Monster book versus movie review

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Monster is a story by Walter Dean Myers about 16-year-old Steve Harmon and his alleged involvement in a robbery that led to a man being killed. Monster was first a book that was later turned into a movie in 2018.

Book Breakdown
The book version of Monster was released in 1999 but surprisingly is still relevant today. Monster tackles many issues, such as the criminal justice system, fear, and racism.
At the start of the book, Steve writes in his notebook that was given to him while in jail. He talks about writing a movie not about his life, but this whole experience. Throughout the book, it switches between the trial and Steve’s writings about what he sees and goes through in prison. The trial is used as a way to give details to the reader about the robbery.
During the trial, Steve and his lawyer Kathy O’Brien struggle trying to get the jury to see Steve as a human. This is the main conflict Steve goes through and even makes him question if he is a monster or human.
The witness’s testimony of the robbery puts the reader in a tough position on whether to believe Steve or Sandra Petrocelli, the prosecutor. There are little details hidden within the flashbacks in the story that may imply Steve isn’t a reliable narrator.
Toward the end of the book, Steve testifies and claims he was nowhere near the robbery. He also claimed to not know co-defendant James King very well.
The book ends with Steve getting a “not guilty” verdict, and his lawyer doesn’t celebrate with him because she may find feel he is guilty. King is found guilty and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Movie Breakdown
The Monster movie is very similar to the book, but it does have slight differences.
In the movie, the prosecutor is a man instead of a woman, and the setting and time of the crime were different. The movie also uses different storytelling techniques.
Steve’s relationship with King was a big part of the movie. From the testimony Steve gave in the book, he seemed to have not known King, but in the movie, King takes him under his wing. In the end, he still lies in court and says he didn’t know King very well even though he had spent time with him.
Throughout the movie, the failed robbery is shown in flashes until the full ordeal is revealed. Some details of the fight between the victim and attackers were different.The victim’s death seemed more accidental than intentional.
Steve’s life before the robbery had a bigger part in the movie than the book, which helped the viewer get a better idea of who Steve is.
The most interesting part about the movie is the fact that viewers think Steve is innocent until the final five minutes, where he narrates his involvement.
He was on his way home when he ran into Bobo and King who were dressed in all black outside the bodega, the scene of the robbery. King told Stever to check the store and give a signal if any cops were near. Steve was reluctant, but due to being intimidated, he went through with it.
Steve’s narration at the end of the movie tells viewers how he feels about getting away with being the lookout and how he’s moving on from the robbery.

Book versus Movie
The book and the movie both excel at certain areas of telling the story. The book is better at being inside the mind of Steve, since a huge part of the book is the letters he wrote while in prison. On the other hand ,the movie version gives a better visual of the story and makes certain characters more impactful to the story. Between the two versions of the story, the book wins out.