Book Review – All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
February 4, 2015
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.
WOW! I actually finished this book a couple of weeks ago, and I am still thinking about it all of the time. I am recommending it to people whenever I get the chance. It is definitely one of my Top 10 Favorite Books of All Time! Does this give you an indication of how I feel about this book ?
WHAT I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
- How cute and eye-catching is that cover? I love that it incorporates the names of the main characters in pictures, and I love how it includes post-its, which tie in a detail in the story
- I fell in love with both Violet and Finch. Their struggles are so real, and you will relate to both of them on some level at some point. You will cry for them, you will root for them, you will remember them forever. Niven has developed her characters so well that you will feel as if they are close friends.
- I absolutely love how much awareness this book brings to mental health and suicide. I have never read such detailed descriptions of what it must feel like to suffer from either mania or extreme depression. The book was written in such a way that readers will be better equipped to understand and interact with those suffering from mental illness. The author provides numerous resources at the end for those who need help as well as those who want to help others.
- Niven does not sugar coat life nor does she wrap things up in a neat and tidy box. This book is about raising awareness, and she faces the tragedies that occur in life head on. This book is so real, so intimate, and so touching.
- The plot unfolds naturally and at a perfect pace. You will face a range of emotions, and you will love every minute of it!
- I love how the book has the bonus added message that you never know where or when you will find a new friend or partner. Sometimes love and friendship occur in the unlikeliest of situations.
- You must read the Author’s Note at the end (I know most of you skip that part)! It adds so much to the story that you’ve just finished! Keep in mind, too, that Niven wrote this book in a mere 6 weeks!
- If you have a hankering to learn a little more about Indiana, there’s some quirky natural wonders that you will learn more about .
- Niven has a beautiful style of writing. Her word choice and the images she creates draw you even further into the story. I copied down several quotes as I was reading, and my friend was sharing her favorite quotes with me a couple of nights ago….funny that we actually had 2 of the same quotes down! Here are a couple of my faves:
“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”
(such a beautiful way to describe someone)
” Your hope lies in accepting your life as it now lies before you, forever changed. If you can do that, the peace you seek will follow.”
(this struck a chord with me given my current life circumstances)
“…mostly I’m empty, as if whatever makes me feel and hurt and laugh and love has been surgically removed, leaving me hollowed out like a shell”
(can’t you just imagine what depression feels like after reading that)
If you haven’t guessed it already, I believe there is absolutely no downside to this book. It is truly one of my Top 10 favorite reads of all time! I highly recommend it, and I hope you all run out and pick up a copy soon! As an additional bonus, Jennifer Niven seems to be an amazing person, and she is totally fun to follow on Twitter or Facebook! Let me know once you’ve read the book, and we’ll chat more! Just ask my friends, I really can’t get enough of talking about this one!
Have you read All the Bright Places? Did you love it as much as I did? Any other books that you recommend for raising awareness of mental health issues?