All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven



Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages:  388
Publisher: Knopf 
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5 stars

Summary: 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.
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 Review:

Before I say anything, two important things to know about all this,

  • Because from the very beginning it seemed to me as a sad story, i wasn’t really planning on reading this book, I saw many comments in tumblr about *cryings* and *feels* and stuff, so yeah, i said to myself i would not read it… But i just found it on a bookstore shelf one random day, as if it was waiting there for me, so i took it.
  • This is the first time I write a review about a book, it took me many weeks to finally be able to sit and write it, so please understand, i just felt as if I was in need to make justice to this book i loved so much, i needed to write for it a review, my first review ever.

So, here we go;

Romance, somehow i cannot run away from this topic in YA books, it’s always cheesy and I feel stupid reading that stuff, so i avoid it like the plague.

At first sight, this book it’s nothing but another regular YA book, boy meets girl, boy befriends girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy struggles with depression, more like a Bipolar Disorder, the boy’s world gets more and more difficult to handle…

Ok, so yeah, many books bring up topics like mental illness, and i gotta say that many of them don’t seem to know what they are talking about… (let’s not get there now…). In my opinion books about this kind of topic, where the writer clearly doesn’t understand what is it really it’s a big deal breaker, i hated many books because of this.

As a person suffering from a mental illness myself, and spending my teen years wanting to end it all, I felt as i could relate with Finch most of the time, many of his phrases echoed in my head as those i used to tell myself a few years ago, and sometimes even now.

“Is today a good day to die?”  – The character of Theodore Finch, is a clear image of a kid finchstruggling with life itself. He’s always thinking about ways to die, he spends many days on total shutdowns, which i believe were the depression episodes of his Bipolar Disorder, he feels as if he is *asleep* or *awake*, and most of the time is afraid of the “asleep” phase.

The story starts a few days after he woke up (again) and he meets Violet by accident. From there, Finch and his awaken self starts to do pretty much anything to see her, and slowly they fall in love while doing a Geography project together.

violetViolet (*UltraViolet*) was once as any other teenage girl, popular, had a cute boyfriend, life was great (and superficial) until one day she lost her sister. Now she is having a hard time getting over the loss, she is afraid of getting on cars (because her sister died in a car accident) and she isn’t herself anymore. She was part of the popular girls, and although they still talk to her, for her it just isn’t the same. Starting a friendship with Finch is, no doubt, an important change on her  life, not only Finch helps her cope with her problems, but she also learns how to do it by herself.

Yeah, it sounds like any other YA book ever, I know, and although there aren’t surprises along the way (at least i didn’t find anything unexpected…), this is a book that is worth the time reading it, not only because the story is very sweet and the characters feel real, but because it’s so beautifully written. I honestly don’t know how many times i had to put it down to think about the sentence i just read or because i just started crying.

This is a book i would recommend to any YA lit lover, who hadn’t read it yet. I think i ended it being a different person from the one i was when i started it. I still sit about sometimes and think of how beautiful and endearing the book was.

Anyhow, a wonderful story, lovely character and a great debut novel by Jennifer Niven, to whom i wanna thank because this book might have save my life.


5 thoughts on “All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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