Monday, January 22, 2018

BOOK VS. MOVIE // the giver by lois lowry

We're all in agreement here that the correct term for our rare breed of humanoid is "bookworm" and not "movieworm," right? *nods throughout the audience* Right. Therefore, so-called bookworms who like the movie better aren't true bookworms, right? Such traitors deserve to mockingly be called movieworms for the rest of their lives, right? Right?? Otherwise, THEY'D BE LIVING A LIE.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. We're all in agreement about that, I hope.

I think we're further in agreement, however, that usually - 90% of the time? maybe 85%? - the book is better. It's just that every now and then, our tastes will force us to read the book and be like "meh" and then watch the movie adaptation and be like "YAAAASSSS."

That's exactly what happened with me for The Giver. I'm sure many of you loved the book, and I'm honestly glad you did! But something about it didn't click for me.

The movie, however, was a different story.

For those of you who don't know, this classic dystopian story is about Jonas, a boy living in a world void of color, void of emotion, and void of chaos. It is a world of rigid conformity, a world of sickening sameness.

But the people - clueless as they are - don't consider it sickening. No, to them it's wonderful. Perfect. Utopia.

And Jonas is no exception... until he is assigned as Receiver of Memories. Suddenly, dark secrets begin to surface, flipping Jonas's perspective upside down.


- In the book, we get inside Jonas's head more. This is always what I first think of when comparing a book to a movie. While watching a movie, we get to know what goes on inside the MC's head by his actions, facial expressions, and conversations with other people. But the connection is greater while reading a book, since we're more directly inside his head.

- But in the movie, we get BRENTON THWAITES. *cough*

- And also, there are sooooo many adverbs in the book. Take it or leave it, but here's my advice: use adverbs very sparily. You. Do. Not. Need. Many. At. All. When I see an adverb in a novel, I sometimes can't help but sit there, raise one eyebrow skeptically, and consider whether or not it could have been removed.

Lots of adverbs are sprinkled throughout The Giver, and I confess they kind of drove me CRAZY.

- In the movie, Jonas's friends are deeper characters and more involved.

I really liked how they changed Asher's personality, and how so much more involved Fiona was in the story, especially the climax. And speaking of the climax...

- The climax in the book was a big let-down, but then the movie made it awesome.

The climax, guys.

The climax.


ARRRRRRGH!!! *a thousand headdesks*

All right, here comes some general spoilers. You've been warned.

In the book, Jonas had no opposition whatsoever during his departure. NADA. ZILCH. ZERO. There I was, listening to the audiobook, just w a i t i n g - and hoping - for someone to jump out and try to stop him. But noooooo he made it out just fine.

And then in the movie, we have all the climax-y action I was anticipating in the book but didn't get. For example, this:

And then in the book we didn't even get to hear what happened back with the Giver. I looooooved that they showed (WARNING: SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED) how the memories returned to the people. That was a powerful moment I dearly, dearly wish had been in the book.

I could ramble on about how I ADORED the romance in the movie - how cute and clean it was, and how the book should've gone further with its tiny implications. (As you can see, I'm a sucker for romantic subplots.)

I can understand why some wouldn't appreciate it, though, considering that movies ALWAYS make certain there's enough romance for there to be at least one kiss. *sigh* But they did an excellent job with the romance in The Giver movie. ^.^

And then we have the antagonist. It frustrated me that there was no set-in-stone bad guy in the book, and in my opinion, that is yet another thing the movie fixed.

I know the Elders were technically supposed to be the antagonist in the book (right??), but having the Chief Elder as the #1 bad guy in the movie was clearer to me and opened the door for more conflict. Meryl Streep made a perfect Chief Elder.

Basically, the movie took all the elements of the book and went deeper with them - characters, beginning, middle, and end. EVERYTHING.

And it's not to say that I hated the book, or even disliked it. I actually enjoyed The Giver by Lois Lowry. Maybe it's not my favorite dystopian, but the world was incredibly well-thought-out, and I was never bored. It's just that I went into it expecting so many things I didn't get, and that left me somewhat disappointed. In my opinion, the movie improved the story.

If you love dystopian, there's a good chance you'll love this book. I sincerely hope you do! *whispers* But after you're finished, you must watch the movie, 'kay? xD You don't want to miss out on that.

Aaaaaand writing this post has made me want to go watch it again.

~ Lila Kims

Have you read the book? Have you watched the movie? If so, what did you think? If not, do you plan to? Let's chat about The Giver!


  1. I actually haven’t seen this movie, although I’m not quite sure if I want to. XD I always thought that the ages of the main characters was super important to the book, so the fact that they made them so much older weirded me out. *shrugs* I mean, to each his own, but it wasn’t really my favorite thing about this, and I am VERY picky about movie adaptations. You should ask my family how many times I’ve howled about the new Wrinkle in Time movie releasing next month O_O

    But anyway, I have read the book, and I very much liked it—except when I first read it I was of course way too young for it and was utterly traumatized when we found out what “release” actually is. I don’t think I’ve reread it since.

    But Jonas! Fiona! Asher! I always loved them and they are PRECIOUS. Poor little Asher. The story about the smack...*cries*

    Personally, I’ve always liked the sequels (companions?) to the Giver far more than I like the original (Gathering Blue is one of my favorite books of all time, and Claire from Son one of my favorite heroines). But I know that those definitely aren’t everyone’s cup of tea so...yep.

