Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
My rating: 4.75
Goodreads rating: 4.21
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.
I love how this cover is simple but it has correlations with the story as well. Really pretty.
This was a very beautiful book which everyone has been saying to read and I am really happy that I did. It really is a bittersweet tale of what it means to be suicidal and how other people can have such a huge impact on others. When I think about why I love this book it is probably because of the characters or really a character that I just fell in love with.
I think the hype might have been a little bit too much for this book…maybe…I’m still not sure which is probably why I didn’t write this review yesterday when I finished this book. Maybe I was looking for a bit more icing on the cake, something a bit more to top it off. But that being said, I really enjoyed this book.
All The Bright Places follows Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, who are both battling their dark suicidal demons, and how find the light in each other and a new look at life- even if it lasts for a short time. The plot was well paced and very interesting and page turning even though if you simplify it, it consists of two school students wandering around their state to find something cool or unique to write about for a project.
Niven does a brilliant job of weaving in different side plots into the story while keeping a strong running plot throughout the book. But this book is really more character driven than plot driven. It follows a typical YA contemporary route, but I am strangely okay with this. And the story doesn’t end with unicorns and rainbows which is refreshing (but also really sad).
Niven’s writing is simple, seamless and to the point. I love how she writes Finch’s POV more than I do for Violet’s as she just has a way with writing a teenage boy that makes it seem really realistic and authentic. All throughout the book the voice of Finch is loud and clear in my mind and I credit it to Niven’s way of talking about deep and dark themes and keeping them deep and dark by also making them easy for a non suicidal person to understand and sympathize with.Unlike other authors, the writing style was easy to grasp and get comfortable in from the first page.
The short chapters coupled with the easy writing really helped me push through this book. One thing though, but I don’t think could be helped, was how all the wanderings were described, I kind of skimmed through all of the factual bits about them because they weren’t really necessary.
I love Finch. He is one of the most unique characters I have read and I adored all of his chapters, they were intense, amusing and just very Finch. He should really have his own adjective because it is really hard to describe him. He is just SO INTERESTING. From how he is abscessed to death to how he sees the world to how he describes himself and his own inner turmoil. I can easily say that they book would of been better if it was just his POV, but then I kind of disagree with myself because sometimes his chapters get too intense, too rushy rushy like we are in Finch’s own mind, always overthinking or multi-thinking. His mind is amazing and I had in tears in my eyes by the end of this book (I would of been full blown crying by my sister was in the room so I had to keep myself together). One of my favourite fictional male characters.
Violet on the other hand…I don’t really know what my problem was. Maybe she just felt a little too spoiled. Like I know that even a person with the whole world has the right to feel depressed, but I think her story was lacking something dark to really make me believe her. It’s weird. I just didn’t care what happened to her, which is a shame because I really did want to love everything about this book, but her POV chapters just really made me partially disinterested.
What I liked:
- Finch. Finch. Finch.
- How the important topic of suicide was handled.
- All of the philosophical sayings and quotes.
- The writing was superb!
What I disliked:
Verdict: This book is one of my favourites I’ve read all year which is mainly because how much I loved Finch and how much fun I had being inside of brain. All The Bright Places may be compared to the Fault In Our Stars but it has something distinct maybe even something more than the Fault In Our Stars. Basically, go read this book! Go and wander!
I’ll write soon.