Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Title: All The Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

Publication Date: January 6, 2015

Excerpt from 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.

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

This is probably the hardest review I have ever had to write. I would so torn between writing a spoiler free review or a review full of spoilers. After two days of thinking, I decided to post a spoiler free review so I wouldn’t ruin all the fun for those who haven’t read the book.

Finch and Violet meet on the bell tower. Both were going to take their lives that day, but something stopped them. Each other. After Finch picks Violet to be his partner for a class project, they begin to “wander” all over the state of Indiana for their project, which leaves them with plenty of time to get to know each other. Finch falls in love with Violet the moment she first smiled at him and Violet is slowly exposed to Finch’s extraordinary world.

This book has had a ton of hype recently, but I always try to keep an open mind going into a book so I’m not disappointed while reading. The beginning of this book was interesting and kept me intrigued, but it wasn’t to the point where I couldn’t the book down. Because of this, this book took me a little longer to read than I would have liked. I finally decided on the weekend that I would sit down and finish the rest of the book in one sitting (hopefully). And it wasn’t too hard actually. I felt like once I got past the halfway mark, the book just got better and better.

Finch basically falls in love with Violet the second she smiles at him. This annoyed me and I was starting to worry that this book would be straight instalove. The one thing I didn’t mind about that though is the fact that Finch states once he falls for a girl, he falls hard. Finch himself admitted to the instalove and that made it a little better for me.

I think part of the reason the first half of the book was slow for me was the lack of plot. While I was reading I just kept waiting for something to happen. I didn’t even know what I was waiting for to happen – just something, anything. The first half of the book really disappointed me and I was afraid I was going to have to give this one a bad rating, but the end DEFINETELY makes up for it.

The blurb on Goodreads states: 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 – truer words were never spoken. From the very beginning of this book I thought “Eleanor and Park” and by the time I finished the book I thought “The Fault In Our Stars.” This book grabs you by the soul and makes you feel emotions you didn’t even know you had. The last time I seriously cried while reading a book was when I read The Fault in our Stars and if you have read that book then you understand the feels behind that book. All the Bright Places IS THAT BOOK.

This book discusses a very sensitive topic in which some people have unfortunately been victims (I can’t name the topic without giving away some serious spoilers).The book also educated me on some disorders that I haven’t seen in many young adult novels. I think this book gave me a better perspective on this topic and the disorders discussed within the book. Honestly this is one of those books that I can confidently say changed my life. It feels as though my eyes have been opened to a part of the world that I haven’t been exposed to much in my life (luckily). I also have a more profound sympathy to the victim of this tragic event. Seriously, the moment you get the chance, read this book.

“The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it’s the small things that count.”
Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

5 out of 5 stars

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