Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Penguin Books
Format: Audiobook and Paperback
My Rating: 5/5 stars
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.
*disclaimer: I, myself, do not have a mental illness, so all my thoughts and opinions are not coming from experience. If you suffer a mental illness and this book offended you or you don’t agree with my opinions, please kindly comment below. I would love to get more insight and knowledge of mental illnesses, and your stories are important. Just want to put that out there:)*
“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.”—
All The Bright Places left me in tears. It made me giggle, bawl my eyes out, and it ripped my heart out of my chest. I loved this novel so much, and after it being on my TBR for over a year, I’m glad I finally read it! It was such an emotional story about mental health, love, life and death, and I cannot stop thinking about it, even after I put the book down and closed the last page. All The Bright Places has made a massive impact on me, and how I view life, and I cannot recommend it enough!
I had ups and down with all the characters in this novel. All of them had so many flaws, and that made me love them and care for them even more. Violet and Finch were my favourites and they were just too cute to handle!! Their wanderings were my highlights of the day, and their chemistry was strong. I also loved reading in both points of view; unlike many, I don’t mind and sometimes enjoy multiple perspective books! I especially loved the voice actors in the audiobook. They did a fantastic job and they made the story come to life.
Mental Illness and Death
Mental illness plays a big part in this novel. A main character has bipolar disorder – when one has mood swings that go from depressingly low to manic high – and they do not seek help. I think this is an important issue to talk about because as teenagers, we usually think we can do a lot of things ourselves, when in reality, we might need help. It’s important to know that it’s okay to ask and seek help and to know that you are not alone. All The Bright Places explores the consequences of not seeking the help you need, and I was upset and somewhat annoyed that that character did not listen to the people who cared from them and find help.
All The Bright Places was not cliche in the sense that one did not get “cured” with love. The character with the mental illness didn’t get better, and in fact got worse, as the two characters fell in love. I like that Jennifer Niven did that because it is not realistic.
Now coming from experience, I think Niven did a great job in portraying what it feels like to lose someone close and important in your life. I related to Violet whenever she talked about missing Eleanor, and found Violet thinking the same things as I did. And to see the family suffer and cry together brought tears to my eyes because it reminded me of my own family. It was all too real, but in a good and memorable way.
And to end on a more lighter note, let’s talk about the writing. I liked Niven’s writing style a lot! There were many quotes I loved and I wish I’d sticky-noted them because I’ve forgotten which pages they were on. The humour made me laugh out loud and giggle. It’s now making me want to read Holding Up The Universe!
All The Bright Places was a remarkable (Remarkey-able in fact!) novel that left me in tears, but satisfied me in the end. Definitely putting this on my list for IMPORTANT REREADS!
What are your thoughts on All The Bright Places? Did you think it was a good representation of mental illness and suicide? If you have a story about your experiences with mental illness or suicide, please share them down below because every story is important and we need to spread awareness!