The Best Moments In Reading Are When You Come Across Something- A Thought, A Feeling, A Way At Looking At Things- Which You Had Thought Special And Particular To You. And Now, Here It Is, Set Down By Someone Else, A Person You Have Never Met, Someone Who Is Even Long Dead. And It Is As If A Hand Has Come Out, And Taken Yours.

Alan Bennett

The History Boys

Friday, July 15, 2016

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Title: All the Bright Places 
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
Genre: YA/Fiction/Romance
Length: 378 pages

Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. I’m broken and no one can fix it. Violet Markey is devasted by her sister’s death. In that moment we went plowing through the guardrail my words died too. They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. It’s only there that they can be themselves… I send a message to Violet: You are all the colors in one, at full brightness. You’re so weird, Finch. But that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?

Finch is considered a freak by most that know him, no-one special often contemplating suicide. Violet is popular and pretty, however the moment her older sister Eleanor dies, she feels as though nothing will ever make her happy. Violet gets into a near death situation when she nearly falls of the school bell tower, when she’s saved by Finch (who’s there due to his suicidal thoughts) and they become friends. After Finch asks to be partners with Violet for a group project, they explore various parts of the state they live in (Indiana) together. Violet realizes she loves Finch however, one day after doing their project, they fall asleep and only wake up in the morning. Violet’s parents are very upset due to the fact that they didn’t know where Violet was and were scared something had happened to her (like to her older sister Eleanor). Therefore thinking it is Finch’s fault they decide he poses as a bad influence on Violet and not allow her to see him anymore (Romeo and Juliet Cliché alert). Juliet… I mean Violet realizes how depressed and suicidal Finch is and she’s determined to save him from himself no matter at what cost…

I don’t think I’ve experienced this much heartbreak since Fault in Our Stars. Why Augustus, WHY????!! This might include some spoilers but let me just tell you, you don’t see the end coming and when it comes it hits you with all it’s force right in the feels. While I don’t think this is going to be the next FIOS I did really like the book and the way it talked about suicide and identity. I just feel that there are now more and more books about teens dealing with bullying, mental as well as anxiety disorders and depression which opens up the way to talk about it more instead of it being considered something you just keep to yourself and don’t talk about with others such as your loved ones and friends. 

Some parts were a little corny, and to be honest I kept liking and then not liking the characters because they just seemed so childish. They were really more like fourteen or fifteen year olds than eighteen year olds nearly adults. I can see how so many people think it’s going to be the next FIOS as the main character Theodore Finch is very similar to Augustus Waters up to the point where you have to think about the possibility that the author (Jennifer Niven) definitely was heavily influenced by FIOS... For example Finch also sometimes has an unlit cigarette playing with the idea whether he should light it (even though Augustus’s explanation for why he didn’t light it was so much better), Finch is also an outcast like Augustus and has this strange and a little mysterious, poetic side to him when he plays with analogies, and generally words, sometimes quotes by famous long dead authors (even though honestly quotes by long dead authors are more of Miles’s Halter’s thing if you ask me)…

The Events are mostly pretty unpredictable which is always good and let me tell you that the way some of the places this story takes place is being described really wants me to be there. I would not re-read the book but the one time I did read it I enjoyed it. Everything is pretty fast paced in the book so there weren’t really any parts in which I was bored but I sometimes felt that there wasn’t enough character development as I didn’t really associate with the characters, and the time the author could have used for character development was used up by the awesome (but long) descriptions of the places they went and what they did instead of focusing on the characters themselves.

It’s hard to choose what my absolutely favorite part was because there were so many heartwarming scenes but I do have two favorites. One of them is when there’s this part in the book where Finch is returning back home in his car after (unsuccessfully) trying to do a part of the project himself since Violet is busy, and he decides that going by car is too slow, gets out and runs to the nearest villages which is miles away. He then proceeds to find a flower nursery (which is closed) but begs the owners to let him in as it’s a matter of “life and death”. They let him in and after choosing a whole bucket of flowers for Violet (which you guessed it, includes violets) he tries to pay them however the really sweet owners let him have them for free. The other one is when the two of them are doing their project and one of the places is a garden owned by this man, in which there are two homemade rollercoasters (only seating one person though) which Finch and Violet drive a billion times. That was also a really nice description as well as book part. 

The only reason I’m not giving this the full amount of stars is the characters and the character development thing but it is a good book so read it if you have the time!
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