All The Bright Places By Jeniffer Niven

Blurb: 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.

Rating: 3.75/5

 

Where do I even begin…

This book…

This stupid book…

This damned stupid book…

It made me cry. It made me emotional. Most of all it made me angry.

It wasn’t perfect, there were parts that I hope could have been improved upon but I still liked it enough or maybe ‘liked’ isn’t the right word… I… cared for its story and characters enough for it to matter.

I had never read a book that dealt with bipolar disorder up until this one so naturally I am no expert to comment on it. But just the sheer amount of things that could have been done to avert the one thing that made it all go so horribly wrong infuriates me. Right at the back of the book it says “How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?”  What irritates me is that she doesn’t go to any length at all. No one does. That is the biggest downside of this book, something that will nag you no matter how much of your interest the story snags. No one, not Violet or Finch’s parents or his fellow students or his sisters take note of what is happening to him. No help is offered. No real effort is made.

This begins as a warm story, even with its subtle undertones of darker themes and events that had taken place prior to the opening. Written in a way that I had hope blooming left and right and center in me. Hope for Violet. Hope for Finch. And that’s the worst thing this book does in my opinion. It gives you hope only to snatch it all away at the end.

The last few chapters from Violet were the hardest to read. I could barely see past the tears blurring my vision. I had never felt pain so acute in a while even though I have read pretty amazing heavy themed books this year and now as I type this I realize it’s because that wasn’t just pain for what happened to Finch it was also anger for what happened to Violet.

Make no mistake even though I seem to rant I appreciate this book quite a lot. I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars. It’s just that it made me really emotional and really confused…I kept waiting for a better ending to come along. I kept waiting for my hopes to be resurrected. I can see why people compare it to the Fault In Our Stars, both the books provide you with an insight into what a situation that snowballs into travesty looks like, how it’s not always bad, there is light, there are bright spots…both try to give you the lesson that you survive no matter what emotional sucker punch life deals you…both leave you gasping through tears by the end. But funnily enough despite all these similarities both books are really different from each other. Not because they deal with different forms of diseases but because they tell of different struggles, of different people. Someone pointed how both the female protagonists in TFIOS and All the Bright Places have names that are also names of colors but believe me that’s where the similarities stop. The journeys showcased are entirely different, the things to be taken away are different and isn’t that what we are looking for most of the time? Similar yet different?

All in all I would recommend this book to others, especially those who want to read something about mental health issues. My only advice would be to tread with caution in this one. It’ll hurt.

PS: If this is the kind of book you, the reader, are looking for then I have a better recommendation: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga.

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