Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
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.


Publishes in US: January 6th 2015 by Knopf
Genre: ya contemporary mental health
Source: Random House via netgalley
Series? no

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    I wanted to read All the Bright Places because I am always interested in mental health books, especially ones dealing with suicide. As someone who has mental health issues, has had thoughts of suicide myself, and lost my father to suicide, it is a topic that is very important to me. I think that books like this can help people relate to someone who is depressed or thinking of suicide even if they have never had clinical depression, 

    In a society where everything is becoming all about instant gratification and what feels good in that moment, it is important to realistically address what happens when moods get dark and it feels like there is no way out. I think that it is important to learn how to love people that are in that situation and even if they are not normally your friend, if you see someone hurting, talk to them, be their friend, and it may make all of the difference in the world to them. It is also crucial to look at the times where a person may go through with suicide. Blame cannot be placed, you can't ask the what ifs and you have to learn how to let their memory be honored and stay alive and heal and keep living however you can. 

    All the Bright Places is smart shocking realistic and messy emotional. No holds barred with finch. He was the kind of character who amazed me at his kindness and broke my heart. I loved that he could help someone else and talk them down when he himself can't quit thinking about death and how it could be his escape. But he is also a person who lived life fully. He didn't conform to expectations and tried to see the beauty in life and take risks, chances and life hard. 

   Our other main character is Violet. Where I can connect with Finch on some levels, and admired him where I didn't understand or that wasn't my personality, I connected with Violet in others. She is a people pleaser, she is more withdrawn, and she is hurting deep inside, and tries to keep it hidden. The healing and growth on violet was undeniable watching her learn to accept loss and still remember and love those that have left her life was inspiring.

     Finch is eccentric and troubled but also with a love for life even with thoughts of and plans for suicide torment him. Their reluctant friendship and camaraderie in meeting on that water tower, and Finch talking her down and not thinking less or correcting when people thought that it was Violet who saved Finch. He is persistent in being around her and trying to bring her out of her shell. They both have a lot to teach the other. 

    The ending is bold and raw. I couldn't believe the route that it took but think that it is eye opening and realistic. Not everything can be a happy ending, there are aspects to mental health that can't be fixed, and there is some pain that is inescapable. But I do like the hope that it does give us. That there are other ways, there is help out there, and there are friends in places we may never have thought to look. 

Bottom Line: Gritty, raw, emotional, powerful.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
What are some of the wonders of your state?


  1. I am seeing this book everywhere all of a sudden. Sounds good.

  2. Honestly I'm glad that this book doesn't have a HEA! Not all books can end like that, but still I love that there is hope. Great review :)

  3. I lost my grandfather to suicide, so I can see why this novel appealed to you, Bradi. However, I think it might dredge up too many emotions that I prefer to keep buried. I don't live in a state, no wonders here, but we do have poutine. YUM!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

  4. Sounds like a thought provoking read that doesn't hold its punches.

  5. This does sound like a provocative and emotional read, Brandi. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  6. I feel drawn to this one...probably because of the mental health issues. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. I've read her adult books and I love them. And even though this sounds pretty freaking emotional, I definitely need to read it!

  8. Oh man, this sounds like it is going to be an emotional rollercoaster, and a deep thought provoking book. After seeing this moving review I have instantly added it to my TBR. It sounds like the kind of thing that would grab my interest especially as it is so realistic.
    I hadn't known that you had gone through so much surrounding suicide. I am sorry to hear about your father, and am glad to hear you are better from that point in your life.

  9. Whoa sounds intense, I don't think I could handle this one. Too much emotions

  10. This sounds very intense and thought provoking, which I know you usually enjoy - so I'm glad the writing did not disappoint you Brandi!

  11. I knew I would like this one when I read the blurb

  12. I love gritty emotional contemporary reads. This sounds like one I'll love. I'll def try to get around to reading this one in the next couple weeks now once finals are over and I finally have time to read again! Lovely review, Brandi!

  13. Oh yes I saw abother great review about this one but with yours I'm quite intrigued.

  14. I've heard such good things about this - so glad to see another YA book dealing with mental health and really taking the time to craft something accurate and gritty!

  15. This book is going to break me, I just know it. ;*(

  16. I've wanted this one for months when I first read the synopsis but it's your awesome review that makes me want to HAVE IT NOW! This one seems like a scary yet powerful read and mental health books are always super interesting and heartbreaking when done right, Lovely review

  17. I started this one and loved the writing so much but then realized it was going to be a very tough, emotional read. So I put it aside and I promise to get back to it when I'm in the right mindset. I loved what I read so far!

  18. Lovely review, I have not heard of this book before sound good :D


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