All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Book Review)
Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.
About the book
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful 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 die. 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.
As you see above in the book description, All the Bright Places is being compared to The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park. I haven't read Eleanor and Park (yet. it IS on my Kindle and I plan on it soon) but I found it to be more like another John Green book, Paper Towns. It is a love story, but mostly it is a story about adolescence dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide. There is definitely some tough subject matter, but I think it is good to get this conversation going. There are so many kids out there dealing with these feelings and maybe this book will show them that they are not alone. It breaks my heart to be inside of Finch's head. On the surface, he is such a likable person, but because people think he is weird because of rumors they have heard they don't even take the time to get to know him. His thoughts are often of death, he is definitely preoccupied. When he meets Violet, she brings a little bit of light back into his life and the same could be said of her for him. I enjoyed seeing their relationship unfold, but this was a very heavy book. If your teen wants to read it, I suggest reading it as well and having a discussion about it. Suicide is a difficult subject, but touches so many. This is a tough, but very good read. It has already been optioned as a movie with Elle Fanning signed on to play Violet. I think it will be very interesting to see who ends up playing Finch. He will need to have some fantastic range in his acting skills. I will be looking forward to it.
About the author-
All the Bright Places is Jennifer Niven’s first book for young adult readers, but she has written four novels for adults—American Blonde, Becoming Clementine, Velva Jean Learns to Fly, and Velva Jean Learns to Drive—as well as three nonfiction books—The Ice Master, Ada Blackjack, and The Aqua-Net Diaries, a memoir about her high school experiences. Although she grew up in Indiana, she now lives with her fiancé and literary cats in Los Angeles, which remains her favorite place to wander. For more information, visit JenniferNiven.com, GermMagazine.com, or find her on Facebook.