    How is Jeff Bridges as the Giver? I like him as an actor but I’m not quite sure how I feel about him playing THAT role.

    Anyway, I’ll wrap up this monster comment now. Awesome post and you’ve made me slightly more interested in (someday) seeing the movie!

    1. I can see why some people wouldn't like the movie. I feel like I am greatly in the minority here, lol. xD The fact that the charries are older was a little weird to me at first, but they were such great actors in the movie that I couldn't be more okay with it... :D (I can tell already that we're pretty much opposites about movie adaptations, lol, because I'm soooo looking forward to The Wrinkle in Time movie.)

      I'm so glad you liked it!! And oh goodness... well, Asher is very, VERY different in the movie, so... yeah, I don't know how much you'd like what they did to him? I don't know. xD

      I've read Gathering Blue and REALLY liked it - more than The Giver - and so I think I'm going to agree with you on that. I'm going to read Messenger and Son incredibly soon, so I'm really excited!!!

      Hmmm. Well, I liked their actor choices for everyone, and that includes Jeff Bridges, but I'm trying to think here... He's a little different from the book Giver, and different than I imagined him, and I think if I could pick one charrie who could have had a better actor to represent them, it would be the Giver. But I still loved his performance.

      Because I love, like, everything in this movie. xD

      Hey, I love monster comments. :D And YAY, I'm glad I made you slightly more interested!

  2. Ok I haven't seen the movie but I LOVED THE BOOK SO MUCH EEEP! Maybe I will watch the movie sometime, surprisingly I haven't heard much good of it until now :) BUT ADVICE FROM BOOKWORMS IS SO MUCH MORE VALUABLE thsn the rest of the populism ;) Great Post Lila <3

    1. You should watch it!! And haha, I think I'm in the minority about it... which I don't understand, because the movie was AWESOME. In my opinion. xD

      I 100% AGREE WITH YOU ON THAT, ANNA. ;) And thanks so much! <3

  3. Awesome post Lila!! I admit I've never read or watched The Giver, but I loved seeing the differences you pointed out.


    1. Thank you, Catherine!

      The ultimate question is... do you plan on reading/watching it? xD

  4. I've done neither: Reading or watching the movie. I've always been someone who wanted to read less famous books. I was also told how great these books are from an unreliable source and instantly discredited the books. But maybe I'll eventually give them a chance since more blogger friends talk about it.

    You did great with pointing out differences, though. :)

    Ivie Writes

    1. Well, you certainly cannot trust popular books these days, that's for sure. :D I like reading lesser-known books too, but some of my favorite series ever are popular and I confess I'm always looking up content reviews for big-name books, hoping they're good so I can read them... xD

      If you like dystopian, I think you might like The Giver. But read whatever you want and don't read whatever you don't want, of course! ^.^

      Thanks, Ivie! :)


    3. Yeah, I get nervous with well known books.Content is sketchy, but this doesn't sound that way. Always nice to hear. 😁

      Haha, okay, Lisa. 😂😂

  5. I NEED TO SEE THIS REALLY SO SO SO BAD!! I loved the Giver (my first sci-fi of ever) book and the full quartet and now that I hear the movie is good!?? YES PLEASE HELP.

    I loved the books so much bc it was my first taste of futuristic setting and I was so fascinated ... it was so new, so raw, so fresh, so unique at that time. I loved Jonas, and I loved seeing what happened to Jonas as he grew up in the series. The books were often so open ended and sad but put all the book together and WOW HEY THEY MAKE SENSE AND ARE SO CONNECTED. Also they were so so so so clean ...

    I must go have a reread ...


      I LOVE the world in The Giver so much too! All those adjectives fit it perfectly. :D

      Oh my goodness, I've only read The Giver and Gathering Blue, but yesssss they were SO open-ended, arrrrgh.

      And I must go read Messenger and Son... xD

  6. I need to read this book. Really.

    1. You should! It's a pretty good book. :D

      Thanks for commenting, Michaila - I shall have to check out your blog!

  7. I read the book YEARS ago, and with my memory...yeah, I don't remember much. But I have been hoping to pick it up and read it again (and there are more??) and maybe even watch the movie!

    1. Oh, yes, the struggle of no remembering a book very well because it's been so long...

      Yes, it's a quartet. :D And you should totally watch the movie afterwards!!! It was awesome!

  8. I loved both really! They both had their ups and downs, and both are pretty cool!! :D

    1. Yay!!!! Another person who's watched the movie! *high-five* I liked both of them too - though, as has already been established, I liked the movie more. xD

  9. I enjoyed the movie, but I didn't love it as much as the book. But hey it's cool that you found you appreciated the movie more. I've had that happen to me too, and yeah I definitely felt like a traitor. XD I personally felt like the changes made in the movie of The Giver took away from the powerful message that I got from the book. The movie was good to watch on a lazy Saturday afternoon though!
    Great post!

    1. I'm not surprised. xD But thanks so much, Hannah! And it's funny... I felt that the movie was more powerful than the book. But hey, different people, different opinions! :D

      Thanks for commenting, Hannah!

  10. The Giver!!!!! The quartet is one of my favorite series, and I adored the movie!

    Fabulous post! :D

    ~ Abby {}

    1. I can't wait to read Messenger and Son!!! And YAY, I'm so glad you adored it!

      Thanks so much, Abby! :D And thank you for commenting! <3


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