How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children’s
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.
Okay. I have to be honest…I was eagerly anticipating reading this book because it had turned up on a lot of blogs as the most amazing book to read in 2015. The hype was growing (and still is) and that always makes me excited but at the same time, incredibly nervous. I have had so much trouble with hyped books. Most of the time I build them up to be much more than they actually are and find myself in for a let down. All The Bright Places was then linked/compared to The Fault In Our Stars. A book that I enjoyed, but not as much as I expected given that pesky hype monster. So, it was with much excitement yet trepidation that I started this book…
All The Bright Places is a book about Theodore Finch and Violet Markey who are both broken individuals. They meet unexpectedly on the top of the school’s bell tower. Both of them are contemplating jumping but they manage to ‘save’ each other. A school project brings them together. They find themselves growing closer and realise that they need each other, because it is when they are together that they can truly be themselves or begin to let go of their pasts.
As you might expect from the synopsis, this book isn’t a light hearted read. It covers some incredibly heavy going topics like suicide, mental illness and grief. I love that Jennifer Niven didn’t shy way from covering those topics. She covers with them in such a real and raw way. She doesn’t hold back. I think that’s brilliant, as so many individuals have dealt or are dealing with these issues and it’s important to represent that in literature.
Violet is such an amazing character. She’s damaged, but desperately wants to heal. Violet is dealing with the aftermath of her older sister’s death in a car accident. Violet and her sister Eleanor used to run a website, but she hasn’t been writing for it since. She’s also given up cheerleading. Everything that used to define her now stands still as Violet suffers with the loss she has endured. Theodore is also a powerful character. He’s known for getting into trouble at school. He has a secret though, he’s suffering from something that affects his life and his outlook on the world. With Violet by his side, he feels happy.
I don’t want to say too much more as I’m not one for spoilers in a review. Although this wasn’t a five star read for me, it was still an incredibly powerful, honest read which I think will become a firm favourite in many collections this year.
Would I recommend it?: