“I want to stay in here, where it’s warm and bright, surrounded by things that are living and not dead.“
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.
GENRE: Contemporary/Young Adult/Fiction ISBN: 0385755880 FORMAT: Paperback GET A COPY: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Fullybooked
TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide, Depression
I first saw this novel on a random person’s Instagram post when I was lurking and searching for a new book to read and I immediately know what the book is about. To be honest, I didn’t consider reading this right away or at all given the fact that I have already read books similar to this when I was in high school. I only bought this book because our local bookstore announced that the author, Jennifer Niven, will be going to my country for a book signing event. My insides curled at the thought of it. I love meeting authors! This very simple marketing strategy got the best of me. I bought the book so I could meet her and get my book signed. And guess what? After reading my signed book, I felt like I owe the author an apology.
All the Bright Places is another story about teen depression and suicide. The story is quite generic. The narrative involves two messed up high school students who, for some reason, fell in love with each other in the middle of the tale-telling. The setting is familiar: The characters are in high school. There are cool boys and girls, cheerleaders and of course, weirdos. There is also the manifestation of cigarette butts and beer bottles as well as parties and sleepovers. You can smell detention and annoying guidance counselors too. I’m sure that the author included all those things in the story to make the readers feel like they have things in common with the fictional characters. It’s not a bad thing at all but I think the story would’ve been more beautiful if the author had thought of other things that could make the story an unforgettable one instead of just trying to make it similar to other books for the sake of being relatable. Despite the familiarity of the plot and setting, it is safe to say that I like the book. I adore the rawness and richness of Finch’s emotions and his multiple personas: tenderhearted Theodore, ’80s vegetarian Finch and bad ass British Finch. I like the fact that he and Violet tried to fight their sadness (although that is already expected of them). The references made by author about real things are also a great addition to the story. Their wandering, which is *gasps* the best part of the book, is so beautiful and well-crafted! I really wish the story didn’t end the way it ended but it is what made the ending of the story realistic.
I recommend this to everyone who liked John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, and to people who enjoy reading contemporary novels.
MEET JENNIFER NIVEN
All the Bright Places is Jennifer Niven’s first book for young adult readers, but she has written four novels for adults–American Blonde, Becoming Clementine, Velva Jean Learns to Fly, Velva Jean learns to Drive–as well as three non-fiction books–The Ice Master, Ada Blackjack, and The Aqua Net Diaries, a memoir about her high school experiences. Although she grew up in Indiana, she now lives with her fiance and three literary cats in Los Angeles, which remains her favorite place to wander.
For more information, visit JenniferNiven.com and GermMagazine.com or click the links to her accounts below.