All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: Book Review

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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.

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.

Publication Date: January 6, 2015

No. Of Pages: 378

Publisher: Knopf

Date Read: March 15, 2015

Source: Got my copy from National Book Store

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It was heart-wrenching and beautiful in all the right places.

I had to let this one out: Why are YA novels these days have to have the tag line The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park? As a reader what captures my attention is a beautiful blurb, not a tagline such as this, I swear this is the nth book with a tagline like it. What I’m saying is, after reading All the Bright Places, I think the tagline has become irrelevant, I loved it on its own, it doesn’t need an advertisement, because it was beautiful by itself. I wish publishers would just stop doing it, seriously, let the book do the talking, let the book surprise you on how good it was. For someone who have read both The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park, to be honest I hardly saw the similarity. The three books tackled different stories and different predicaments. Yes, it was about young adults and their ever changing quest for what was real and the importance of being in the moment, but the books had different takes on adolescent life. So yes, for me, I just wanted to stop all these taglines.

Okayyy… now on to this beautiful, tear-inducing, perspective-changing, life-altering book. This book, oh my goodness this book, it hurt me more than I can allow it to. It was just right there subtly stabbing my fragile heart until it was too late and all the pain just swooped me in this abyss of immense sadness. I was so good at avoiding spoilers, so going to this book blindly was the best decision I’ve made. To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to the blurb, all I know was it was a sad book and a beautiful book, so I took the plunge and let it take me away, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was already in the middle of it all when I had this gnawing feeling in my chest, like something quite not right, something was off, and I couldn’t for the life of me shake off the terrible feeling. It’s like you know shit is going to get real but you don’t know when and how so you are left with this inexplicable uneasiness. I was too afraid to continue reading, really, maybe the fact that I am personally undergoing some huge stuff contributed to the anxiety I have for the book, but I continued on like a brave soldier.

And this book didn’t disappoint. It was a gem. It will truly stay with me forever, there’s not an iota of doubt about it. I loved how the book threw in some trivia in the mix and oh my goodness of course reference to Virginia Woolf! It was well written. The characters were distinct from one another. This book made me want to fly to Indiana and go to all those places. This book will suck you in and spit out a different you, it will change your point of view in life and will teach you how to fully live in the moment, how to take risks and how to step out of the box you made for yourself. I can see myself rereading this one, and possibly passing it on to my kids someday, so they know that life will not treat them well, but there is always beauty in the ugly places.

Here’s another thing about this book, I can count in one hand the times I read through the acknowledgments part a book, but I wanted to know what brought life into this amazing book, so I read the acknowledgment and everything made more sense. I have found a whole new level of respect and admiration to the author for writing something that is very close to her heart, something so sensitive and scary, that’s why I gave this book five stars and listed it as a favorite. It was not just a fiction, it was a fragment of someone else’s life, it was a part of a person who went through the same excruciating thing and for a moment it was reality.

I could say I knew it was coming, that ending was inevitable, but this doesn’t change the fact that it was still able to draw out raw emotions from me. I sobbed, I can’t fully say I know the feeling or I could fully relate to it, but at some point I did, at some point it was also relevant to what I went through and that’s the beauty of this book, it was specific yet all encompassing. Well, after all, pain and love is and will always will be universal.

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“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

phonto

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3 thoughts on “All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: Book Review

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