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REVIEW: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Hey! So something that I'm really into but haven't featured on my blog yet is reading. I have so many books that I love and want to share my opinions on but for some reason haven't yet, so I thought it would be best to start with my favourite which is All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I haven't actually written a proper book review before so I hope this is okay and you take something from it!

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This is a compelling and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.

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?


When I first started All The Bright Places, I have to admit I didn't really get on with either of the main characters. I found Finch to be pretentious, arrogant, slightly rude and an all-round pain in the arse, and Violet just reminded me of the type of girl I hated in high school. As soon as I saw her described as "cheerleader popular" my eyes rolled back, and I was convinced I'd hate her. It was a couple of chapters in when I realised how wrong I was about Finch. Although he is an all-round pain in the arse, he's also so complex, interesting and smart. Also Violet, who is smart and a talented writer and (in my opinion) fits in way better with Finch than she ever did with the popular crowd. Both characters have a kind of fixation with death which is the main thing they have in common; Finch has suicidal thoughts and researches ways of dying whereas Violet is overwhelmed with a sense of guilt for her sister's recent death. Whilst this is what they have in common at first, it's a crazy school project set by their teacher and some slight persuasion from Finch that really brings them together.

The story is written in first person, alternating between Violet and Finch's perspectives, which isn't something I usually like but in this case I thought it worked really well with the story. It also gave a great insight into each of the characters, especially Finch as it helps us to understand his struggles with mental health through the expression of his thoughts and feelings. In terms of the writing, I'm so in love with Niven's style and there are some quotes from this book that will definitely stick with me forever. She has a new YA book coming out on October 4th and I'm really hopeful that it will live up to this wonderful novel.

It sounds dramatic, but I'd say this book has had a massive impact on my life. I've read it a couple of times now, and every time I pick it up again all the emotions I felt that first time I finished it come flooding back as strong as ever. I've tried to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but just know that there are some Very Big emotional and heartbreaking moments in this book, and I'd read with caution if you are easily affected by talks of depression and mental health issues. 

So there we have it, my first official book review. I hope you enjoyed reading, and if you've read All The Bright Places please let me know! I'd love to talk about it in more detail. I also love hearing recommendations so if you have any, feel free to leave them in the comments!

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