Book review: All the Bright Places

Title: All the Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

Published: 2015

Pages: 378

Price: £5.99 from Waterstones

ISBN: 9780141357034


Brief summary:

Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. Violet Markey is devastated by her sister’s death. They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. 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?


Theodore Finch is labelled as weird, crazy and stupid but he’s actually just a sort-of messed up boy trying to find his identity. Throughout the book we see him changing his style and the way he acts, going from 80’s kid Finch to Badass Finch, something teens would be able to relate to. Another thing about Finch is his mental state. We see him talking about periods in his life where he blacks out and within the chapter titles from his perspective we see him counting the days. The way Niven deals with this topic and how she shows his mental illness is interesting. Finch’s own family don’t seem to care for him or how his illness affects him, his mother – for example – can’t even care for her kids properly. As a reader, this makes me sympathise with the character so much more and I spent the entire book willing him on.

Violet Markey is your stereotypical popular girl; pretty and dating the most popular. Her life was perfect until 2 years ago when her sister died in a car accident. Violet was also in the car and survived – she blames herself for her sister’s death. As a character she is essential. Although some people may dislike Violet, I love her. The story of loss is something everyone can relate to. Her relationship with Finch is something I find beautiful and, although I can find some ‘love stories’ to be quite cringe worthy, this is not one of them. You can clearly see how Violet’s life has changed and how her problems are taking over her life – sure, they’re not on the same level as Finch’s but their relationships shows how 2 people can help one another through difficult times.

And then we have the ending – I cried. I cried a lot. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that’s make me feel like this and it’s definitely earned it’s place among my favourite books. And then the author’s note. You finally understand why the story is so realistic and dealt with in such a respectful way – because the author has experienced a lot of thing that happened in the novel. Another great feature of the book is the websites and phone numbers given at the end to help people in similar situations. I hope this book helps other people as much as it helped me.

My rating: 5/5


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