book review

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

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Not only does this book have a HUGE hype, it is compared to The Fault in Our Stars (one of my favourite books) and Eleanor & Park (one of my least favorite books), so I was afraid to read this. Honestly, I’d compare this to Paper Towns, not TFIOS.

The first half? Meh. The second half? FEELS EVERYWHERE. What I liked about this book? It’s raw. It’s real. It’s honest. There are really cute and funny parts, and then there are parts that make you feel like your heart has been torn out of your chest.

Finch and Violet have been talking to school counselors… Maybe it was just my school, but when a student was depressed teachers, counselors, and the principals would actually call (non-stop, even at the parent’s place of employment) and tell the parents to come in and have a discussion about mental hospitals and/or support groups. The way the counselors acted, especially “Embryo”, bothered me. None of the teachers seemed like they cared, nor did they actually make an effort. What was up with that?!

The romance with Finch and Violet seemed sudden and more lust than love. They went from project partners to making out in the back of the car… That was weird, but their school project seemed really fun. It makes me want to see what kind of quirky places are around me. I really enjoyed reading about the places they went to.

At the beginning I didn’t like Violet at all, but I grew to like her. A LOT. She had so much growth. I’m sorry, but Finch’s mom is an idiot. If my child randomly disappeared for a while and acted weird when they were around I would be concerned. I know her divorce and the possible affair were probably bothering her, but holy shnikies pay attention to your children, lady.

Spoilers below, since I really don’t know how to say any more without ruining the book for those who haven’t read it yet… Pick this one up if the talk of suicide doesn’t bother you. It’ll definitely make you cry and make you see things differently.

My Rating:  tumblr_inline_nbptl5RKBV1qdokuq tumblr_inline_nbptlpV9ce1qdokuq tumblr_inline_nbptlxaJcu1qdokuq tumblr_inline_nbptl5RKBV1qdokuq 

There really wasn’t any other way the story could have ended. I cried, a lot. Finch’s death really got to me. He knew Violet needed him, that his family needed him. But that just wasn’t enough to make him stay, and that breaks my heart. I want to know why he did it. I want to know what was going through his mind when he was distancing himself from Violet and his family.

When I read Violet’s “Why wasn’t I enough?” I almost choked on tears.

I kept trying to think where the title came from, then I realized, they were the bright places in each other’s lives. *cue tears*

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One thought on “All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

  1. I agree with you, I was pretty much just skimming along for the first part of the book not understanding the hype – then the feels train hit me and the ending tore me down. It was so fantastic, I can’t wait for the movie so that more people can appreciate the story! Fantastic review *hands you tissue*

    Liked by 1 person

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