Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

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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.

All the Bright Places definitely took me on a roller coaster ride! I was a bit skeptical when I started reading this book because of all the comparisons to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I sometimes caught myself comparing the aforementioned books to All the Bright Places as I was reading. These comparisons are a disservice to the book. It is a riveting story about friendship, mental health, and suicide.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about All the Bright Places was the post-its of positivity. The main characters, Violet and Finch wrote positive things on post-it notes, like warmth, for example, and stuck them on the wall. They also wrote negative things, like label, and shredded them. This is a really inspirational thing to do, to rid yourself of all the negativity in the world and surround yourself with only positive thoughts.

Another fascinating aspect about All the Bright Places are the use of various Virginia Woolf quotes. Just to name one, “I am rooted, but I flow.” These quotes really make the story interesting to read. I love when other authors’ quotes are mentioned in another book. It’s really intriguing when there are quotes that relate to the plot of a book that was written by a different author. It makes the story more thought-provoking.

All the Bright Places is one of those books with alternating perspectives. I love when I get to read the two completely different characters’ opinions on what is happening in the book. What is really unique about this book though, is that Finch and Violet have totally different takes on life. Finch likes to think about death and how he can die, and Violet awaits graduation day, her freedom to live her life and leave the lingering thoughts of her dead sister behind. This is so cool, because this book shows the reader that opposites attract. Two opposite characters fall in love. This is really interesting to me.

All the Bright Places is definitely a book to read while a box of tissues is available to you. It is a very informative thoughtfully written narrative about the importance of friends and those who care. There is also some useful information in the back of the book about mental health and suicide, that can be an important tool for those needing more details on the subject. This is a very touching book that anyone looking for a deep, thoughtful book should read.

 

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