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February 27, 2015

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication date: January 6, 2015

Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary/Realistic Fiction)
Source: Unsolicited copy
Format: ARC 
Pages: 388
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.
All the Bright Places broke me. I managed to read it during a buddy single sitting read. I could not put the book down and by the end of it my face was a hot mess. I couldn't breathe through my nose or read through the tears. This book was heartbreaking, beautiful, breathtaking, emotional, and full of life, hope, and dreams. I went into it knowing so many people loved it, and quite frankly I now completely understand their obsessive love and how this book, that wasn't even on my radar before I received it on my doorstep, is the next big contemporary novel. It doesn't hurt that it already got picked up for a movie and is in the middle of casting. 
I have never read a point of view like Finch's. I daren't close my eyes for one second in fear of being left behind with his running thoughts. If I had one word to describe his chapters it would be exhilarating. It was so hard trying to catch up to him. I was fascinated and completely immersed during his chapters. Jennifer Niven made everything so damn believable, and truly captured the way writers should write about mental illnesses. Finch's character is so strange and beautiful and you can't help but fall in love with him. I know my friend and I did. As for Violet, I felt she is sometimes overshadowed by Finch in reader's eyes but I really enjoyed her chapters too. Some people said it was unnecessary to have a dual POV but I believe seeing everything and Finch through Violet's eyes is really an eye opener for the readers. Violet and Finch's story is tragically beautiful. The struggle they both go through is so real that you can't help but root for them and wish them eternal happiness. I have not fully connected with book characters as much as I did with those two for a while. 
All the Bright Places deserves all the praise it got. It is its own book and comparing it to other contemporaries truly doesn't do it justice. It is the story of two unlikely teens getting together and fighting their own battles while trying to pursue happiness. It isn't the cookie cutter tragic teen story, I hope it is the start for the redefining of realistic contemporary YA fiction. Teens are people and they are all unique and different. Only when we start telling each of their stories can we really understand the complexity of life and people around us. All the Bright Places taught me that and so much more. To give you an indication of how loved this book is, I read this for a book club where out of the five people, four of them gave this book the full 5 stars. 
 

9 comments:

  1. Hi :)
    I'll probably read this next month! I'm SOO excited! The hype around this book is HUGE and I truly belived it totally deserves it, I'm sure of it! *-*

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  2. All The Bright Places was my absolute favorite read of January. It rightly earned my first five star review of the year. I have recommended it to absolutely everyone!
    -Monica @ Tomes Project

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  3. Man, All the Bright Places was definitely a ridiculously feels inducing read. I feel like the author did a really fantastic job of differentiating the voices of our two POV characters, and that made it so much easier to empathise with them! :)

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  4. Gorgeous review Juhina. <3 I'm a bit unsure about this book, as I have heard things I won't like :p but I also think it sounds pretty interesting. And you do make it seem pretty amazing :D I'm so so happy that you loved this book so much sweetie. <3 Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it :)

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  5. Yep, love this book. I agree that it deserves all the hype and so much more. :)

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  6. I reviewed this book too, and I think we should join forces in our pain. I am still mourning... for like, 2 months now

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  7. I'm sad to say that I won't be reading this one... probably never. I know it's a favorite of yours and like the entire blogging world, but I can't! Ahhh. The pain. It sounds lovely and heartbreaking and I just can't deal with it! LOL :D Awesome review, Juhina! :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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  8. Eek! I want to read this one, but I'm not sure I can handle the hurt of it! I didn't realize it had been optioned to be a movie, but maybe I can handle that better...

    I love when books live up to their hype! Great review Juhina!
    Rachel @ Paper Cuts

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  9. I've heard nothing but good things about this book. It seems like most people ended up with heart-break and I must admit that I'm very curious about this story now.

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