I was pleasantly surprised.
All we got for two years was this one photo.
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: If you haven't read these books, you haven't lived.
I actually prefer them to be aged up like this because their instincts, decision-making, and even their stamina were a bit more mature than two 13-year-olds' would have been, imo.
In the novels, all of the animals in New World have their own, distinctive Noise. It makes Manchee's death in The Knife of Never Letting Go much sadder because you've gotten to know him as a character.
In the movie, only the men and the native species, the Spackle, have Noise. But I understand why they made that decision because it would have been wayyy too overwhelming.
Everyone in Prentisstown learns about Viola early on in the movie while scouting her crashed ship. After the mayor makes it clear that he wants information about the rest of her people, Viola quickly realizes that he's a bad guy and escapes with Todd.
This is another change that benefits the film because it's direct and gives movie Todd and Viola a concrete reason to go on the run.
When I read the books, I was surprised at how much I ended up caring about Davy. His arc and development were very well done, as was his (kind of) friendship with Todd. He also shoots Viola at the end of the first book, nearly killing her, but we'll get to that soon.
While Nick Jonas's Davy did convey how he felt the need to compete for the mayor's affection, the movie only scratched the surface of Davy's depth as a character.
Todd thinks that there are only men in Prentisstown because of both the Noise and the Spackle War that took place after the people landed. In reality, the men went crazy when they realized that they couldn't know what the women were thinking and killed them all. Because Todd believes that the Noise killed the women, he's worried that Viola will die, which, of course, she hears in his Noise.
In the film, Todd blames the death of the women entirely on the Spackle, so his Noise is mainly a source of annoyance rather than fear for Viola...once she gets used to it.
In the movie, one of the Spackle is only in the movie for five minutes when it fights Todd, but the entire Spackle population plays a huge role in every single book. They're enslaved by the men of Prentisstown in Book 2, The Ask and the Answer, and stage an all-out war against the humans in Book 3, Monsters of Men.
There are two significant birthdays for boys in Prentisstown: their 13th, when the mayor tells them the "truth" about how all the women died, and their 16th, when they become men by killing someone.
That's why Todd's adoptive parents suddenly send him away in The Knife of Never Letting Go, so he won't have impure thoughts and will therefore be accepted by the rest of the world.
An odd exchange, if you ask me.
Todd and Viola discover the Spackle in The Knife of Never Letting Go after they're attacked by Davy. When Todd can't bring himself to kill Davy, he thinks it's because he's a coward. After they find the Spackle, Todd's embarrassment over his "cowardice" and his worry about a Spackle attack lead him to kill the Spackle, but he instantly regrets it.
Wilf (who was going to be played by Óscar Jaenada) is a farmer who helps Todd and Viola throughout the entire trilogy, and hides them in his wagon so that they can sneak into places undetected. He's one of my favorite characters in the books because of his courage, kindness, and determination, and he isn't in the final cut of the movie. #WeWantWilf
Aaron was the only aspect of the story that I thought was translated at the same intensity from page to screen, and boy was he SCARY. He does fight Todd and Viola in The Knife of Never Letting Go, but he kidnaps Viola and wounds Todd in the process. Todd finds them a few days later and helps Viola escape, which leads to Manchee's death.
My worst nightmare.
In the movie, when Viola and Todd are hiding in Farbranch, Todd admits that he can't read and asks her to read his mother's journal aloud. She reads the entire thing in one sitting, and that's how they find out that the men of Prentisstown killed all the women.
Book Todd learns what the diary says later on in the series because as he learns to read, he can only hear a little at a time because of how emotional it makes him. Todd and Viola learn about the murders from Todd's dad, Ben, not on their own.
Aaron tries to become a kind of sacrifice for "the last boy in Prentisstown" in The Knife of Never Letting Go, and when he attempts to provoke Todd to murder him, Viola kills him instead.
Book Viola isn't able to contact her ship until The Ask and the Answer (my favorite!), and it takes a lot of people to get her to that point. There are at least half a dozen characters besides Todd who help Viola complete this personal mission of hers.
This is honestly the difference that was most jarring for me. Book Todd and Viola are nearly at Haven, where it's rumored there's a cure for the Noise, when Davy finds them and shoots Viola. Todd carries her into Haven, and they realize that Mayor Prentiss has taken over, declaring himself mayor of all of New World. He's also figured out a way to hide his Noise.
In the movie, Todd and Viola work together to send the mayor plummeting to his death in a way that cuts off his arc as the main villain.