All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
A Young Adult novel
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.
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
*An advanced reader’s copy was provided for an honest review*
For fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Paper Towns, Violet and Finch will have you thinking about life and love and loss in the most unexpected places.
I confess, I was excited pre-op ending up this book, ambivalent about a quarter of the way in, and swept up in a roller coaster of emotions and hooked on the very last words of this book. All the Bright Places took me on a journey, a passenger to the stories of Violet and Finch through the good, the bad, and the ugly: past, people, and feelings. My ambivalence that came about during the first quarter of the novel was because I did not want to find myself reading another John Green-esque novel with the pretentious boy and the pretentious dialogue and the quick hearted romance. Luckily I read a few reviews that assuaged my fears, and from then on out I fell for these two broken characters in their struggle to survive with death, life, bullying, abuse, and mental illness. I fell hard.
Unfortunately for All the Bright Places, it takes until the end of the novel for shit to finally hit the fan. The pacing of the novel is solidly thorough, allowing for all the subplots to have a certain amount of airtime and weave into the greater plot line nicely without any confusion or rush. The buildup to the end of the novel tumbles like a snowball until the very end where the atmosphere of events between Violet and Finch escalate and the demons that haunt Finch become stones in his pockets. My heart swelled and broke a million times over during my reading of this book.
I adored the relationship of Finch and Violet. It flowed so well, how they transformed from strangers into friends into something more. The growth in their characters thanks to the help of each other was not only genuine, it was lovely. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Final Summation: For those who feel ambivalent about this novel, I say take a chance because I doubt you will be let down. I felt, I loved, and lost and loved over and over again as I flipped the pages. There is beauty in unexpected places, and Theodore Finch was able to bring the reader into those beautiful moments despite the dark and the ugly events that encompass his life and Violet’s. Experience life and loss, fear and love, insanity and clarity through the eyes of Finch and Violet as senior year comes to a close. Jennifer Niven’s novel is powerful in all the right places.
Five targets slayed along with my heart