ARC Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

December 2, 2014 Review 48 ★★★★★

ARC Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Penguin Australia
Source: Publisher
Pages: 400
Release Date: January 7th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful 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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

bec (2)

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES is a book about mental illness, suicide, love, and grief and it will make you cry.

I knew I was going to cry going in. How could a book with a summary like this not be sad? What I didn’t expect was to become so attached to Finch and Violet, to fall so in love with their story, that I’d cry so hard for the last 20% that I couldn’t read the pages properly. Seriously, I was a mess.

Trying to write anything about this book after having literally just finished it is really hard because each time I go to start a new sentence I just tear up again. It’s so bittersweet. And after reading the author’s note… Thank you, Jennifer Niven, for bringing such an important and beautiful story to the world of YA.

What was it about ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES that had such a profound effect on me? Everything is the easy answer. But we have to go more in depth than that.

First up are our main characters. Finch is creative and different and unique and fun.  He was a tad hard for me to relate to, simply because my brain is no where near as creative as his was, though his POV was definitely great to read. All his little quirks and stuff are amazing and he seems so carefree and full of life. But as the novel progresses you realise he is hiding more under the surface than you originally thought… Violet is almost the opposite. After losing her sister, she’s in a dark place in the beginning of the story. Then she meets Finch and he shows her how to live, how to be grateful, and how to heal. Violet was a character I could relate to well. A blogger (basically), a writer, a good student. Some of her past experiences and struggles were similar to events I’ve gone through myself.

The romance was another element that made me fall in love with this story. From the moment the characters meet there is definitely an attraction there. Over time, as they travel and learn more about each other, the romance slowly develops. Everything about it was structured perfectly, just the way I love my romances. I shipped Finch and Violet before I even started reading and as far as I’m concerned I want more of them together. Let me just read about them all day every day and squeal and cry and make ridiculous fangirling noises as I giddily roll all over my bed.

The final thing I want ramble on about is the writing. Most of the book alternates between Violet and Finch’s POVs. I felt that each was sufficiently different that you didn’t need the names at the start of the chapters to tell who was talking. Each has their own distinctive voice. And what beautiful voices they are. It was so easy to lose myself in the words. Hours would pass and I probably would have forgotten to eat if Mum didn’t call me out for dinner. I was so engrossed. It was a great challenge to put the book away and sleep.

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES is a book I can see getting a lot of comparisons to THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Yes it’s a story about love and death and life, but to be honest, ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES affected me more. I cried more in ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES than I ever did in TFIOS for various reasons. I loved the writing more in ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, to me it felt more real. Everything about it was marvelous and I can’t put into words the emotion it made me feel. I urge you all to pick up ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES… and have a box of tissues at the ready.

Now I’m off to find something light and happy to read.

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Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Romance
Overall: 5

48 Responses to “ARC Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven”

    • Bec

      THERE ARE SO MANY FEEELSSS!! It is life ruining in the best possible way. Tissue are necessary once you pass halfway.

  1. Cátia

    I’m so glad that you really liked this book because since I heard of it I’m eager to read it. It seems that there are going to be a lot of tears

  2. Christy @ Christy's Book Addiction

    The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park? And it will make me cry? SOLD!! *adds to wishlist*

    This one sounds exactly like one that I would absolutely love, so I’m glad I came across your review in my feed because I haven’t heard of it before and it sounds like one that I shouldn’t miss :)
    Christy @ Christy’s Book Addiction recently posted…Trivia Tuesdays (1)

    • Bec

      I am so glad you stumbled across this then because you definitely need to read it! I hope you do love it like you think you will :)

    • Bec

      Beautifully sad it the perfect way to describe this book.

      I think heartbreaking books are heartbreaking in the first place because they manage to capture all our attention and we become so attached to the characters that we feel everything more intensely than if we were reading a book in which the character were meh.

  3. Ellen B

    Wow! I don’t think I would have picked this one up if I hadn’t read your review! But I definitely will now. With a box of tissues, as recommended. Based off of your reaction and the comparison to Fault In Our Stars, I kind of have an idea how this one is going to end…. oh, man. But, since you rated it so strongly, I’m going to have to jump in, anyway. Thanks for the great review!
    Ellen B recently posted…2014 End of Year Book Survey

    • Bec

      That is the best complement anyone can give a book reviewer!

      You can sort of tell how it may end from just reading the synopsis but that doesn’t ruin your enjoyment at all! I promise you will still become attached and have your heart broken.

