All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning! 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. ...

Title:All the Bright Places
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

All the Bright Places Reviews

  • Wendy Darling

    I think this may end up being a

    for me; consider this a prelimary reaction as I put it on hold. I've only read a few chapters so far, but I'm

    married with a subject as serious as suicide. I mean, are we going to see self-mutilation or child abuse or domestic violence or homophobia painted with cotton candy colors next? This is one of those set-ups (girl meets boy as they're both standing on a ledge contemplating suicide, rat-a-tat precocious-funny dialog

    I think this may end up being a

    for me; consider this a prelimary reaction as I put it on hold. I've only read a few chapters so far, but I'm

    married with a subject as serious as suicide. I mean, are we going to see self-mutilation or child abuse or domestic violence or homophobia painted with cotton candy colors next? This is one of those set-ups (girl meets boy as they're both standing on a ledge contemplating suicide, rat-a-tat precocious-funny dialogue ensues) that

    film than it does in book form, as there are no soundtracks or Instagram-type filters or dizzying camera tricks to distract from the main point of the story.

    It's not that I don't think heavy topics can't be handled with a light hand (see the excellent--and hilarious--

    , and I believe pretty much every John Green novel I haven't read), but thus far I'm

    . If the book

    dealt well with the serious, no-shit implications and consequences of the acts these kids are contemplating, I might be more inclined to continue, but after chatting with my fabulous co-blogger Layla, it doesn't sound like that really ever happens--and in fact, the severe depression and

    don't sound like they're handled with satisfactory weight. She wrote a real review for the book here:

    discussing specifics if you're curious.

    I'm wondering too--

    Suicide has touched my life in ways that have forever changed me, and while I don't consider myself overly sensitive or prone to reacting to triggering material, other readers might find it easier to accept this facile treatment--or even harder, depending on your history.

    Most readers I know seem to be absolutely loving this book, though, so take our reactions with that in mind. As I have a mental block with it at this point, I'm setting it aside for now, though I'm guessing I might come back to it out of curiosity, or if the year-end awards cycle sweeps this one up in its wake. It certainly seems like just the type of book that would be prone to do that.

  • April (Aprilius Maximus)

    Seeing other people's reviews on this book that I really trust made me realise a lot of things that I don't really agree with. Right at the time I was reading this, I felt like I could really relate to the main characters and their depression and I think that's why I thought I loved it so much and why I somehow overlooked some really concerning things. It's kind of written in a way that the characters are nothing but their illnesses, if that makes any sense. It felt like there was nothing else t

    Seeing other people's reviews on this book that I really trust made me realise a lot of things that I don't really agree with. Right at the time I was reading this, I felt like I could really relate to the main characters and their depression and I think that's why I thought I loved it so much and why I somehow overlooked some really concerning things. It's kind of written in a way that the characters are nothing but their illnesses, if that makes any sense. It felt like there was nothing else to them except for their depression. That's so sad because I feel like this book was written just for the purpose of having mentally ill characters, rather than crafting a story centred around the actual characters and their personalities, ya know?

    Also, what the hell were the adults DOING in this book?! Obviously nothing, because they completed ignored what was going on instead of getting these people help. It was just really weird. The writing was nice, but other than that, I can't really see any redeeming aspects of this novel that could change my opinion back to the way it was. The hype for this book was huge and I was so caught up in the huge thing that happened at the end of this book, that I failed to see anything else. I'm really sorry if this is your favourite book or something, but people's opinions can change after a lot of deliberation and personal growth and stuff. Hope you all understand that I'm just being honest!

  • Cait (Paper Fury)

    How do I do words?! How do I

    how much I'm feeling right now? I think I could cry and sing all at once, but mostly cry. Just know this very very truthful fact:

    I can't....I just...I need a moment.

    You know how it's compared to

    and

    How do I do words?! How do I

    how much I'm feeling right now? I think I could cry and sing all at once, but mostly cry. Just know this very very truthful fact:

    I can't....I just...I need a moment.

    You know how it's compared to

    and

    ? Usually I

    going into a book with expectations like that, but for ONCE it was exceptionally incredibly totally spot-on. Well, cut out E&P. It's nothing like that. It's

    like John Green's writing. Intelligent and emotional and energetic. I actually say (and trust me, I would

    be saying this lightly) this is on par with my favourite John Green books. YEAH. I SAID IT, OKAY? DEAL.

    Wow. Heavy topics. It gets a million stars for each. It's about a mental illness that I'll put in spoiler tags just here

    (not that it IS really a spoiler...but since the book doesn't tell you what exactly it is until the end, I figure you might want to go in blind. I did. I liked that I wasn't 100% sure). It creates this character, Finch, who is so live and real and spontaneous and unprecedented, I just...I just loved him. I felt a huge connection to Finch. It made the book so personal because I know people with mental illnesses and I suffer from some (though not the same as Finch's) myself and ... wow. Can we just give the author all the award of ever for writing it PERFECTLY? I want to cry. GAH! I'm reviewing, okay, okay, I'm reviewing.

