*may contain spoilers*
Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Penguin Books
Synopsis: “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.”
“The story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.”
All The Bright Places is about a boy and a girl, the opposites of each other, who meet on the ledge of the bell tower at their school.
Violet is one of the most popular girls in school, she has -had- an incredibly cute boyfriend, and her sister was her best friend, all until they have this huge car crash which causes Eleanor -Violet’s sister- to die and leaves Violet with permanent scars -physically and mentally-.
Theodore is not like Violet: he is not popular, he doesn’t have many friends, he does not have a cute-slash-hot-slash-popular girlfriend. He only has 2 friends in school, Charlie and Brenda, and they aren’t even close enough to call each other their “best friends”. People at school stay away from him and the it-crowd named him “the freak.”
These two characters can’t be more different-so how (and why) do they meet?
The story was beautiful. It wasn’t bullshitting about anything and was straight-to-the-point. The author approached depression and mental illnesses and suicide as they are, not something poetic and beautiful.
“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting.”
The story is told from two perspectives-Theo’s and Violet’s and this helps with the character development and all:
After they become friends, Violet learns how to let go of her fears and the demons from her past. She gets over her fears and simply learns how to live again after her sister’s death. After closing her website eleanorandviolet.com which she used with her sister, she opens a new one where she talks about the things she wants. She learns how to drive again after the horrible accident and she even manages to make more friends-and not her usual “popular and pretty and rich” type.
Theo/Finch is a little bit more complex though. He is always looking for different ways to die and how painful they will be and other things about ‘dying’. Before he can kill himself though, something small stops him, which we learn, is not enough when you keep everything bottled in and every person has a limit.
From the moment he meets Violet, he knows there is something about her that is different from all other people he’s ever known.
“You’re all the colors in one, at full brightness.”
Please remember that I am not an expert in mental illnesses and depression and I probably will make comments that are wrong or not possible and blah blah blah, I apologize for that beforehand, I don’t want to hurt anybody and sorry for my lack of knowledge.
Throughout the book, I felt like Violet was too caught up in her own problems. Finch tried his best to help her, he made her do things she (and we) thought she would never do again-what he did to her was incredible. You could see that Finch deeply cared about Violet. When it came to helping Finch, though, Violet was a little bit hesitant. Maybe it’s Finch’s fault for keeping everything locked in or maybe it’s not anyone’s fault, maybe Violet couldn’t be in a full relationship with her close ones until she was fully healed (I literally don’t know what I just wrote I’m sorry it’s 12:20 am I am sleepy I don’t know what I’m talking about and my English is dead).
The ending teared me up. I didn’t want to see Finch so helpless and … as somebody who finally gave up on life..?
So yeah, before I say something that I will regret, I’m going to end the review (And this is probably the worst review I’ve ever written). Buy the book. Or don’t. Your choice.
“I like the idea of something that can give you those feelings all the time. I want something like that, and then I look at Violet and think: There she is.”