Review – All The Bright Places

Title : All The Bright Places
Author : Jennifer Niven
Publisher : Alfred A. Knopf
Published : January 2015
Page : 388 pages
My Rating : 3.5/5

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 a heart-wrenching, unflinching story of love shared, life lived, and two teens who find one another while standing on the edge.

Thought on This Book :

“Let me ask you something. Do you think there’s such a thing as a perfect day?”
“A perfect day. Start to finish. When nothing terrible or sad or ordinary happens. Do you think it’s possible?”
All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven.

All The Bright Places has been in my wishlist since the first release. The claim of The Fault in Our Stars meet Eleanor and Park is the biggest reason why I wanted to read the book. I’m so happy when finally got the book in my hands after two weeks waiting it to arrive from online bookstore.

I know this book will have a sad ending. But I don’t know how, so that’s why I decided to read this one.

The story is about two teenagers, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, who met  at the school bell tower after Violet “saved” Finch from doing “suicide”, or so the people believed it.  Finch is quirky, troublemaker and kids in school like to call him Freak. Violet was in cheerleader team, a popular and bright girl, but not after the accident that killed her sister.

The two bonded as partners in Geography class, and do wandering project for the subject. As the time went by, they started to feel attraction to each other, and Finch tried his best to help Violet outgrew her guilt from her sister’s death.

They say, to save someone, you need to save yourself first.

Well, sometimes it’s wrong. Finch saves Violet, but can’t save himself.

This is my second young adult read with suicide as focus. As I closed the last page of book, I felt so empty. Yes, it was definitely sad, but not a kind of sad which makes me bawling my eyes. It was a kind of sad that makes me feel and think for quite long time.

At first I was taken aback with the double POV. I was a little afraid if I can’t differentiate the two voices, but it was actually okay. I really enjoyed Finch’s POV and his strange way of thinking, his expanse knowledge and his fascination of death. I like how he spat so many facts about suicide, it made him so special, although many times I also confused. I still don’t understand about Asleep and Awake… what’s that? But slowly his tone was getting darker and we introduced to his biggest complex, the mental illness.

Oh my god.

I didn’t see this coming at all. I thought the disease would be physical. Or at least something like brain tumor or anything related to his brain but it’s actually a mental disorder.

Violet… well it’s only Violet the angsty girl. Her thought was not as interesting as Finch in my opinion, but in the last chapters she made me very emotional. Her last wanderings alone tore my heart. But I also satisfied because from her we got perfect closure for this story.

I hate the parents. Oh god I hate the parents. One of the worst parents (and family) in my young adult reading experience. Especially the father. Abusive father? Nightmare. Abusive + ill minded father ? The worst. But thanks god we still have nice guy. Mr. Embry the school counselor is one of my favorite minor characters here.  The kids at school are also the worst, but I think that was what high school in reality looks like.

Not the physical bullying, but kids in school tend to label others easily. I say so, because I witnessed it by myself in high school. Maybe some mean as jokes, but many times it creates a wound. The labeled kid would feel insecure and started to believe that the label is him/herself. Some, also lead to extreme action, like suicide, for example.

I’ll wrap this crappy review with two thumbs up for Jenniver Niven. It’s my first time reading her book, and it was a really enjoyable experience. It was thought-provoking and made me think about life. I love the characters, and the love story is pretty adorable. The writing is witty and smart, moreover I got many trivias about suicide.

As I stated before, this book is so complete. It has perfect, deep closure. And while the whole story is heartbreaking, I think the closure is rather heartwarming.

“The thing I realize is, that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”
All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven.

Included to : NARC 2015




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