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All the Bright Places Paperback – September 13, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Violet Markey is on the ledge of her school's bell tower, six stories up, and frozen in terror. Theodore Finch, the Freak, stands on the ledge nearby. Before she can panic, he calms her down and gets her back on solid ground. He even lets everyone think she's the one who talked him out of jumping. Violet, until recently, was a popular cheerleader and Finch has a well-earned reputation for being manic, violent, and unpredictable. But Finch won't let their encounter rest. He's suddenly everywhere Violet goes and even signs her up as his partner on a "Wander the State" school project. As the two drive around Indiana, Violet begins to see the lame tourist attractions through Finch's eyes, and each spot becomes something unique and special. He pushes and challenges the protagonist, and seems to understand the effect her sister's death made on her. But though Violet begins to recover from the devastating grief that has cocooned her for almost a year, Finch's demons refuse to let go. The writing in this heartrending novel is fluid, despite the difficult topics, as Niven relays the complex thought processes of the two teens. Finch and Violet, with their emotional turmoil and insecurities, will ring true to teens. Finch in particular will linger in readers' minds long after the last page is turned. Give this to fans of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park (St. Martin's Pr., 2013), John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012), or Jennifer Hubbard's The Secret Year (Viking, 2010).—Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“At the heart – a big one – of “All the Bright Places” lies a charming love story about this unlikely and endearing pair of broken teenagers.”
— New York Times Book Review
“…this heartbreaking love story about two funny, fragile, and wildly damaged high school kids named Violet and Finch is worth reading. Niven is a skillful storyteller who never patronizes her characters – or her audience.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"In her YA debut, adult author Niven creates a romance so fresh and funny. . . The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities—and limits—of love in the face of mental illness.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The writing in this heartrending novel is fluid, despite the difficult topics… Finch in particular will linger in readers’ minds long after the last page is turned.”
—School Library Journal, starred review
"Ultimately, the book, with narration that alternates between Finch and Violet, becomes Violet’s story of survival and recovery, affirming the value of loving deeply, grieving openly, and carrying your light forward."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Have The Fault in Our Stars withdrawal? Pick up this heartrending novel about a girl who vows to live with purpose after bonding with a boy who plans to end his own life.”
— SELF Magazine
"It’s touching, vibrant, and an impressively honest depiction of depression."
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015
A Miami Herald Best Books for Children 2015
GoodReads Choice Awards 2015 Young Adult Fiction Category Winner
A TIME Top Young Adult Book of 2015
A NPR 2015 Guide to Great Reads Book
From the Hardcover edition.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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This is a story of a girl saved by the boy who couldn't be saved himself. It's such a beautiful tale. Incredibly honest, gritty, moving and profoundly affecting. Possibly life changing. Probably even life saving.
I want to tell you about the plot. About Theo and Violet. About how they met, how their lives began to intertwine with each other, wrapping themselves around one another and creating the most breathtaking symbiosis of all times. I want to tell you about their feelings - for each other, for their families, for the rest of the world. Their fears and struggles and dreams. Their wandering project, all the places they've visited, all the things they left behind, all the post it notes and their meaning. I do want to tell you about it all, but at the same time I don't. I just can't. You need to experience all that by yourself. This book demands it. There's simply no other way.
To me, this book is perfect. The more I think about it - and I do think about it a lot - the more I understand. The more I understand, the more I appreciate it. Its gentle beauty, its insightfulness and sensitivity in handling such incredibly difficult subjects, its message - everything about it is perfect. The writing style (so lyrical, so transcendental, so compelling), the literary references, the complexity and all the underlying themes and messages... You don't always see all these things right away, you don't always catch what passes between the lines, but later on, when you go back and think about certain events, the meaning of certain thoughts and conversations, it really hits you hard and renders you speechless. It knocks the air out of you, quite literally.
I'm not gonna lie to you, this book sneaked up on me. I wasn't prepared for how much this story would affect me, the pain I felt while reading the final chapters was almost physical. It weighed down on me, making it harder to breathe. I realized where this story was going and I didn't want to get there. It was excruciating. But also oddly beautiful.
What more can I tell you? Read it. You really should.
Really good overall story and genuine characters with great development. Finch grows a lot on me and Violet does a bit, too, but not really until the end. Read this book and I promise it will change the way you look at things and people and mental illness. It is no joke and Jennifer Niven does a really great job at proving this.
Sometimes a book manages a rare feat of being a combination of every wonderful thing a YA contemporary book could be all in one. All the Bright Places manages this with its heart, humor, love and depth. If I could recommend one book to anyone, it will be All the Bright Places and I can’t imagine that changing for a long time to come. It’s hard to write a review for one of the best books you have ever read, and truly All the Bright Places has earned a place among my favorite books of all time. I finished reading my ARC a few weeks ago, and yet here I am still consumed with so many thoughts, emotions and feelings about how amazing this book was. This book gets blurbed as “The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park” and while those books are great too, this book doesn’t need comparisons or propping from other YA books because it truly is so wonderfully written that it stands out all on its own, apart from anything else.
Finch and Violet captured my heart. Finch and Violet meet at the top of their schools bell tower and against all odds become friends. They come from two different worlds but that bell tower meeting connects them. They may have been up there thinking about what it would be like to just end it all, jump from that ledge; but finding each other up there changes every thing. Sure they have seen each other around school before, but they don’t know each other. Could fate have brought them both, in their own despair and grief for different reasons, to that bell tower to be together?
Violet doesn’t want to like Finch, she really doesn’t but sometimes you get no choice in who you fall for. A school project to discover the “natural wonders” of their home state of Indiana (my home state too!) brings them together yet again. They traverse Indiana for their project, but really it’s so much deeper than that. They aren’t just traveling for school, they are traveling for their lives- for the meaning they need, for the reasons to live and a reason to be together.
Finch is such an adorable guy but it’s clear that he has his own personal demons, which we see through his troubles at school and sessions with a school counselor. Violet lost her sister in a tragic death and all she wants is an escape. Together maybe, just maybe they can find what they are looking for with help from each other. Their friendship grows and Jennifer Niven’s prose absolutely captures the young love, and her words made you feel so happy and hopeful for Violet and Finch. You can just picture Finch charming Violet and making her smile, all because of how wonderful the words are that capture the moments.
Mental illness is a topic that deserves so much attention than it gets in our world and the way Jennifer Niven uses it in this book is a perfect example of the right way to discuss mental illness in fiction. Mental illness is NEVER something to be ashamed of but society has let us believe it is. Finch is afraid to get help because of the labels he knows exist. The same labels that society throws on people all the time. Jennifer Niven’s perfectly shows the problems of how mental illness is perceived in our society throughout this book. Violet and Finch meet on a bell tower where one of them is very much considering suicide. Suicide is another almost taboo topic in society because it’s so misunderstood, but Jennifer Niven shows suicide for what it often really is- a result of someone being mentally ill . Mental illness is just that an illness and I hope that people read this book and see how mental illness can and does affect people and how it affects the people around those who are suffering from a mental illness.
Jennifer Niven managed to write something unlike what I expected and yet exactly every thing I could have hoped for in a book. I feel like all my words are inadequate to express how wonderful this book truly is. This YA book had me falling in love, laughing and crying along with Violet and Finch. This book filled me with both sadness and hope. Jennifer Niven managed to get so many emotions into one book and yet it was all just right, it wasn’t too much. It was just what was needed. I want everyone to read this book and experience this ride with the beautiful prose and take the emotional journey.
Anna @ Lostbraincell's Bookish Blog
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