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All the Bright Places Paperback – 7 January 2015
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From the Publisher
A compelling and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.
All the Bright Places
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. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love? An intense, gripping novel, perfect for fans of John Green, Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman and Jenny Downham
About the Author
- Publisher : Penguin (General UK); 1st edition (7 January 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0141357037
- ISBN-13 : 978-0141357034
- Reading age : 12 - 16 years
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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this book is a much needed reminder that we are not alone no matter how alone we feel.
A beautiful story of violet and finch and their love, reminding us that people can still love you even if you don't love yourself.
Read as part of the Zoella Book Club
By soph on 17 August 2021
Top reviews from other countries
It deals with difficult issues of loss and surviving and left me in a puddle of tears, but I would recommend this book to anyone, it gives hope to those who have suffered loss.
I read lots of books but this had such an impact I think I'll have to have a few days of mourning before picking up another.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story Jennifer Niven.
The story starts where finch is on the bell tower attempting to suicide and violet comes their and saves his life and becomes the hero of the school after this, even though violet is also willing to kill herself due to death of her sister Eleanor one year back, both violet and fich get into a school project being a partner and they wander different amazing places across indiana and gradually violet learns to live from the boy who wants to die, both are in love and wandering but finch is not well with his suicide attempts and one day they found swollen death body of finch in lake and violet shatters again but she completes the project with the traces of finch.
They don’t, and that’s the mainspring of the story.
Niven tells it powerfully, through the voice of each of the two in turn, not always in strict alternation, but always one or the other taking the narrative on or commenting on the same events from another point of view. They frequently use the present tense, giving the events they describe a powerful immediacy. It’s a tribute to Niven’s skill that she was able to create two distinct and believable voices in this way, and let them interplay so effectively.
The first voice we hear is that of Theodore Finch, known as Finch, but by the many who dislike him in his high school as Theodore the Freak. There is a hint of why he’s viewed as freaky when he tells us ‘I don’t remember climbing up here. In fact, I don’t remember much of anything before Sunday, at least not anything so far this winter. This happens every time – the blanking out, the waking up… I can’t tell you what was different this time around, only that when I woke up, I felt deader than usual. Awake, yeah, but completely empty, like someone had been feasting on my blood.”
Finding out just what he means by being asleep or awake is the main discovery we make about Finch as we work our way through the book.
Violet Markey, on the other hand, is popular with everyone. She had, indeed, been a cheerleader until her life was blighted by a single, stark, shocking event for which she blames herself and with which she can’t come to terms. It is her pain that drives her, too, up to the top of the bell tower where she will find Finch, starting the relationship in which they learn so much about and from each other.
At first, I was concerned about what kind of book I was going to read, not least because it was recommended to me by my thirteen-year old granddaughter. I wasn’t sure we had the same taste. Was this merely another of those cookie-cutter high-school kid stories? Young people at the end of their school days coming to terms with the urges that overtake adolescents, with the responsibilities of entering the adult world, with the hopes and disappointments around them? Were we going to get lots about makeup and baseball and love and sex in long conversations in coffee shops?
But 'All the Bright Places' only shares its background with those boilerplate tales. It is something far deeper and far more compelling: an account of two young people trying to deal, in completely different ways, with two different types of suffering; of their finding joy and hope and disappointment and despair; of handling them with humour and wit and insight. It’s an immensely funny, deeply poignant and strongly inspiring book which tells us a great deal about much we need to understand, while both entertaining and moving us as it does so.
Above all, it’s well worth reading. My granddaughter was right.
I just couldn't find myself connecting to the characters in the same way that I have with other love stories. Violet especially felt very underdeveloped, and I just couldn't bring myself to care about her relationship with Finch as much as I could have.
The story was obviously intended to be an emotional read, but I just didn't get there. It is great that the authour is talking about mental health, but I just felt that with a bit more depth it could have had a much bigger impact.
I won't cover the plot, nor will I go into much detail. It's not necessary. What I can tell you, as someone who sometimes enjoys a light YA read (at 29yrs old), has a long and continued history with mental health problems and who - much to my regret - rarely find books which pull me in and take me down with them, this one took me by surprise and ended up drawing me into a world which felt familiar and yet so wonderfully created to seem new.
The novel covers mental health, that much is obvious, and the intricacies some sufferers find themselves tangled within; it offers to the reader two young people with very different lives who connect and create a deep (and beautifully cultured by Ms. Niven) bond through difficult and sometimes dark circumstances, likeable characters who I came to love deeply by the end (particularly Finch, whom I could identify with on almost every level); it also brings a sense of hope amidst all of the gritty, complicated corners, even when you don't expect it to.
I was charmed, to the point where I bought it yesterday, finished it last night and am going to read it again after I finish this review. What can I say? Ms. Niven's easy, flowing prose and the exquisite twisting of this story have me sold entirely.
Take a risk if you're looking for an easy read with a lot of bite. Go into it with no expectations, and come out of it wishing for so much more, in so many ways.
A final word: take care reading if you've experienced bereavement of a close family member, mental health issues or suicide ideation. It can cut a little close to the bone at times, even for a YA novel.