Book It or Look It: All the Bright Places


Delaney Brenner, Staff Writer

One month later and I am finally back again. This addition of “Book It or Look It” will examine All The Bright Places, the book and the Netflix movie adaptation. All The Bright Places is an emotional story about mental health, living with loss, but still enjoying the journey. One review calls it: “Your next Fault in Our Stars.” 

To me, the book was good. Not great, and certainly not bad. Just good. (The Fault in Our Stars was definitely better. But this book is still important!) The book took me around two weeks to get through.

Oh wow soooo long. 

Well for me that is a while. I often get through books in only a few days. The book was interesting, just not the most engaging for me towards the middle. My favorite aspect of the book was the “Wander Indiana” adventures that Theodore Finch and Violet Markey go on. It made me remember the wonders that can be found in the mundane. Both Finch and Markey are well-created characters, although some of their characteristics are a bit stereotypical. As the book is written from both perspectives, usually bouncing back and forth between each chapter, we get to see the inner workings of each person, adding depth and understanding to how one reads their interactions. 

That duality of narrative was severely lacking in the movie and contributed to my less than enthusiastic opinion of it. 

Well did you watch the movie first this time?


You’re never going to like the movie better when you do that! You already have an opinion about it and you will never be satisfied. 

Whatever. It was hard to understand the reasons behind the characters’ actions in the movie whereas they were well explained in the book. For example, if I had not read about Finch’s obsession with water and control, I would not have understood the scene where he is holding his breath in the bathtub.

There were other issues with the movie as well. First, the dialogue was not very interesting. The book had so many strong quotes that made the characters dynamic, and it was all lost in the movie. On top of that, one of Finch’s main character traits in the book is that every so often he changes his style and parts of his personality to become “80’s Finch,” among others, which helps represent how lost he can feel in his own identity. Yet, these shifts were not included in the movie at all. And finally, well I guess really firstly, the opening scene in the movie was all wrong. I don’t care that it’s on a bridge rather than a tower. That’s fine. But the fact that Finch was not on the ledge too, on top of the horrid dialogue? It was not a good start, and for the most part it did not get better. 

That is not to say the movie was entirely bad. The ending was still pretty emotional, but the nuance for me was gone. I get the creative liberty of screenwriters, but please. At least try to use the book?

In case you could not tell by now, my vote for this time is: book it! 

Seriously, are we ever going to get a win for the “looks”?  

If any book-related tv series or movie really wows me, you’ll be the first to know. 


But for now…

Can I pleaseeeee say it this time?

I don’t know if I trust you after last edition. 

I will say it right I promise.

Okay, go ahead.

Choose books, not looks!