SPOILERS AHEAD. STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED THE BOOK.
Blurb: 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. It’s only together they can be themselves…
It’s only together they can be themselves…
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?
The Story: I have this rule about not reading a book when it’s popular and everybody’s raving about it because it usually leads to me being disappointed and not being able to give the book a fair chance since I already know what happens in it.
All The Bright Places made me break my rule, but it lived up to its hype.
It isn’t exactly light, and in places the story is grim, but it doesn’t shy away from suicide and mental health stigmas, so that on its own makes the book worthy of the praise it’s been receiving.
Finch: His first appearance in the book is in the school’s bell tower where he’s contemplating jumping off. But he assures you isn’t for the purpose of killing himself, which immediately makes you want to learn more.
What does he mean when says he’s Awake? Why is killing himself a solution?
He meets Violet before he can do anything, and she’s on the ledge for a completely different purpose, so he uses keeping her alive as the distraction which will keep him Awake.
But as the story progresses, you get the impression that there’s more to it than him being Awake and Asleep, and his counselor confirms it by suggesting that he might Bipolar Disorder, or Manic Depression, and the label is enough to send Finch into more of a downward spiral.
Violet: You first meet Violet through Finch’s perspective, and she comes across as lost. She was friends with the popular girls but when her sister died, she retreated in on herself, and now she’s trying to find out who she is without her sister and their website.
The chapter when she returns her sister’s glasses and tears down her countdown of the days left until graduation was the perfect culmination of the build-up and recovery she’d been making since Finch started trying to bring her out of her shell.
Violet’s slow recovery and what led up to it has definitely made me a fan of Jennifer Niven.
Would I Recommend?: Definitely.
It’s not light reading, but it’s definitely up on the list with The Fault In Our Stars and Papertowns and I’ll Give You The Sun.
All opinions in this review are mine. I am not being paid. I just love books.