Author: Jennifer Niven
Publication: January 6th 2015, Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: e-ARC, 400 pages
Source: From the author (THANK YOU JENNIFER!)
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | iBooks | Kobo | National Book Store / Fully Booked (PH)
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.
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.
I've contemplated for many days how I will actually write this review. For a week, I'd stare in front of my laptop, wishing from the heaven's above that it'd give me the right words to describe this book. There was a day that I simply lost it and my brothers kept asking why I was crying. I told them it was because of a book and they laughed at me. Even my other relatives. It was a dark day in my house.
All The Bright Places is a story of two polar opposite characters that meet halfway and find solace in each other. Theodore Finch is the kind of voice you don't get to listen to every day. He's remarkably funny, witty and perceptive of so many things that go on in the world that you simply can't pass him off as just the regular character you fall in love with then forget. He's just extraordinary. Finch is special in many ways. Violet on the other hand is a girl filled with regret, the stain of losing someone so important to her is what's allowed for her time to stop. The existence of Violet Markey is what brings balance to Finch's world and for Violet, Finch is what's brought that ray of light in her dark, closed world. But things just don't end right there.
I seriously don't know how to explain my current feelings towards the book. How it talks about mental disorders and loss is tragically beautiful. I don't think there was a page in the book that I never felt a heavy burden in my heart and told myself I should stop reading out of the sake of saving my poor, poor heart. It has been hurt by so many stories already that adding something so engrossing would completely shatter it... For now, I am currently adding a few band-aids, asking for a few stitches and waiting for the book gods to heal me.
But let's go back to Finch and Violet. The beautiful tension that they have built upon themselves is impeccable. I've laughed, I cried, I've felt I was either Violet or Finch. And when I say that I've felt I was Finch, I mean, it hits very close to home. That dark swirling feeling he's been feeling the whole time, is something I've been going through for a while. I'll talk about that soon enough. Right now, the rawness of Finch's feelings and his actions are engraved in my heart.
And as I was reading All The Bright Places, I kept telling Jennifer how the book slowly tore my heart into a thousand pieces and how every word and moment felt real and not too distant. Jennifer Niven gives readers a new perspective of wandering, finding ones drive again and also that the smallest of demons, could be the greatest adversary. There's a level of honesty that Jennifer brings into her writing that makes the whole thing so special. It comes from an experience, important to her and luckily will be important to the readers that have been affected as well as educated with this literary experience of a masterpiece. Thank you Jennifer, for bringing us Finch and Violet in your most heartfelt and in no way means to break our hearts kind of way. Well, I think the last one doesn't apply. But seriously, from the bottom of my empty, empty heart, going to be filled with other experiences of love and pain, grief and joys, THANK YOU!
I sincerely ask all Misfit booknerds to please, go to your local bookstore and find a copy of this most wonderfully profound and lovely, lovely book. And I will not hide the fact that it is currently, the best contemporary novel I have read in a very long time. Now, I think it's time to go back into my room and cry a reservoir.
P.S. Do read till the end of the book, to all the acknowledgements and the author's note. I know I have. And I know what I will do.
All The Bright Places is a special book that will be marked in your minds and in your hearts leaving you wandering, to fill maybe an emptiness you never know was there, telling you it is good to be awake... It is good to be alive. It hurts to lose people but it is good to move on and move forward, to find the perfect day. To find the brightest place.
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By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson ("If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win"), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder's sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.
In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven't stopped... I've written eight books (two of those are forthcoming), and when I'm not working on the ninth, I'm contributing to my web magazine, Germ (www.germmagazine.com), thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.