All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Publishing Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House Children's Books
Pages: 400 pages
Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
The Premise: This young-adult contemporary novel follows two characters: Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. They both meet in the most unexpected way possible: on the ledge of a bell tower. Finch is a boy who is intrigued by death and plagued with the nickname "Theodore Freak" and finding ways everyday to stay awake. Violet on the other hand has had things a bit better, until a tragic accident leaves her in grief because she loses her sister. Both from kind of ~opposite~ worlds, they meet in an unexpected way and a friendship begins to form that is quite beautiful.
My overall thoughts and review: It is hard to really write a premise for the story, because I think it is best going into this not knowing much about it. To begin with, let me say that this is my first time ever reading something by Jennifer Niven, but her writing style is just lovely. It is so ~readable~ and it immediately draws you in within the first few pages. Her ability to write from Finch's and Violet's perspectives separately is really amazing. Before getting really into the narrative of this, I just want to say that this book deals with mature subject matter - in so, that it deals with mental illnesses and suicide. I know that for some people that may be an off-putting and unsettling subject, but I think even if you aren't particularly interested in that regard, give the book a chance, it may certainly surprise you. What I really enjoyed most about the book wasn't that it was a typical romance of boy meets girl, girl meets boy, they obviously fall in love. It was more than that. In a way, they were able to both save one another and kind of gain what was lost through the time spent together. Their encounter on the ledge is strengthened when they are paired up together for a project and they spend a good majority of the book ~wandering~ and exploring and I really liked how that component of the book, of facing your fears, being brave and seeing new places solidified everything. The way their friendship developed was quite lovely, because it wasn't all beautiful, it is raw and honest. Niven gives us the full picture, even if we don't want it and I can really appreciate it. I don't wish to spoil the book for you if you haven't read it, but I like that it gave two perspectives: those suffering from mental illnesses and that of someone who is trying to support someone like that. It is incredibly important to be educated on the subject because although it may not pertain to you right this second, it may and it is important to be informed about the resources that are made available. All in all, this was a wonderful read. I finished it about 3:00am last night and I spent the majority of the night in tears over it. That isn't a bad thing, because I rarely cry with books, so it definitely means something.
In conclusion, thank you Jennifer Niven for such beautiful characters. And to anyone that is fan of young-adult contemporary fiction, be sure to check this one out!
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Random House Canada for consideration/review. All opinions are my own.