  4. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    Wow, you did an incredible job reviewing this. My review is a total mess! But you hit every point about this book – I really can’t add any more! I actually didn’t even think about the romance so much, since I was so hooked on Finch and Violet’s individual journeys and how it would all play out.

    Also – the crying. I couldn’t even cry till a bit after I finished the book, because I had to let it all sink in! But then it was worse than TFiOS O_O And I plan to reread it… what a crazy person I am, lol.
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…ARC Review: For Real by Alison Cherry

    • Bec

      I made myself sit down and write it as soon as I finished so the words and emotion were fresh in my head and flowing. It was still quite hard.

      Their individual journeys were amazing! And their romance just made those journeys even better I think because it certainly played a major part in their growth.

      The tears wouldn’t stop! Haha I completely plan on rereading it one day too. It’s too beautiful a novel NOT to reread!

    • Bec

      Yeah the authors note says she new a guy in high school who inspired this story. And I think that makes everything inside more amazing and heartbreaking. It’s just a great novel all round. I can’t wait to reread it.

  5. Melliane

    wow it sounds pretty intense and poignant! I think I saw the cover but it’s the first review I read. I don’t usually read a lot of books like that but like you I cry easily so it would be the same for me. In any case, I’m intrigued. Great review!
    Melliane recently posted…Silverblind by Tina Connolly

    • Bec

      haha I do cry a lot reading books XD But I know this has made a lot of other people cry too! It’s not my usual read either but I am so very glad I got the opportunity to read this :)

    • Bec

      It does do a very good job at ripping your heart to shreds.

      DID YOU SAY MOVIE?! Now I can to cry uncontrollably in public because of this book. This is exciting :D

  6. Jennifer Niven

    There aren’t words to describe how much I love and adore this review! Thank you with all my heart for reading and sharing and spreading the word, for truly getting the story and Violet and– especially– Finch, and for each and every lovely word you said about it. <3 <3 <3

    • Bec

      Thanks! It was such an amazing story and I’m going to make as many people as possible read it XD I can’t wait to reread it again :)

    • Bec

      I plan on buying myself a finished copy as soon as I can when it comes out so I can cry over it again and again :D

  7. Kirsty-Marie

    THANK YOU. The Fault in Our Stars was the first book to really make me cry, but this. It affected me way more than The Fault in Our Stars did, too. I was halfway through when I just had to skip to the end to see and yeah…I kind of deserved that pain. So that was in the back of my mind when I was reading the rest of it, and then when it happened, (and when she went to find him) I had to put it down, and was crying for half before I could finish it. Such a beautiful book though, I hate it but I love it and I do want to read it again, but not ready, haha.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Snow Like Ashes

    • Bec

      I knew pain would come when I started it and I could guess what would cause the pain but I didn’t really expect it to have such a big effect on me. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to reread it haha but I so want to.

    • Bec

      My pleasure :) Books that can bring out all emotions for you are brilliant. Who doesn’t want to experience that?

  8. Naban

    So many good things floating around about this book, it’s starting to get a little scary. xD But I’m so happy to know you adored this book! Thanks to your brilliant review, I cannot wait to experience the feels and the beautiful writing and the beautiful…pretty much everything.
    Naban recently posted…Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

    • Bec

      Too much good news about a book can be a little concerning… Good thing this one deserves all the hype it gets XD I hope you love it as much as I did when you get to reading it!

  9. Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales

    I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I saw in it Goodreads.I was totally captivated by the cover and the blurb,and after reading your review now,I am dying to read this book now.
    I love myself a tearjerker and I think this will be perfect for me to get over my reading slump.
    Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales recently posted…Turning over a new leaf

    • Bec

      Oh I think it definitely will help you get out of a slump. The writing is so engaging and beautiful. Only problem is that it may leave you with a book hangover that starts another slump :P

  10. Romi

    I’m hoping to read this really soon! It sounds beautiful and it’s getting SO MUCH love from bloggers that I’m very excited, but I do keep wondering if I’ll find it too alike TFiOS to actually enjoy, as a lot of people are mentioning the similarity. It does sound like a gorgeous book and I’m so happy that you enjoyed it! I also hear it’s very quoteworthy…
    Lovely review, Bec! Find something happy to read!
    Romi recently posted…Mini Review (10)

    • Bec

      It is such a beautiful story. I found I enjoyed this more than TFIOS, and I don’t think there’s that much of a similarity. There’s so many great quotes I need to go through and write down!

      I hope you love this as much as everyone else is!

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