Sunday, January 11, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: All The Bright Places


This is a book review for All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Theodore Fimch is obsessed with death and is constantly looking for ways to 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 grief over her sister's 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.

It took me a bit to get into this book. I am not sure why, maybe it took a while to fully connect to the characters. Maybe it's also because people kept saying it was a cross between Eleanor & Park and The Fault In Our Stars. I really loved Eleanor and Park so it's a hard sell to compare it to that. But once I connected to these characters, I really connected. This is a story of Finch and Violet. Finch is obsessed with death while Violet is recovering from a car accident where she survived. but her sister didn't. At first, I didn't care for Finch because he kept pushing Violet to do things that she wasn't ready to do, like ride in a car or deal with her sister's death. Then I realized just why Finch was the way he was and I also realized that Violet needed these pushes. Everyone else in her life was letting her just skate by and not deal with anything. I won't give any spoilers, but I figured out why Finch was the way he was and it wasn't hard to deduce what the ending would be. This did not take away from the story though. I could tell by the chapter headings that they were helping each other. At first, Violet was counting down the days until graduation. So the title of every chapter was the number of days until "freedom." Somewhere through the middle of the book though, she stopped counting. She wasn't waiting to escape her town and the memories of her sister's death. She was living and enjoying the present and her relationship with Finch. This is such a moving and heartbreaking story about depression and mental illness. I started this book yesterday (Saturday) and wasn't expecting to feel a sense of urgency to finish it. But then I started reading a bit before going to bed at 10pm (as I usually do). Cut to me at midnight, still awake because I can't possibly go to sleep until I finish Violet and Finch's story. I ended the night sobbing in bed. This was such a powerful story and completely worth all the hype.

I give this book a 4/5.

13 comments :

  1. This book made me sob as well when I least expected it, it was so beautiful the way they kind of saved each other. Wonderful review Cynthia, I'm glad you loved the book.

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    1. Thanks so much Jeann. I'm glad you enjoyed it as well!

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  2. I love books that hook you in that much. Looks like everyone is loving this book! I need to read it soon :)

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    1. Yes Trish you should, it is worth the hype.

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  3. Yeah I wasn't a huge fan of the E&P and TFIOS comparison--that is actually something that puts me off a book, to be honest. I loved this book in the end, like you! It's such a beautiful and heartbreaking story, I have to get myself a hard copy of this!

    Great review, Cynthia <33

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    1. Thanks a lot Melanie. And I really think people should stay away from comparisons, especially when the books they are being compared to are so great. I'm glad I enjoyed it in the end.

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  4. I did not like the ending :( Just finished this today and, humm, a bit disappointed. Enjoyed overall but it did not end up being the incredible book people were describing. Couldn't connect with Finch. Anyhow, I'm glad you liked it!!

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    1. Lola, it took me a bit to connect with Finch as well, but then I started to get him. Maybe because I have a history of some depression. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it.

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  5. I wish I didn't read spoilers for this book. I suck.

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    1. Joyous Reads, spoilers suck! You need to refrain. Haha. I will say that I had a feeling what the ending would be but it didn't distract me from the story. I would still recommend it.

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  6. I got this and than my daughter came over and borrowed it. Boo, hopefully I will get to read it soon. Good to know you enjoyed it.

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    1. kimbcaffeinate, man I hope your daughter gives it back soon. It was so good!

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  7. I like slow reads that pick up quickly and pull you in. The books sounds fascinating. Your review is great!

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