Warning: This post contains spoilers and contexts of suicide and depression (may be triggering). If you’re a lazy reader, you may be allergic ’cause it’s long. You may go on if you have no problem with any of these.
Hey guys. A new blog post, six days after the last one. I’m not procrastinating, yay! Some of you may be familiar with All the Bright Places, it could be the book or movie or for someone like me, it could be both. Reading the book put through so many emotions. When I started reading the book, I instantly fell in love with Finch because of his humor (I love guys with great sense of humor!). To get started, I’m going to give a little summary of how they (Finch and Violet) actually met, in the book.
A Little Summary (The Book)
It was the day of the Awake again and Finch once again, tries to kill himself by jumping off a ledge that is located in the school, by the way. Before he could actually go ahead with it though, he noticed someone pointing up, he thought it was at him at first but it wasn’t. It was actually at someone else whom he didn’t notice before – he wasn’t sure if she got there after or before he did.
Anyway, he recognized her instantly and tried to distract her from jumping, which she couldn’t do because she was frozen solid where she was and scared shit-less. Finch is perceptive, he got that fast and started talking – to distract her from looking down or moving forward. He makes a joke about them jumping off and how the rain (falling at the moment) would wash away their blood. While talking, he starts to move towards her so he’d help her climb down the ledge, when he gets to her, someone below notices them and screams Violet’s name. Finch then pretends to be the person who actually needs saving, and shouts, “Don’t save me, you’ll only kill yourself!” then he goes ahead to instruct Violet on what to do to step off the ledge.
When she did, he returns to the business at hand (killing himself), in his words. Before he could try to do that again, Violet had already retrieved her vocal chords and repeated the same words he’d said to her to step off the ledge. He begins to laugh as he imagines one of Violet’s friends looking at him as he falls by her and almost fell off but he caught himself and Violet grabs his legs. This makes everyone (mostly Violet’s friends) down the tower think Violet was actually saving Finch (who they couldn’t care less about btw). So, news spread fast and people got talking, the stigma around Finch grew and he was mocked more and more. Only him and Violet knew what really happened up there.
So, that’s how they practically met and not on the road when he was just casually running by. I said the stigma around Finch grew, you who have only seen the movie may be wondering why. In the book, Finch has been suffering from depression for a long time and has mood swings, his mates at school call him a freak or weirdo for being suicidal and his father hits him and is practically not nice to him. Finch’s father left his family for another woman who has a son and this left his mom devastated and lost. She’s always moping and doesn’t pay very much attention to Finch and his sisters. Yes, Finch had another sister in the book, a younger one, her name is Decca.
Nobody knows he’s suffering from depression except his counselor, Embry (Embryo to Finch) who doesn’t actually know how bad it is. So everyday, Finch thinks of a new way to kill himself, sometimes he likes to try them out but wouldn’t pull through with them. Everyday until the day he kills himself is a day of the Awake.
Now, moving on to Violet. Violet tried to kill herself because she too is depressed about the death of her sister and on the day she tried to kill herself was actually her sister’s birthday. They were the best of friends and Violet loved her truly, deeply. They had a blog where they used to talk about normal teenage stuff but Violet stopped writing on it after her sister passed away. Technically, she stopped living after her sister passed away, she was only floating around, and wearing things that her sister used to wear. She also stopped driving because it was a car accident her sister (and she) was involved in. Just like Finch, she also sees a counselor for her depression.
After that ledge incident, Finch became attracted to Violet. He managed to get her to be his partner for their geography project and tried his best getting to know her and making her look forward to life once again. After Violet revealed to Finch that she wasn’t writing again because her sister died, he decided she’d be the person to take notes down wherever they went to – their wanders for the project. Over time, as seen in the movie, they fell in love, which I think the movie captured perfectly, in a movie sense but it’s way perfect in the book.
Throughout the book, Finch was always devising new methods to kill himself, like I said, while helping Violet feel alive again. He had post-it notes on his walls for whenever a random thought crossed his mind and when Violet saw his room the first time, she adapted it. All this while, Violet is also unaware of his depression until her friend Amanda tells her she’d seen him at a support group she went to after he’d (Finch) gotten into a fight with Roamer (who’s actually responsible for everyone calling him a freak) at school. Finch was expelled from school but his mother wasn’t aware.
Days later, Violet goes over to his place and finds him in his closet. She doesn’t bring up the issue immediately until after they made out and she breaks down and confesses that Amanda told her and she was worried about him. Finch tries to tell her he’s okay but she wouldn’t have it and they end up arguing which makes her leave angrily. Unknowingly to Violet, that would be the last time she’d see him. She doesn’t worry much to look for him though, since it was typical of him to disappear like that. Unfortunately, he didn’t come back but he sent texts and stopped after a while.
