Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Date Started: April 20
Date Finished: April 21
Format: Hardcover from my local library
I don’t know where to even begin with this book. I’m sure a lot of people are going to say it’s similar to this book or this book, and I think they’re right, but… All the Bright Places is something else entirely.
You follow the story of Violet and Finch (Theodore Finch) as their lives are thrown together thanks to one instance at the top of the bell tower. Finch is up there because he thinks about committing suicide a lot. He’s barely been in school and sleeps a lot. But he’s surprised when he sees Violet up there with him. She’s up there because she lost her older sister Eleanor the year before. She’s been wanting to get back to normal, but she just can’t. However, once she gets up there she freezes and can’t get back down. Finch helps her and makes it into a huge story that it was her who was helping him off the ledge. He becomes interested in her and volunteers to be her partner for a US Geography project.
This project is what keeps these two together and helps them (mostly) through the hard times. Before they met, Violet was counting down the days to graduation. She was afraid to be in a car (because of the accident) and rode her bike everywhere. And her one talent – to write – has seemed to disappear. She has extenuating circumstances that let her get away with it, but eventually she knows that has to stop. Thanks to this project with Finch, she gets into a car and gets back her ability to write. She even starts to plan a new magazine. Finch though, doesn’t really benefit from their friendship/love. Oh, it keeps him grounded for a little bit longer than he’s used to, but eventually he crashes and this time he doesn’t get back up.
Do not read this book in public, especially if you get overly emotional. I know I shouldn’t have gotten so attached to these characters, but I just couldn’t help it. I got attached to Violet and I got attached to Finch. So when Finch’s body was found I was a wreck (not something I should be at work, eh?) even though I should have seen it coming. As I stated above this book did remind me a lot of other books. Violet and Finch’s relationship reminded me of Hazel Grace and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars with how fragile each of them was, and when Finch disappears it reminded me a lot about Paper Towns. But unlike that book, I was really sure that this one wasn’t going to have a happy ending. Even though I did hope otherwise.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A powerful read about how two people tried to save each other and only one succeeded. I wish that the book would have focused more on Violet post Finch’s death, but after she saw all the spots on the map I kind of understand why the book finished. But I’m still curious to know what happened to her afterwards did she end up going to UCLA? And then transferred to NYU in the spring? And what about her new magazine? Did she ever get it going?
Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library and don’t forget the tissues!