Release Date - January 6, 2015
Publisher Website - Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 384 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.If I had a describe All The Bright Places using only two words I would pick sadly beautiful. Jennifer Niven's highly emotional story is filled with stunning highs, and brutal lows that reflect the depression the plagues one of the main characters. It's a wonderfully written, important novel that made me instantly want to read more from this author.
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 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.
For all the sadness in the novel, there is beauty too. The writing itself is wonderful and creates the tone of the novel effortlessly. It captures the emotions perfectly. Jennifer has a real talent that is subtle, but powerful. It captures the essence of these characters and their journey. The connection that Violet and Finch have is filled with promise. It's the blush of first love. There are moments that are sweet and tender. Violet's journey though is one of hope. The synopsis says that she learns to not count away the days and start living them. This is, perhaps, what grabbed me the most. Live each day, don't just exist in them. Make them lovely because those every day moments are what create our story.
The sensitivity in which the subject matter is handled is woven through each page of this novel. Those who have dealt with depression in some manner will feel that the author handles it with a delicate finesse. It looks at how it impacts not only the person going through it directly, but also those who care about them. It demands you look beyond labels, and see the person rather than the illness. It is a powerful message as our society puts a lot of emphasis on labels.
People who suffer from depression, and other mental illnesses, are horribly unsupported. There are not nearly enough support systems, and programs in place to help those in need. While things are slowly changing, there is still a certain stigma attached and I feel this novel showcases how important education and conversation are to assisting those who are suffering from these illnesses. A quote from the novel haunted me as I was reading
“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.”This simple truth shows how necessary novels like this one. Ones that reach your heart, and make you want to shout about them to everyone. If this novel starts even one discussion, prompts one person to seek out help, or even gets someone to ask questions the author would have been successful.
The message of the novel, and it's importance aside, the story is engrossing. I easily fell in love with Violet, Finch and their story. Their journey to discover their state leads to many self discoveries, and it builds a connection between these two broken people who try to help each other through their sadness, and grief.
Violet and Theodore's story is one that left a deep impact on my heart, and one I will not soon forget. Jennifer Niven took something incredibly personal and poured her heart into creating something achingly beautiful that has the potential to create discussions and even the power to change someone's life.