by Jennifer Nevins
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Genre: YA | Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
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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.
Includes a PDF Help Line Resource Guide and a Note Read by the Author. (Goodreads)
One thing I wanted to mention before I start this review is that the summary for the book compares it to The Fault in Our Stars or Eleanor and Park, but I kind of feel that is misleading. I would compare it more to 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher instead.
The main characters in the story are Finch and Violet. Finch is obsessed with death; it’s something that is always on his mind. He even keeps a journal with notes of all the different ways he could end his life. Violet knows death, especially after surviving the accident that took her sisters life. Death is something that has crossed her mind as well, although she’s not quite as obsessed with it. When their paths cross on the ledge of the school bell tower, it’s not really clear who saves who, but now that they’ve met, their lives are changed forever.
Violet and Finch were so different, yet so much alike in many ways. Violet was a popular girl. Before her sister died, she was a cheerleader who ran a popular website, and was happy for the most part. But all that changed when her sister died. She found herself moving along the best she could; a victim of Extenuating Circumstances. But once she meets Finch, she starts to see things differently. She changes and grows and I wanted nothing more than for her to happy in her life.
Finch was a hard character to figure out. He was definitely troubled, and had been through a lot in his short life. A victim of bullying and with parents who seemed to care but also didn’t seem to care. He had moods that he couldn’t seem to control and feelings that he couldn’t contain. I longed to help this boy. To make the people around him open their eyes and see what was going on with him. His story was heartbreaking. But there were good times as well, mostly when he was with Violet. Unfortunately we all have demons that we can’t escape sometimes.
When the two are paired together for a school project, I didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a really interesting experience. Not only did this make them grow closer, but it was also pretty fun to ‘see’ through their eyes al l the places that they visited. I stopped reading the novel quite a few times so that I could look up the fascinating places, and I was pleased to discover that they were all real places in Indiana. I definitely enjoyed this going on this journey with these characters.
The storyline for the book was very thought-provoking; it definitely makes you stop and think. It touches on a lot of different subjects that teens deal with in their lives, including bullying, sex, drugs and even death. One thing that really got me with this book was how relatable the book was. I remember feeling some of the things these characters felt when I was a teenager, and it made me sympathize with them even more.
Overall; All the Bright Places was a heart-breaking and thought-provoking story. This book is one that will stick with you long after you finish reading it. I hope people will read it and know that help is there, that you are not alone, and that there are consequences for things we do. This is a very touching story, and I implore you all to read it.