All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Published: January 6, 2015
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning! 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.
A boy and girl both struggle with mental illness and suicidal ideations.
First and foremost please be wary of picking this novel up if you are triggered by depression and suicide. It is not the easiest book to read. Mental health novels are always some of my favorite books to read. At times, this book was very hard for me to finish. I wanted to love this book but it fell flat to me.
However, I do think that is what the author Niven was trying to get across. As depression can be very bland and boring at times. I just didn't connect or care about the characters that much. I wanted to like the romance in the book but I didn't.
There were times where I felt that suicide was justified in the book. Suicide is never the best option. Yes, when you are in that intense headspace sometimes you can't think of anything else but I just did not like the way the book handled the issue. All The Bright Places barely went into the aspects of how suicide can affect loved ones around you. It was only glanced upon it. I feel like the author could have done a lot better with this novel.
The plot was pretty bland and not much happened throughout the story. The characters didn't grow or develop that much. Most of the vibe of the novel was hard for me to read. While lots of people rave about this novel it just was not for me. Hopefully, other novels by Niven are better. I will have to try some other books by her in the future.
I did enjoy the dual perspective format that showed both thoughts of the main characters, Finch and Violet. Both of the main characters are equally messed up mentally and obsessed with death. Mental illness should never be romanticized. I could see the ending coming and did not like it one bit.
All The Bright Places left a bad taste in my mouth. Overall, I feel just meh about this book. Niven did convey the fact that mental illness is not always seen or known. How someone can struggle in hiding without anyone knowing that there is anything wrong. All in all this book was only two stars for me.
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By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson ("If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win"), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder's sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age. In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven't stopped... I've written nine books (#9 will be out Oct 4, 2016), and when I'm not working on the tenth, I'm writing the screenplay for All the Bright Places, contributing to my web magazine, Germ (www.germmagazine.com), thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.