All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Page Count: 378
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 hearts
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Everyday he thinks of ways he might die, but every day he also searches for- and manages to find- something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.
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 death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school- six stories above the ground- it’s unclear who saves whom. And when the unlikely pair teams up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, they go, as Finch says, where the road takes them: the grand, the small, the bizarre, the beautiful, the ugly, the surprising- just like life.
Soon it’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself- a bold, funny, live-out-loud guy, who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet forgets to count away the days and start living them. Nut as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
My Thoughts and Review:
After reading this novel, I see why so many bibliophiles hype about it.
The novel revolves around two teenagers in high school- Violet and Finch. Not long ago, Violet’s sister died in an accident and she hasn’t been able to recover from the lost of her, this is understandable because not only they were sisters, the two were like best friends. One day she goes on the ledge of the school’s bell tower with the thought of suicide lingering in her head and coincidentally, Finch was also up there. They have quite an interesting encounter atop the bell tower and things just go on from there.
The book alternates between Finch’s and Violet’s point of view about every chapter. I really liked this because I was able to know what both of them were thinking about, and what exactly was running though their minds. I feel like authors tend to avoid writing in a male’s perspective, especially in young adult literature, so this was a nice change from the usual protocol.
Speaking of things that are different, let’s talk about Finch. To say the least, I freaking loved him. He was unique in various ways and I don’t think I have encountered a male protagonist like him. From his personality to thought process, I just liked him as a whole.
Other than Finch, there were numerous things that I liked/loved about this novel. There was great character and relationship development-both in the form of friends and lovers- and I thought that the plot was really well planned out, down to every single detail. One major element in this book that really made the read worthwhile were the adorable scenes that occurred between Finch and Violet. They shared some really sweet moments and I totally felt myself smiling while reading some sections in this novel.
Here are a few examples of the cute parts:
“She is oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. The same elements that are inside the rest of us, but I can’t help thinking she’s more than that and she’s got other elements going on that no one’s ever heard of, ones that make her stand apart from everybody else.”
“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”
In order to balance those fluffy moments out though, some pretty tough topics were also mentioned in this book. Suicide being an obvious one, but various other mental illnesses like bipolar/eating disorders also came up. Bullying is also mentioned along with family household issues. Then there is the usual teenage problem about not knowing who you are or where you belong.
Nowadays, novels based on illnesses or tough topics are gaining lots of popularity so more stories are being written about them. With that being said, some things might seem repetitive and similar, but to me, this book was very different. People will say that it’s just another book like The Fault in Our Stars and the similarities are there, but so are the differences. It’s not just another book about suicide where the author is trying to make you feel sympathy and cry for the characters, at least that’s not what it felt like to me.
All in all, it was a spectacular book! The only reason why I didn’t give it a five out of five is because the ending was a tad bit unsatisfying. Other than that, I would highly recommend it! Also, I did some research and found out that there is going to be a movie adaption of this?! If anyone is going to the theaters to see this, it surely is going to be me!
Have you read this book? If so, then are you willing to watch the film adaption? Let me know in the comments!