All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
“The story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die”
Theodore Finch is a boy who wants to take his own life and counts how many days he has been awake for.
Violet Markey is left devastated by her sisters death and counts down the days until graduation.
But how do these two meet? On the edge of their school bell tower ready to jump and end it all. As a result a friendship between the two begins to develop in a strange and interesting way.
Word of warning… This book may be triggering for some who have or are dealing with a form of mental illness.
Theodore, better known to most at school as “freak” is definitely one on his own. He could count the amount of friends he has on one hand, he practically just has 2 in total. He has a broad knowledge of facts about suicide and a bank of quotes stored in his brain from various people’s suicide notes. He’s different, but not in a bad way. He’s a character that is pretty hard to explain, maybe because he doesn’t really know who he is himself. He doesn’t really see much point to living, but this becomes rather hard to believe since he finds himself teaching Violet about how to learn to live again.
Violet was once a fairly popular cheerleader with a boyfriend who most girls could only dream of dating. She once used to love writing and attending social events, that was until the death of her sister. Since then she isolated herself from most people, her friends, boyfriend and her parents who have now become more protective of her. She quit cheerleading and stopped writing. She’s not lonely but you get the sense that she feels alone. That is until she meets Theodore, who begins teaching her how to live again.
“He says, “Lovely” is a lovely word that should be used more often.”
This story takes you on an adventure with Theodore and Violet since they are paired up to do a school project together about Wandering Indiana. All the Bright Places deals with issues like suicide, abuse, family loss, mental illness, but also explores the theme of hope. All the Bright Places is very well written and it is a lovely story that you just need to read! It’s tense, moving, electrifying and at some points way too hard to put down. If you enjoyed Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell then you will almost certainly enjoy this as there are many similarities. I did feel like there was also some similarities to Paper Towns by John Green. It is probably the most powerful book that I have read to date. This is now my favourite book and it is filled with some lovely quotes!
“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting…”
This book is recommended for people 14+ and as a 19 year old I can see why this is seen as an appropriate age as the important factors this book deals with, are likely to occur around that age, but I can’t help but think it should be 16+.
If you’ve already read this book then please let me know your opinion of it in the comments!
Are there any books similar that you would recommend?