All The Bright Places
By: Jennifer Niven
This is officially the best book I have read all year! And this is saying quite a lot, since I have been lucky enough to read almost 30 insanely good books, between January 1st and now. A few bad ones as well, but even the “bad” ones were still way better than anything I read last year, thanks to the recommendations of the BookTube Community 🙂 Thanks guys!
Anyways, where to begin.. I started reading this a few days ago, and was instantly drawn into the story from page one. We are introduced to two characters, Violet and Finch, who both plan to kill themselves by jumping off their school’s bell tower. They spot one another, and then not only stop each other from jumping, but they start up an odd yet somehow perfect friendship.
This book is told from both Finch & Violet’s point of view, and the characters are both so well developed and written, that reading about them gives you the impression that you know them, or someone just like them. I could literally imagine Theodore Finch standing in my living room, and hear his voice. When an author manages to make that happen, it’s magic. Also if “Theodore Finch” isn’t the most fantastic name in the whole world, I’m not sure what is.
This book is not just any other YA teen romance, with the whole boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love-finds-oneself thing… It also focuses quite a bit on major issues like the death of a sibling, parental abuse, suicide, and mental illness. We get to read about how it feels for this character to suffer from this overwhelming illness, but also about dealing with society’s dismissive attitude & stigmas surrounding it. One particular quote that sums it up perfectly was this “It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them”.
Despite some of the heartbreaking subject matter, this book is actually very funny and somewhat lighthearted. The character of Finch is absolutely hilarious, and his whole outlook on life, and about searching for the “bright” moments, in an otherwise bleak existence, was actually very inspiring to read. I found myself marking quote after quote, while reading.. just so I wouldn’t forget a single one. However, I don’t think it would be possible to ever forget one line of this impossibly perfect book. So yeah, go buy this, NOW. You need to know the story of Violet and Finch. Also there is a movie heading to the silver screen in 2017, so just read it before then!