Publisher: Penguin Australia
Release Date: January 7th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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.
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.