Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Genre: Young Adult, contemporary
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the ‘natural wonders’ of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself – a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink
Brutally honest, raw and realistic Jennifer Niven has tackled a very serious issue in such a beautifully crafted way. I like to think she has paved the way for other authors to brave writing about mental health and beat the stigma once and for all.
Set in the small town of Barlett, Indiana All The Bright Places travels in some of the most treasured and wonderful places until it comes to rest in the reader’s heart. Dealing with family issues, death and love the story progressed from lighthearted romance to its fatal crescendo almost like a song. The climax was gut wrenching, sucker punching yet it left you feeling so full.
And yet the story is set against such a mundane environment: school. Our protagonists are just a bunch of school kids except they’re not. That is the beauty of this book, to be able to address suicide and death in a setting such as school which lets young readers know that it is okay, that they are not alone. Help is out there
You know it’s a good book when the character’s voices are SO strong in your head it leaves you disorientated coming back to reality. That it what I felt being in Finch and Violet’s heads. They had such distinct voices and trains of thought, I’ve never experienced characters with such realistic trains of thought (if that makes sense)
Finch and Violet’s relationship was rustic, funny, lighthearted. They had their emotional struggles, their ups and their downs but the most beautiful bit was how when they were together, Wandering, they lived, they were so present and it gave me a serene sense of peace.
Finch is quirky, Finch is brave, who is Finch? I was so intrigued by him changing himself throughout the book, his thoughts about the bigger things in life. It’s obvious he has faced abuse, neglect and bullying yet it was still heart breaking when (spoiler) happened. Just thinking about him feeling so trapped in this world like the cardinal makes me want to cry so lets move on.
I don’t have a comprehensive thought about Violet except that Finch made her into this girl who wants to live, who wants to acknowledge the death of her sister and honor her instead of burying herself in grief. He made her become something, start something new. He made her into more than just another popular girl.
All The Bright Places is scattered with statistics about suicides and literal quotes which I found was such a unique writing style as it is educational as well as being fiction. That’s the thing you know, people need to be educated, teens need to know that they are not alone and this book says “To hell with stigma and stereotypes” , it is no-bullshit, we need to tackle this issue now instead of whispering around this. Respect for that to the author
The story of All The Bright Places is in many ways the story of Jennifer Niven’s experiences and I love it when authors are able to bring something personal to their books.
This book made me feel all the feels and drown in them. I became so possessive over it that I wouldn’t read it in public lest someone snatch it from me to read the blurb or something (stupid i know). Oh and don’t mind the title of this post I just wanted to play on Taylor Swift’s lyrics 🙂
Maybe you could get this as the book of your choice in my giveaway?