All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | Book Review

By | September 2, 2018

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | Book Review : All the Bright Places a young adult fiction is written by Jennifer Niven. The book was released in the year 2015. It revolves around the lives of Theodore Finch and Violet Markley. Soon to be a major motion picture releasing by early 2019 starring Elle Fanning.

Book Synopsis: All the Bright Places (Goodreads)

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.

All-the-Bright-Places-by-Jennifer-Niven-book-reviewViolet 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.

Book Review: All the Bright Places

“Is today a good day to die?”

“The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it’s the small things that count.”

It’s seldom I become complete mute after reading a book. It’s even rarest for me to procrastinate writing a review. This book not only gave me an incurable hangover, it also left me depressed for days. All the Bright Places made me so miserable; I honestly doubt I would ever come out of this gloom. The book from start to end was like a rusted knife embedded in my heart.

You come across very few young adult books that not only make you think but also make you feel. This book, unfortunately makes you feel too much, it’s quite unbearable. The hurt and numbness you feel after closing the book are beyond explanation.

It’s no secret that I dig for heart wrenching stories. I’m drawn to anguish just like a moth attracted to the flames. I’m quite shocked that even after a couple of days of finishing the book I’m finding it pretty hard to put my words on paper.

Don’t really know what or which part of the book really did a great number on me. It might be Theodore a boy who is having suicidal thoughts or the mind-blowing anguish quotes uttered by him. Whatever it is I’m rendered speechless.

“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”

Every quote uttered by Theodore makes you ache. You wish you could just hug that teenage boy who hails from a dysfunctional family. He is an outcast, a neglected weird child who tries on different persona hoping that might keep him ‘AWAKE’. Instantly I connected with his character. He is someone who suffers in silence… hardly anyone cared that he is having a hard time throughout the book (apart from violet, of course). He is that boy who showed what living and moving on to someone he cared for and loved. He is perfectly imperfect and I hopelessly fell for him.

Now coming to our next lead… Violet Markley. Violet has recently lost her elder sister in a car accident and is having problem with moving on in life. She is scared, guilt-ridden, missing her sister who was also her best friend and is just to surviving. She meets Theodore when both of on the ledge of the bell tower in their school. Theodore sensing violet’s odd behavior calms and convinces her to move away from the ledge. This accidental encounter and later a school’s project brings them together. This ‘wandering’ project where the school teacher asks his students to go to places and make a project of it makes Theodore and violet understand each other. They soon become friends and later lovers.

The book has a slow start but gradually builds up and becomes a page-turner. You will not even realize when the book snuck upon you. It deals with mental illness, depression and teenage suicide.


“We are all alone, trapped in these bodies and on our own minds, and whatever company we have in this life is only fleeting and superficial”

All the bright places is well executed. Why I recommend this kind of book is, we are in need of books which does not glorify mental illness or suicide. We need authors like Jennifer Niven where she showed the real pain of loss and struggles of moving on. We need stories like this where despite the loss you carry on with your life. The main why to read this book is because it tells you it is important to live your lives to the fullest.

I wish the book didn’t have this tragic ending. I wish Jennifer changed her mind and made Theodore live and grow old with Violet. I am sad when he went down he was all alone and it took time for Violet to find him. I wish someone would have slapped Mr. Finch, Theodore’s abusive father and gave an earful to Theodore’s mother who was neglectful and ignorant.

This book which happened to be my birthday present for this year will hold a very special place in my heart. This story made me write again. This Theodore made me write again and made me realize what I was missing so far!

Verdict: All the Bright Places

The book is definitely a page-turner and a cry fest. I would recommend this one ‘a must read’. I give this book all the bright sparkling stars in the sky and more!

What are you all waiting for? Grab some tissues and start with the book already!!!

Book Details

Book title: All the Bright Places.
Author: Jennifer Niven.
Language: English
Year of Publication: 2015
Publisher: Penguin
Page count: 378
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Characters: Theodore Finch and Violet Markley
Setting: Indiana, US

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