Publisher: Knopf/Random House
Publish Date: January 6, 2015
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Contemporary
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.
It’s really late. Like 2 in the morning late, and I just finished All the Bright Places by Jenniver Niven. And while I normally let me feelings marinate about a book, I couldn’t wait. Before I begin talking about All the Bright Places, and possibly spoil some things (even though I’ll try not to!), I want to urge you to get your own copy, read it, and absorb it. This book deserves a place in your own library of books.
You see, this book? It was amazing.
Niven writes about real life, in a truthful and honest way. All the Bright Places is about a boy who is fascinated by death and a girl who has survived one. In a genre filled with love triangles and swoony boys, it is rare for a book to talk about something real, heartbreaking, and sad. Two people from different social circles, they find a commonality – death. And as circumstances place them together, they begin to develop a friendship – one that is real and beautiful.
“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”
Theodore Finch, I love you. Finch isn’t a character that I would have originally thought to gravitate towards. He is troubled, and flawed, and everything that I think of myself when I’m depressed. Finch is the melancholy version of myself. For all the things that he is, and I am not, I found myself in him. But from the troubles and flaws, I saw glimmers of happiness and something so pure and innocent. To say that I wanted to hug him forever, well that is an understatement.
Where Finch was a variable, Violet was the constant. Her introduction had me jumping to many different conclusions about who she was, but Niven proved me wrong for everything I thought. She showed me that Violet was much more than what she portrayed towards everyone else. And while I saw myself in Finch, I also saw myself in Violet. She thought things that I did, and did things that I have. I adore her.
Niven’s writing is beautiful. I found myself lost in the story, in the lives of Finch and Violet. I surrounded myself with the friendship and love that these two had for each other, and I made it my own. I eventually knew who these characters were, in this setting. Niven’s talent is amazing, to write characters that I could see myself in. And let’s talk about all the tears that I cried. I became emotionally invested with everything about this book. Everything played a part to the harsh and beautiful reality that is All the Bright Places, and I loved every moment of it.
All the Bright Places is about a real lesson to have to like what’s on the inside. No matter if it’s today or tomorrow, to have to face the fact that you can’t identify with anything is rough. It’s brutal. And the message of this story is real. Everyone has a story, and there is definitely something to be learned from every experience.