it. I felt that it would have benefited the movie to show that Finch was not well and had dark thoughts. 

Overall, though, the movie had an amazing score. They had a familiar orchestral piece play in the background, so when the death did occur, the music made the scene emotional.  Plus, we also heard it being played when Violet and Finch were having a good time. I really enjoyed the ending when Violet monologued about the importance of living life to the fullest and really appreciating what people teach you. The book and movie were both well done and I highly recommend both! I give the book a ⅘ and the movie a ⅗!