Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright PlacesTitle: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Knopf
Published: 6th January 2015

Goodreads Summary

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 my second attempt at reviewing this… I deleted my first draft as I didn’t think it did the book any justice. Why are the great books so hard to review!?
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, he keeps thinking of ways to kill himself, he even rates his ideas.
Violet Markey lives for the future, she is counting down days until her graduation and when she can escape her town and her aching grief about her sister’s death.
The unlikely pair meet at the unlikeliest place, a bell tower where suicide would be perfect.
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park- Yeah kinda… I still feel that it’s only referring to Eleanor and Park because it was narrated by both of the main characters, I don’t see any other resemblance to that book.

I have read bad reviews about this book, of course it’s impossible for everybody to fall in love with it. I do think that Jennifer reaches a certain young adult audience, and I do think that the responses to this book depend on the personal experience with depression and suicide. I cannot tell whether I would have found this book as great as I did if my personal experiences weren’t there. This book spoke to me on another level and made me feel incrediby mixed feelings. It made me feel alive for the first time in years in a way that I couldn’t possibly imagine.

“We are all alone, trapped in these bodies and our own minds, and whatever company we have in this life is only fleeting and superficial.” 

Of course suicide is a hard subject to tackle. I think it can go either way, a quirky funny way or go for the ugly truth. This book seemed to tackle both things. This indie relationship between the two characters was loveable but also fake. Of course I would love for there to be couples like Finch and Violet, and for couples like Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace from The Fault In Our Stars but the world doesn’t really work that way. Having these special relationship in books grounds us to reality but make us imagine the world these authors create.
“No more winter at all. Finch, you brought me spring.” 

The ending was hard for me, I cried and thought about it for so many days. I wanted to keep this world going; but the way that Violet handled the news and the realisation was annoying but beautiful. I think for the type of protagonist that Violet was her reaction was perfect. Everything that happened with the school and funeral linked back to reality.
I do recommend this book to everybody, whether or not you have personal experiences with suicide and depression. I think this is perfect for anybody that has enjoyed The Fault In Our Stars, Eleanor and Park, Anna and The French Kiss, ect…

“People rarely bring flowers to a suicide.”

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