Book Review: All The Bright Places

This book disrupted my sleep schedule, left me sobbing, and enveloped me in empathy.

So often when reading a book it is the plot, story line, or some narrative point that pulls me into its pages, but in All the Bright Places, it was the characters.

From the first few paragraphs I cared deeply about Finch and Violet. I kept reading because I wanted to get to know and understand them.

A story of an unlikely pair of teens falling in love is not untold in YA contemporary novels, however, Jennifer Niven takes that plot point and turns it into her canvas. She paints in brilliant colors and frightening darkness, and you won’t want to look away.

This book never lies to its readers--from the very first page it is transparent. It challenges you to trust that even if what lies in its pages may be dark, or painful, or difficult, it is also lovely, and worthy of expereincing.

In her Author’s Note, Jennifer Niven says that she once knew a boy like Finch. She shares personal experiences with the damaging stigmas around mental health, statistics, and resources. That is what makes this book, this story, so significant. It is beautiful, and heart wrenching, and poetic, but it is also educational. It gives the reader both an intellectual and emotional understanding of what these characters, and people in our own lives like them, are feeling and experiencing.

FINCH

The fact is, I was sick, but not in an easily explained flu kind of way. It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other recognizable disease just to make it simple for me and also for them.
— All The Bright Places. Page 16
VIOLET

I love the world that is my room. It’s nicer in here than out there, because in here I’m whatever I want to be. I am a brilliant writer. I can write fifty pages a day and I never run out of words...I am fearless. I am free. I am safe.
— All The Bright Places. Page 53

Rating: 5/5

Mood: Love may not be able to save us, but it will change us. 

Fans of: Perks of being a Wallflower, Looking for Alaska, Eleanor and Park.