Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: January 6th 2015
Page Count: 388
“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.”
I first came across All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven while flipping through an issue of Entertainment Weekly. I tend to be attracted to a more contemporary young adult novel and so the synopsis stood out to me as something I might enjoy reading. This book left me with a roller coaster of emotions that I’m still trying to process.
Goodreads synopsis: 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.
My thoughts (No Spoilers): I have fallen in love with yet another Young Adult Contemporary novel. The previous novel I read and reviewed was Mosquitoland by David Arnold which was also a YA Contemporary read. I fell in love with that book which left me on a bit of a contemporary kick so I decided to get right into All The Bright Places. I had heard a lot of amazing things about this novel and I am so glad that I read two back to back life changing and inspiring novels.
The writing style was very smooth and well done and easy to follow. Nothing complicated at all which explains how quickly I breezed through it. I love when stories give us two separate points of view, as is done here with Violet and Finch. It’s always great to see what is going on in the minds of both of the main characters, especially with a story of this nature. The story and writing style flowed seamlessly between the two perspectives.
The characters of Violet and Finch were both developed well and I think both characters are extremely relatable for a lot of people. Both of them go through realistic and relatable and very serious situations. For every character you love, there are going to be characters you hate. I could not stand Roamer or anyone else at the high school for that matter, the only exceptions being Finch’s friends Brenda and Charlie. Although I was not particularly fond of Roamer and his circle of friends, they unfortunately represent a very realistic group of people that exist in a high school setting. It’s sad that these kinds of people don’t realize the effect they have on others until it’s too late.
This book has moments that make you feel happy and giddy and others that are heartbreaking and depressing. I’m not going to lie, I’m not one who usually gets emotional over things like books and movies but there were definitely tears brewing while reading this novel. Although it is quite sad, it left me feeling enlightened and extremely glad that I decided to read it.
There are so many things that I want to talk about here, but for risk of spoiling this amazing story for other readers, I will not. Just know that this story is something worth talking about.
Before I sign off I just wanted to leave this link to suicide hotlines around the world. Remember that you aren’t alone and that someone is always out there ready to listen and help.
*Update: March 9th
Shortly after I posted my review, Jennifer Niven (the author of All The Bright Places) favourited, retweeted and replied to my tweet on twitter about my review of her novel and also proceeded to follow me. This is an amazing honour and words cannot describe how happy I am! I just want to thank Jennifer Niven as well as all of you who read and follow this blog. Thank you all so much ❤