All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Book: No Place to Fall by Jennifer Niven
Series: N/A
Pages: 384
Publisher: Knopf
Date Published: January 6th, 2015
Source: Library eBook
Date Started: February 3rd, 2015
Date Finished: February 5th, 2015
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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.

 

Guys, this book broke my heart. Into a thousand pieces, and I can’t find all the pieces. I wanted this book to have an ending where the two main characters go riding into the sunset. I wanted them to go to college together. I wanted so many things for them.

So what broke my heart into a thousand pieces? Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. Theodore is a guy who is a little out there. He doesn’t know who he really is, and he changes his outfits to try and figure it out. He also has this obsession with death and ways to end his life, but something always stops him. Violet on the other hand, has dealt with a tough past. She lost her sister in a car accident and things aren’t the same for her anymore. One day, the two cross paths on a ledge and they essentially save each other. What happens next is they form a friendship that turns into something more after working on a project together.

What I found interesting about this book was the fact that Violet evolves and grows into something stronger, getting past the death of he sister, while Theo devolves. He sinks further and further into this dark place that there really isn’t any escape from.

There is one aspect of this book that I don’t know how to handle. Theo doesn’t know who he is, and I didn’t know who he was either. I felt like I didn’t understand him as well as I wanted to. Violet and Theodore had a strange relationship as a result. They barely knew each other but they loved each other. In the beginning, you feel like theres so much room to grow and that there might be a bright place for them to be together. But as Theodore sinks further into himself, that bright place starts to disappear.

I loved Violet’s growth throughout the book. She becomes stronger and she learns to live again. I remember this dark time in my life where there was just a lot of death surrounding me. I had lost my uncle to murder, my grandmother to cancer, my father’s sudden death, a cousin to leukemia, and the death of my dog all within a 5 year period. Violet dealt with death much better than I did, and I feel like she has a bright future. I wish I had this book when I was younger dealing with everything because I would have felt more comforted.

The way that the book deals with suicide is also something that caught my interest. Theo’s thoughts of suicide are something that seem to be ingrained in him. Something that he cant escape from. It didn’t originate from one event. It was a series of events, events that happened throughout his life. Theo tried. He tried so hard to try and fight it off. But he also saw beauty in life, and he passed it onto Violet. I don’t think Violet would have gotten stronger without Theo’s downfall into the darkness.

This book will crush your heart into a thousand pieces, but in the end, its worth it.

2 Comments

  1. I’m really glad that you pointed out how Finch tried really hard to fight off his depression but couldn’t. My sister has depression and she tried to do the exact same thing. What finally helped her was admitting that there was a problem and taking medicine, and I think that’s Jennifer Niven’s point. We are often afraid to talk about depression, but that fear keeps people from getting the help they seriously need.

    • Thanks for commenting! I agree completely. I think theres a stigma with getting help, and also this sort of fear of having to face your problems. Finch tried really hard to fight it off for Violet, and thats one of the best messages I got from the book

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