All The Bright Places Book Review
Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Mental Health
Format: Paperback, 378 Pages
Source: Personal Copy
"You are all the colours in one, at full brightness"
- Theodore Finch, 172
All The Bright Places is a heartbreaking young adult novel by Jennifer Niven about two teens, both with different personalities, who meet at the top of a bell tower. Neither of them know if they intended to jump or not, but they both end up climbing off the ledge. Finch is the 'freak' and Violet is the popular girl at school; each have personal struggles they believe can't be fixed. Out of luck, they wind up as partners for a project to explore the 'natural wonders' of Indiana. On this journey, Violet begins to get over the death of her sister but Finch is falling backwards. Each goes through measures for one another, but maybe it is just not enough.
I've been wondering how to rate this book for a while, and I have settled on 4 stars. All The Bright Places was emotional and very engaging read; so much so I was able to read it in two sittings. This book was very smart and well written. It was easy to follow and understand and I love a good book with quotes that mean something. Jennifer Niven has also incorporated real life problems and serious subjects into this novel and a reminder for teens that if you ever think you need help, you should look for it because it is there and you are not alone. It was written in a dual perspective between Finch and Violet with light, humorous, and sometimes meaningful, dialogue. I also love how the characters in the novel didn't fall into instalove but actually developed a relationship throughout the book.
The plot of this book is pretty simple but it's genius. Every little thing that happens all relates and contributes to the ending of the book. I was unsure of what to expect about the story and sort of went into it without knowing what would happen and I think that made my experience of the novel better. Jennifer Niven used clever clues to hint things throughout the book and I was completely oblivious to it. This is why I really enjoyed the book; the fact that everything was there but at the same time it wasn't. I think it gave the book a slight dramatic and touching effect. The incorporation of adventure, romance and even a bit of mystery into the plot also made All The Bright Places a great read.
Both characters were quirky and unique, and equally messed up. The amount of times I caught myself smiling because of Finch was too many to count. I completely fell in love with his character. On the other hand, I did not hate Violet but I didn't love her. I personally thought she was bland and lacked compared to Finch. In the light of that, both their personalities did make for some funny and enjoyable moments. Also, I did find the characters were slightly unrealistic but their motives were justifiable and they melded well with the plot.
As cheesy as the book sounds, I loved it and it has changed me. If you are a fan of The Fault In Our Stars, I recommend this book because they are very similar plot-wise. I'd also like to mention the Author Notes and how it addressed suicide and mental illness. I gave this book a 4 stars because although there were flaws in the characters, the narrative was amazing and very well written. Overall, I thought this book was heart-warming, emotional, intelligent and lovely. A must read.