All The Bright Places
by Jennifer Niven
Published: 8th January 2015
They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins.
It’s only together they can be themselves…
But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?
My first thought when I sat down with this book was ‘will it live up to the hype’? I’ve seen this book countless times on Booktube, book blogs and even the popular Youtuber, Zoella, mentioned it to her 9 million viewers. As she rarely mentions books on her channel, and she’d raved about this one – I finally caved and bought it. I began reading it very early in the morning, at around 3.45am. I couldn’t sleep and had to be at work for 5.30am. I picked this one for my next read hoping it’d also pull me out of a reading slump. Let me tell you, it certainly did!
I loved this book from the very first sentence. ‘Is today a good day to die?’ – I mean, that’s one eye catching start if you ask me. It had a really solid and engaging beginning and before I knew it I’d read 4 or 5 chapters and was forcing myself to put this book down and set off to work. I quickly fell in love with the characters, and was very intrigued by the premise. As you can see from the blurb, we follow Theodore Finch as he contemplates ending his life on top of the school’s bell tower. This is where he meets Violet Markey, who is coming to terms with the death of her sister.
Powerfully written characters will stay with you long after you turn the final page, and I have a feeling these will stay with me for a very long time. I loved them both, especially Theodore – he has a very dark sense of humour, and it’s one that I really enjoyed reading. He’s quite blunt and sometimes callous, but as he developed throughout the novel – particularly with Violet in his life, I found myself grinning like a loon. Violet didn’t gel with me from the beginning but she blossomed with Theodore, and I felt I could relate with her by the end of the novel.
You could imagine from the blurb description that this book is one that deals with a lot of issues. Mental health is still something that has negativity surrounding it, so much so that it forces people to deal with their inner struggles on their own. The author has done a remarkable job of highlighting the horrible stigma that surrounds suicide, and those that are suffering with mental health issues. I’ve come away from this book with a deeper understanding of this, and it genuinely brought me to tears. The plot is at times heart wrenching, but the author weaves funny and beautiful moments through the heart ache to create a superb plot.
No book review will ever do this book justice, it’s got to be something you read and appreciate on pure faith. Please trust me when I say you need to add this book to your TBR pile. Despite the age of the characters, and that it’s considered ‘YA’ – I think a lot of people can engage with this book and take a lot away from it. I hear this book is being adapted for screen, which I can’t wait to see. As I was reading it, I did feel that it would work well for that medium so I was overjoyed to see that the author was writing a screenplay.
Very highly recommend this book. A superb novel – a ‘remarkeyable’ novel.