Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review: All The Bright Places

All the Bright Places
Published By: Knopf
Publication Date: January 8, 2015
Page Count: 384
Source: Review Copy Kindly Provided by Penguin Random House UK Children's
Genre: Young Adult - Realistic Fiction (Includes suicide, mental illness)

Theodore Finch, also known as Theodore Freak is Awake. He’s been Asleep for quite a while, and he’s worried about how long he will stay Awake this time. He’s always been a bit different, so when he talks the beautiful and popular Violet Markey down from the edge of the school bell tower, everyone naturally assumes it’s the other way around. She is viewed as a hero, and his reputation as a freak is further entrenched. When they are paired up in class on an assignment to discover the attractions the state of Indiana has to offer, Violet is sure it will be a disaster. Finch knows that it will be amazing. 

Grieving for the sister she lost in a car accident, Violet is hiding from life. The line, “I’m not ready,” gets her out of doing a lot of what she doesn’t want to do, but Finch won’t let her get away with it. 

Finch spends a lot of time researching methods of suicide. It is more a case of when and how than if, and he’s constantly asking himself whether today is the day. 

 The chapters alternate first person viewpoints from each of the characters, and this allows us to understand each of their thought processes. Theodore is counting the days he’s been Awake, and Violet is counting down to graduation when she can leave Indiana and go somewhere it never snows. 

It takes time for Finch to break through Violet’s resistance, but when he does, their relationship develops in a sweet and wonderful way. Their journey through Indiana allows them to see the amazing in the mundane, and appreciate the everyday wonders. 

 I really want to say more, but to do so would be to include spoilers, which I want to avoid, so I will just say that this book deals with some pretty serious issues. At times it made me happy, it made me weep and it made me angry. The issues are dealt with the utmost sensitivity and realism. Although incredibly sad in places, there is nothing maudlin about the book. The characters and their feelings are respected in the telling of the story. All the Bright Places is a difficult book, but it is an important book for that reason. I have so much more to say about it, but again, spoilers.



The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
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.
 
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

13 comments:

  1. This is a book I am so excited about reading! The characters sound interesting and unique, the plot saddening and it looks like it is extremely well written. Gimme!

    Check out my post: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2015/01/plot-in-your-story-guest-post.html

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Olivia, I hope you enjoy it!

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  2. I think this will be a crying fest for me! It sounds like it has really good character development and emotional journeys. I can't wait to read this one and you did a lovely review of it!

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    1. Thanks Renee, it is such a good read, I know you'll enjoy it!

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  3. I loved this book, though I do think it was a bit overhyped. The characters and situations will break your heart.

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    1. I read it early, so there wasn't too much hype at the time. It's definitely a tear jerker.

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  4. I'm pretty sure this is one of those books I saw one day and decided to add to my TBR list...a few months ago...never got to reading it...and I haven't read The Fault In Our Stars OR Eleanor and Park...so hmm...I should get to reading these soon...thanks for the review!

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    1. Both great books. So many books, so little time!

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  5. I haven't heard of this book before. It sounds really emotional, and I like books that make me want to connect with the characters.
    Dianna

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    1. It made me really angry in parts (at the parents and teachers in particular). Sometimes I wanted to give the characters a good shake, but I definitely connected.

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  6. This looks like such an amazing, emotional book and I can't wait to read this!

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  7. Well I do enjoy John Green books so this might work for me too then!

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