All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Publication Date: January 2015
My Rating: ✹✹✹✹✹
“The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
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.
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.”
“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”
Okay, it’s been a whole 24 hours and I finally feel like I can write a coherent review about this beautiful, tragic book.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love books about mental illnesses. Not in some sick, weird way. But because it makes me feel less alone. To see things I feel and think, written down by someone else, makes me feel so much better. Sad too, that someone else understands and has been/going through the pain. So this book was my obvious choice to read from my TBR list.
The characters sure were interesting, especially Theodore Finch. He is unlike anyone I’ve ever met, read about or seen in my life. I think a lot of people agree. I also think a lot of people will agree with me when I say that he had my heart and smashed it into a million pieces. But Finch was alive and real and spontaneous and unpredictable. Violet is a regular girl who is suffering from PTSD after losing her sister. I could relate to Violet’s character a lot too, not because I’ve lost my sister (thank God) but because of the way her mind works and the way she eventually finds herself and grows within herself.
I don’t want to talk about the story too much because I would love for you all to go and read this book for yourself and spoilers will ruin it for you. So instead I’ll talk about the writing. Jennifer has a real knack for writing young adult stories and a real understanding of mental illnesses. She brought the characters and story to life which is why, I’m guessing, most readers have been so emotionally invested.
Okay, to the bit that slightly bugged me. The mental illnesses. Suffering from mental illnesses myself, I could totally relate to the thoughts and feelings mentioned in this book. What I didn’t like was the other characters attitude towards them, and the fact they mainly ignored it and pretended it wasn’t an issue. I think though, that Jennifer had her reason’s behind this, because in the real world there is still a stigma attached to mental illness and a lot of people to avoid talking about it or dealing with it if they know someone is suffering. Which may because they do not know how too, but it’s still the sad truth. I don’t believe people avoid/ignore it as much as Theodore’s family, but still.
So in my opinion, I’m glad Jennifer created characters the way she did and it will hopefully open peoples eyes and minds towards mental illness.
I was hooked from the beginning and I didn’t put it down until I finished it. All The Bright Places is the kind of book that makes you feel every single emotion; happy, sad, anxious, confused, angry, love, etc. Which is exactly why I gave this book a 5 star rating. Not many books can do that. I would highly recommend this book. Just make sure you have your tissues at the ready, because this book will destroy you!
About The Author:
New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Niven has always wanted to be a Charlie’s Angel, but her true passion is writing. Her most recent book, All the Bright Places, is her first novel for young adult readers. All the Bright Places is the #1 Kids’ Indie Next Book for Winter ’14-’15 and a New York Times best-seller. The foreign rights have already sold to thirty-seven territories, and the movie rights have been optioned. As a companion to the book, Jennifer has created Germ, a web magazine for and run by girls (and boys) — high school and beyond — that celebrates beginnings, futures, and all the amazing and agonizing moments in between. With the publication of her first book, The Ice Master, Jennifer became a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writer. With her mother, author Penelope Niven, Jennifer has conducted numerous seminars in writing and addressed audiences around the world. She lives in Los Angeles.