Almost a month later, he sent his family strange messages about happier moments, his best friends too and then Violet. That was when everyone started to get worried. Violet rushed over to his house to find clues of where he might be and she did but it was already Too late. She was devastated, his funeral took place and people came, including people who had made jest of him, so sweet (I’m being sarcastic). Brenda, one of Finch’s best friends said she hoped Finch was flipping them off and I agree. After his funeral, Violet decides to finish their project by herself. While wandering the remaining places, she discovered that Finch had already been those places and left signs or messages.
I didn’t put out everything, especially about their wandering moments but just like every book-turned movie, All the Bright Places changed a lot of things. The starting of the movie brought me down, I knew it was going to disappoint me and not follow the book entirely.
- I’ve already mentioned Finch and Violet met at the bell tower in their school when he was trying to kill himself.
- There was no Finch’s dad or little sister or even his mother, these were important people in the book and to Finch. Even if they didn’t get to show his mother or father, I think Decca deserved to have been portrayed.
- Finch didn’t get to call Violet Ultraviolet ReMarkey-able and he didn’t get to tell her random things of people that popped into his head.
- Their wanders weren’t as short-lived as the movie made it to be and some of them were even mixed up.
- Finch wasn’t abused by his father and worried over his depressed mother, although he made mention of it (his dad’s abuse) to Violet but that was just it.
- He didn’t get into constant fights with Roamer and was constantly being taunted as a weirdo or freak.
- Ryan, Violet’s ex-boyfriend didn’t even exist. In the book, he was trying to get back with her but ended up dating some other girl.
- Finch liked to dress according to his moods. There’s 80’s Finch, Nerdy Finch and Badass Finch.
- Finch wasn’t fascinated by death or by how people killed themselves. He didn’t also tell Violet about the Jovian-Plutonian hoax.
- Violet didn’t write a letter to Finch after he died and didn’t get to complete their wanderings. The movie made it look like it was already completed before he died.
- Violet didn’t start up a new blog after she started feeling alive again. And the mention of her blog in the movie was only brief, it played a huge role in Violet’s life in the book.
- The post-it notes. Damn, those notes. They were Finch’s medium of expression. They kept him sane, they were like the major aesthetics(?) in the book. Above, I said he liked to write random thoughts that popped into his head, well, not just only random thoughts. He wrote lyrics on them too and things that reminded him of Violet (big time uwu ❤ here). I think the movie made it look like they weren’t significant.
- Violet didn’t rush to Finch’s home when she felt something was wrong to look for clues. In the book, when Kate told her she got a weird e-mail from him and after she saw hers on Facebook, she headed over to his house to look for clues. In his room she found scattered post-it notes which she put together that spelt out “There was nothing to make him last a long time.” “Go to the waters if it suits thee there.”
- After his funeral, Violet invited two of her friends (Ryan and Amanda) and Finch’s best friends at the Purina Tower where she used to hang out with Finch. They lit candles while they were there and said something about Finch.
- The least but definitely not the last, they failed to emphasize more on Finch’s mental health and Violet’s depression after her sister died. I feel like Elle Fanning didn’t get to grieve the way Violet did in the book and Justice Smith’s depression was really understated compared to Finch’s in the books. Why would Finch just go ahead and kill himself because of just one fight scene he had with Roamer? I know something like that can happen but let’s be logical, it just doesn’t make sense.
Before his last fight with Roamer and his death, in the book, the emptiness and feeling just kept getting worse and he tried to think of everything good he had going for him, reasons he shouldn’t go ahead to kill himself. He made a list and of course Violet was among but it just wasn’t enough. He didn’t feel happy, he didn’t feel anything but that nagging hollow feeling deep down inside. Before Finch went to that support group meeting Amanda saw him at, he’d actually tried to kill himself by overdosing on sleeping pills but like I mentioned above, he didn’t pull through with it. He ran to a hospital and had his stomach pumped.
The movie failed to shine that light on Loss, Grieve, Mental Illness and Depression the book had. It missed all of it. Even if they couldn’t (exactly) follow one or two things in the book, I think they could have made the movie a little bit sadder and showed more of what Finch and Violet were going through. I feel like everything was like some normal teen romance movie before Finch died. I forgot to add that Violet and Finch each their own monologues, I thought most book turned movies implemented that, it would have made the viewers connect to/with them more.
I’d have probably fallen in love with the movie completely if I hadn’t read the book, but l did and like any normal book person, I’d say in this case, I prefer the book to the movie.
I think I still have so much to rant about but this will do. If you made it this far, thank you so much! I know my posts are pretty long sometimes but that’s why I created the blog in the first place, among other reasons.
If you’ve seen the movie and have read the book, which one do you prefer? I’d also like to know what you think in general about the whole thing. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.
Thank you for reading!
Happy Sunday <3.
I really hated the movie of this novel. I kept thinking that if I was the author I would be irritated at what they turned my great work into. The movie didn’t do the book justice at all. They cut almost all the important parts but I still saw it anyway. Besides, I love love Jennifer Niven so much
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I think our sentiments about the book is the same for everyone who’s read it. They really did a poor adaptation of it. I haven’t read any of her books besides All the Bright Places but I’ll be sure to look into them when I can.
Thank you for reading.
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