Pages: 388 Price: £8.00 Published: 2015 by Penguin
Genre: YA, Romance, Age 16+
“Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. Violet Markey is devastated by her sister’s death. They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. It’s only together they can be themselves. But, as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she as come to love?”
Clearly, from my other reviews, Crime and Thriller are my preferred genres. I don’t often read Young Adult books but this one was recommended to me by my best friend, and I would like to thank her for showing me such an incredible book. She also writes book reviews and so I would like to recommend you her site: https://peanutbutterkellysite.wordpress.com/ she’s a very talented writer so I think you too would enjoy and appreciate her reviews. But, on to my review:
This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read, Jennifer Niven creates amazing realistic characters in the form of Violet Markey and Theodore Finch. I personally felt a stronger connection to Finch than Violet but for other readers I am sure it was the other way around. Finch obsesses over killing himself and the idea of death, he is the social outcast at school known as Theodore Freak. He is a loner who spends time by himself doing what he wants to do with little to no regard for rules. Violet on the other hand was the perfect student, up until her sister’s death in a car accident that Violet was also a part of. Violet was popular, friends with the most popular group of students and dating the most popular boy in school. Until the accident. Now she barely goes out, refuses to go in cars, doesn’t follow her passion for writing anymore and gets out of all homework due to her ‘Extenuating Circumstances’.
Violet and Finch meet on the school bell tower, Finch is fantisizing about death and Violet is prepared to throw herself off as it is her late sisters birthday. Finch manages to talk her down but the students think it is the other way around and so they hail and praise Violet for her actions in talking down Theodore Finch.
Violet and Finch are once again reunited in a class project set by their US Geography teacher, they’re to explore their state of Indiana and document it as they go. Finch choses Violet to be his partner as he has fallen for her but Violet still thinks of her reputation to uphold. The pair begin to explore Indiana in a beautiful way by cycling to destinations at first before Finch is able to persuade Violet back into a car again to give her the open road and open up her world again.
Finch is an incredibly written character who’s so deep and 3D, he’s one of the most realistic characters I’ve ever read about. Not only does Finch open up the world to Violet but also to the Reader. The way he talks about living in the present and living life not through a lens is truly inspiring and makes me want to go find a friend and just wander places without a care in the world. To explore and live in the moment with no other worries or concerns.
As we get further into the book we learn that Finch is actually Bipolar. The way this topic is talked about and brought awareness to is excellently pulled off and written about in the right way. This also thickened Finch’s character and brought more light to some of his actions. You get throughly absorbed into the characters, actually feeling emotions and connecting to them.
At the end of the book Finch finally does it, he drowns himself in the lake as he always says he has a thing with water. An absolutely heartbreaking moment for both Violet and the Reader. It crushed me when it is revealed that he committed suicide because I felt so connected to the character and for him to disappear was shattering. However at the same time I don’t think it would’ve been a proper ending had Finch lived and stayed with Violet “happily ever after”. It was something Finch wasn’t likely to recover from and was always going to dwell with him. A book has never caused an emotional reaction in me like this one had, it’s a book that leaves you with a lot to think about and you’re left with that feeling of loss just like Violet it.
All The Bright Places is a book you can easily read in one sitting and I believe it is much more impactful if you were to read it in one sitting rather than a couple of pages over a week. The story just sucks you in as these two broken teens are brought together over such a tragic thing and fall in love only to be separated at the end. I really commend Jennifer Niven for creating such a masterpiece of a book.
As I have said this book deals with sensitive topics more suited for old readers (16+). Themes in the book include depression, suicide, Bipolar, bereavement and loss of family. If you need help to talk about any of these issues I will leave these websites for you here:
Would I read it again? Yes
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
You can get the book Here