Wednesday, March 4, 2015

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Review)

Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication.Date  January 6th 2015
Published By:  Knopf
AuthorJennifer Niven

All The Bright Places on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:,%201

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 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.

Includes a PDF Help Line Resource Guide and a Note Read by the Author.


“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.”
“The thing I realize is, that it's not what you take, it's what you leave.”
“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.”
“You have been in every way all that anyone could be.… If anybody could have saved me it would have been you.”
What if life could be this way? Only the happy parts, none of the terrible, not even the mildly unpleasant. What if we could just cut out the bad and keep the good? This is what I want to do with Violet - give her only the good, keep away the bad, so that good is all we ever have around us.

     I've been sitting on this review for a couple of days after finishing the book, chewing the story over and over, trying to digest everything that happened, trying to get over all the heartbreak and emotional pain this book has caused me. I am still working on all that. I honestly don't know how to review this book. It was both exhilarating and sad, inspiring and depressing, hopeful and dark. I got so close to the characters - to Theo in particular - they felt more like friends than just fictional creations. They made me laugh, swoon and then ugly cry (the ugliest cry since The Fault in Our Stars). This book - this story - really hit me hard and I am still trying to get my shit together. 

     This is a story of a girl saved by the boy who couldn't be saved himself. It's such a beautiful tale. Incredibly honest, gritty, moving and profoundly affecting. Possibly life changing. Probably even life saving

     I want to tell you about the plot. About Theo and Violet. About how they met, how their lives began to intertwine with each other, wrapping themselves around one another and creating the most breathtaking symbiosis of all times. I want to tell you about their feelings - for each other, for their families, for the rest of the world. Their fears and struggles and dreams. Their wandering project, all the places they've visited, all the things they left behind, all the post it notes and their meaning. I do want to tell you about it all, but at the same time I don't. I just can't. You need to experience all that by yourself. This book demands it. There's simply no other way. 

     To me, this book is perfect. The more I think about it - and I do think about it a lot - the more I understand. The more I understand, the more I appreciate it. Its gentle beauty, its insightfulness and sensitivity in handling such incredibly difficult subjects, its message - everything about it is perfect. The writing style (so lyrical, so transcendental, so compelling), the literary references, the complexity and all the underlying themes and messages... You don't always see all these things right away, you don't always catch what passes between the lines, but later on, when you go back and think about certain events, the meaning of certain thoughts and conversations, it really hits you hard and renders you speechless. It knocks the air out of you, quite literally.

     I'm not gonna lie to you, this book sneaked up on me. I wasn't prepared for how much this story would affect me, the pain I felt while reading the final chapters was almost physical. It weighed down on me, making it harder to breathe. I realized where this story was going and I didn't want to get there. It was excruciating. But also oddly beautiful. 

     What more can I tell you? Read it. You really should.

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