Book Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

 

Title: All The Bright Places18460392

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance

Description: 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. []

                                           Rating: ★

Disclaimer: Review Contains Spoilers & Triggering Content 

Going into this book I knew of two things: 1) Theodore Finch is going to die and 2) this book is going to wreck me. And I was correct about both.

All The Bright Places more like All The Pain and Suffering because that’s what I felt like I did. And I love this book for it. I brought this novel and my friend told me that I was going to sob and that I was going to suffer and guess what I dropped everything and started to read it.

What I love about the narrative is that both Finch and Violet, especially Finch, are unpredictable and unreliable but that’s what makes them so great. Finch’s narrative is the most unreliable but I think this fits with his personality and what he is dealing with. Niven harnessed the thoughts and captivated the feelings of a suicidal teenager amazingly and I am completely broken by this novel.

At first I didn’t really care about the romance I thought it was going to be another one of those predictable “boy meets girl, girl saves boy, etc etc” but boy was I wrong. In fact Finch was the one to save Violet. And even though they had so many cute moments and happy moments this didn’t help the outcome.

Violet really cannot catch a break, first losing her sister and then her boyfriend. I really feel for her and I’m so surprised with how strong of a character she becomes within the novel.

I am glad that Niven broke the stereotypes when it comes to mental illness. She, using the character Amanda, showed that depression and suicidal thoughts can occur to anyone no matter how “popular” they seem at school. You can truly never know a person if they don’t show their true selves.

Theodore Finch, Oh God, I feel for him I really do. I could relate a lot to so much of his character. Not feeling like you are ever going to fit in, that no matter what you do the world is against you. Yet he was able to have these wonderful happy moments where he starts to believe that maybe he can be happy. But then something changes and just like that he’s gone. It really brings forward how quickly someone can be taken from you and that you truly do need to look out for your friends, family, and even your own mental health. Because this could happen to anyone. I knew Finch was going to commit suicide the minute I read the description for the book but what I didn’t know was when and how. And even though I had a theory nothing could have prepared me for his death. And the fact that Violet found him made it so much more worse.

I was already sobbing really hard at the funeral but then then Finch made Violet go on a kind of treasure hunt and she went to this church. And then:

Taylor Prayer Chapel was created as a sanctuary for weary travellers to stop and rest along their way. It was built in memoriam to those who have lost their lives in auto accidents, and as a place of healing. We remember those who are no longer here, who were taken from us too soon, and who we will always keep with us in our hearts. The chapel is open to the public day and night, and on holidays. We are always here. 

And that was it I was literally Violet when she said “I am crying—loud and hiccuping, as if I’ve been holding my breath for a very long time and finally, finally can breathe.” my glasses were full of my tears and I could no longer see. If it wasn’t like 12:00am I would’ve been crying so loudly. I haven’t cried so hard at a book in a while. And immediately if a book can make me feel like this one did it’s immediately one of my favourites.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but prepare yourself because you’re gonna sob so hard.

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