April, Contemporary, Fiction, Reviews, YA Lit
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Mini Review ~ All the Bright Places

ABPAll the Bright Places

by Jennifer Niven

Published: January 6, 2015

Publisher: Knopf

Genre: YA Lit/Contemporary/Mental Illness/Romance

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


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.


Warning: this book has triggers. This is such a good, important book, yet so heartbreaking. I had a feeling from the very beginning of this book that it would break my heart, and I was right. Yet I am so very glad that I read this book. This is starkly honest look into depression and suicide, as well as child abuse. This was an eye-opening read; I’ve never lost anyone by suicide—for which I am very thankful—so I do not know what those who suffer from this illness go through, or what those with survivors guilt feel after losing someone to suicide. This book gave me an insight into both aspects.

This is about Theodore Finch—who is fascinated by death, and thinks everyday about ways he might die, but also searches for things to stay Awake—and Violet, who lost her sister in an auto accident the year before, and is counting the days until graduation. They meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school where they both save each other. They team up for a class project to discover the natural wonders of their state, and start on this journey together. While Finch finds many things to stay alive for at the beginning of the book, Violet is still trying to cope with the loss of her sister. As the story goes on, and Finch forces her to live again, her world opens up while his begins to shrink. This switch between them I both loved and hated. I just knew from the beginning of the book that Finch would break my heart. And I was right. I loved Finch.

The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it’s the small things that count. -pg. 155
I think the thing that made me the most mad about this book was Finch’s family. There are mentions of Finch’s father abusing him when Finch was a child, which—I think—continues to affect his life, even though his father left them to marry a new woman and her son. The family is also apathetic to each other. The mother is barely involved in her children’s lives, and when her son goes missing, she is barely concerned. It just really upset me.
You are all the colors of the sun, at full brightness. -pg. 172
This was a very, very well written book. It made me cry, made me laugh (a little bit), and gave a heart-wrenching look at two teens who find love while standing on a ledge. This is one that everyone needs to read.
What a terrible feeling to love someone and not be able to help them. -pg. 349
If you think something is wrong, speak up.
You are not alone.
It is not your fault.
Help is out there. -Jennifer Niven, Author’s Note
[Link to Jennifer’s website, that includes links to for suicide prevention, and links to getting help]

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

3 Comments

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