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 down 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?
What can you say about All the Bright Places? Sometimes a book comes along that is so beautiful that describing it defies words. However, I shall give it a try.
All the Bright Places is a classic boy meets girl book, however, it has a contemporary twist. Imagine, just like Violet did, meeting the boy you are destined to fall in love with when you are both contemplating suicide by jumping off a building. This is not exactly the norm. Consequently, what it does highlight is the ever growing numbers of teen suicide and also how difficult it is in a high school environment (or any environment really) to ask for help when you are struggling mentally or emotionally.
What is beautiful about Violet and Finch’s relationship is that it shows how help and comfort can come from the most unlikely of places. It also shows the cruelty of school children. If only one person reads this book and changes the negative way that they act towards another person then Jennifer Niven has done a remarkable job.
When reading All the Bright Places you will laugh, you will cry but most of all you will fall in love with a beautiful friendship that is formed in the face of adversity.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is available now.
You can follow Jennifer Niven (@jenniferniven) on Twitter.