Book Review

Book Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All The Bright Places by Jennifer NivenTitle: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: January 6th, 2015
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary – Romance – Young Adult

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 4,5 stars
My rating in words: Loved this book


What it’s about:

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:

Well, this book was heavy. The kind of book that punches you in the gut and leaves you stumbling around for days thinking about the pain it brought you.

The story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a gorgeous book that was beautifully written with amazing main characters. But the subject matter is hard. It is real though and needs to be told. Mental health issues are a reality and people who have them often run into misunderstanding and are stigmatized. This book could really help spread awareness on that.

“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.”

Violet and Finch are two great characters and while they are indeed very quirky and intelligent for their age and may remind you of John Green characters, they still have their own distinct personalities. I loved their journey together, both their emotional journey and their wanderings (I’ve come to realize I really love the roadtrip or travel aspects in contemporaries). I liked that we got chapters in each of their POV as they both had such different issues and journeys and I like that even though it was hard, there was still some lightheartedness in there as well.

“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness”

I can see why it’s such a top-rated book as it is gorgeous, heart-wrenching and thought-provoking. But for now I just need to process this one some more and maybe go watch some light fluffy comedies.

(Update: it has now been a few weeks since I read this and wrote this review and this book is still on my mind. That’s the kind of story this was.)

Favorite quotes:

So many, but here are a few:

“But I’m not a compilation of symptoms. Not a casualty of shitty parents and an even shittier chemical makeup. Not a problem. Not a diagnosis. Not an illness. Not something to be rescued. I’m a person.”

“The thing I realize is, that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”

“You make me lovely, and it’s so lovely to be lovely to the one I love.…”