Monday, February 2, 2015

REVIEW: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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.

Includes a PDF Help Line Resource Guide and a Note Read by the Author.

My Thoughts:

For a minute I can feel it: the sense of peace as my mind goes quiet, like I'm already dead. I am weightless and free. Nothing and on one to fear, not even myself.

My heart. My poor aching heart. I cried like I've never cried before while reading a book. Big, ugly crying. Loud and scary sobbing. This is a book. Just a book. At least that's what I kept telling myself. This isn't real. But it is. This story is so real, because its happening every single day, the world over. This story could be happening right next door to where I live right now. It could be happening to someone in my family. 

"The cadence of suffering has begun." - Cesare Pavese

When I read a book as amazing as All the Bright Places, the characters become my friends, my family. When they're sad, I'm sad. When they're happy, I'm happy. When they're in pain, I'm in pain. I become so invested in their story that it stays with me long after I've turned the last page. Just a passing comment from another book lover can bring to the surface all of the emotions that a book elicited in me. That's how it is with this book. 

For once, I don't want to be anyone but Theodore Finch, the boy she sees. He understands what it is to be elegant and euphoric and a hundred different people, most of them flawed and stupid, part asshole, part screwup, part freak... A boy who belongs - here in the world, here in his own skin. He is exactly who I want to be and what I want my epitaph to say: The boy Violet Markey loves.

Theodore Finch is witty and incredibly intelligent. His mind is a brilliant place, that at times could also be fast and frantic. But his heart... His heart was a thing of beauty. He cared and he loved and he gave so much. But Finch is bullied and beaten. He's called a freak. His home life is sad. His Dad is an arse and his Mum is so distant. And Finch feels everything so greatly. I cannot put into words how much I loved him. This boy is in my heart for life. 

Just like Finch, Violet Markey knows pain and depression. But she has such strength and wonderful parents. When a chance encounter on the ledge of the school bell tower throws this unlikely pair together for a school project, Violet's eyes are opened to how incredible Finch is. Violet doesn't have an instant attraction to Finch, but he's nothing if not persistent and it's not long before his natural charm wears her down. 

I felt so let down by some of the adults in this book. Finch's family failed so miserably in recognising the signs and behaviour that at times was right under their noses. I wanted to scream at them and shake them and make them see. I wanted them to sit up and pay attention to this boy that desperately needed help.

The thing I realize is that it's not what you take, it's what you leave.

This book. This author. I have never, in all my years of reading, read a book that has affected me as greatly or as deeply as this one. It is beauty. It is love. It is pain. It is sadness. It is grief. It is loss. It is life. It is death. It just simply is. 

This book has been compared to the Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park. Personally, I don't like to compare books because ultimately one is going to come off second best. But sometimes a book comes along that blows all others out of the water. This is that book. Get it, read it, and let it become one of the best books you're most likely to read.

You are all the colors in one. at full brightness.

5/5 Theodore Finch Stars.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are from an ARC and may have changed at the time of publishing. 


  1. I love deep books that leave you something in the end! This is definitely it, I cannot wait to read it! *-*

    Ps. I have a blog as well, written both in English and Italian. I'd love if you stopped by :) ->

  2. YES YES YES!!! YES to your review. It's fantastic. And I feel all the same things. This book, ugh, it tore my heart.


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