Book Reviews, To My Reader

Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

18460392Published: January 6th 2015 by Knopf.

Format: Hardcover, 400 pages.

Goodreads: 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.

Thoughts: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven encapsulates every extreme emotion that appears in the human condition. From happiness that appears nothing less than effulgent, to a darkness that reaches deep enough to shake your bones. This is a story about what it means to be alive and in the moment. Every wonderful glimpse, and what is sacrificed to see that they aren’t lost. Although I wasn’t initially impressed by the first quarter of the book, I found myself connected to the characters by the end. Violet and Finch just snuck up on me.

“The thing I realize is, that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”

In a way this story reminded me a lot of “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green which quickly became an international best-seller about a boy teaching a girl how to live again. (I loved that story, but years have passed and I don’t see that book in the same light anymore.) Because of that, I felt the plot in All the Bright Places had been done before. Or at least aspects of it. Frankly, in the YA genre there are copious amounts of novels with this same story line. A boy and a girl. Regardless of this, I could tell that the author gave a piece of herself when writing this book. She shared emotions that could only be explained by someone who had lived through them.

This book touches on important issues that have continuously been labeled as taboo and many people still feel uncomfortable talking about them. We need to understand that times are changing and with that comes a new set of issues to be faced. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is beautiful and has struck a cord with many readers. For that reason, I believe this book is worth a read. It was recently announced that Elle Fanning would star in a motion picture adaption and that Niven would write the screenplay herself.

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What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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