All the Bright Places

Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places
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All the Bright Places

Jennifer Niven

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park, All the Bright Places is a compelling and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

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.

An intense, gripping YA novel, perfect for fans of John Green, Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman and Jenny Downham.

Review

Theodore Finch first meets Violet Markey on the ledge of the school bell tower. Violet is up there grieving for her sister, who was killed in a car accident. Theodore has gone up to see what the tower would be like to jump from. He discovers that it scares him. Neither is sure they want to keep living. Theodore believes he is ‘broken’ and ‘can’t be fixed,’ while Violet doesn’t know how to act now that she is a ‘survivor’. However, together they make a team, creating memories and ‘perfect days’ that they hope can last forever. But Theodore still has black moments that he can’t escape and Violet doesn’t know what to do to help him.

All the Bright Places is about suicide and mental illness and for this reason should not be overlooked by parents. The writing is magnificent. The book is funny, sad, inspiring and devastating – I could go on. I feel this is a really important book for young adults because mental illness is still too hidden in our society. Parents, read this and then talk with your teens about it, and young adults, read this, it’s brilliant.

For ages 14 and up.


Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.

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