    It's also about Violet, who's suffering from PTSD after losing her sister. Both Violet and Finch basically want to die, but then they don't want to die.

    I mean, the two meet on a tower were both were considering throwing themselves off. It does make me sad, though, that both kids really hid their feelings from adults/help because they thought nobody understood. That always makes me sad when I read that. IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM THINGS YOU CAN'T CONTROL: IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. AND ASKING FOR HELP IS OKAY. Though this was addressed too. Eventually. Kind of?

    Violet and Finch take turns narrating and their voices are SO different. Incredible. Finch is like a ball of spontaneous energy but simultaneously crippling depression. Violet is discovering herself without her sister...and what even is the point of life? Their voices are raw. Their thoughts are so relatable.

    I felt the ending dragged a bit. I loved it. I didn't

    it to end, but at the same time I just felt like it was procrastinating. Little teeny bit not okay.

    BUT WHO EVEN CARES?! *throws flowers of sadness* I LOVED THE BOOK.

    Not in the "ouch, hate that" in the "I FREAKING CANNOT HANDLE THIS RIGHT NOW. STAHP. STAHP EVERYTHING AND JUST STAAAAAHP." More like that okay? I was nearly number. The characters are just so real, I felt like I was in the book.

    Also, I never do this, but I lost track of time. At one point I read for 2 hours straight without even

    I'd been reading that long. I...I never do that. I have a short attention span.

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  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    First things first. In the blurb of this book it says..The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park. That should go. I liked both those books in their own right. This book should and does stand on it's own. It's better than that.

    My writing of reviews have been said to be Awkward..fuck that. I'm going all in on this one. If I can get one person that needs to read this book to read it through my review..it's worth it.

    First things first. In the blurb of this book it says..The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park. That should go. I liked both those books in their own right. This book should and does stand on it's own. It's better than that.

    My writing of reviews have been said to be Awkward..fuck that. I'm going all in on this one. If I can get one person that needs to read this book to read it through my review..it's worth it.

    That odd boy who tries on different personalities hoping to find one that will put him into "Awake" mode. He knows so many ways to die and little things keep him from going through with it. It might be that he doesn't want a destroyed corpse for people to look on. It might be that he finally met that girl that is maybe the one that might keep him there.

    Recently lost her best friend/sister in a car crash. She is broken. No more cheerleading, writing on her webpage, no more wanting to go to college...she just is.

    These two meet when both of them are on the ledge to the bell tower at school. Contemplating the reasons that it hurts to bad to go on. Finch steps up and talks to Violet. The word around high school becomes that she saved him.

    Later a class project comes up that means they have to partner up with someone and "wander" their state. Finch nominates Violet to be his partner and our story begins.

    This book does move slowly at times. I thought at first it would be a 3/4 star book. Then it snuck up on me and I think it became part of my memories.

    This book deals with depression and mental illness. It's not one that you can just walk away from.

    ....................................................................

    Finch's dad obviously suffers from those same type of moods. He turns abusive with them. He has found a new family though and moved on with his life. Which just hurts Finch more.

    My mom has un-diagnosed bipolar disorder. She can be the sweetest woman you ever met and then it happens. She can be very abusive. Is it her fault? No, but it does make life harder to live with her. I left home at the age of 15 because I was scared of her. My sister and I both have tried to get her help. She goes into the doctors offices and becomes the "sweet woman"..and they never listen to either of us about her moods. My dad passed away last month and I thought we were stable with her...then she told the funeral director that she only had one daughter and shut me out of the room. Does it hurt? Absolutely. Do I hold it against her? I can't. I have to let it go. She has a sickness..one I hope that she will find help with eventually. (No, I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on tv. We just want her tested)

    I'm so glad this book was written. Suicide and mental illness needs discussed. It doesn't need to be that dirty little secret that is pushed into the black hole of a closet.

    I feel like I could quote you this whole sweet, funny, heartbreaking, wonderful book. I won't though. Just go and read it.

  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)

    *EDIT*

    Full review here:

    I don't even know what to say... I'm sure the words will come, and at that point I'll try to film a review. But for now I'll just think about a million and one things.

    My gosh <3

  • Raeleen Lemay

    the characters weren't people, just mental illnesses put into bodies. "quirky" but in reality mentally ill. not cool. nobody treated the characters' problems like they were real problems and that pissed me offfff

    however, if you enjoyed the book/could relate to the characters, that's totally fine. this one just wasn't for me unfortunately.

  • Jr Bacdayan

    Fuck. I’m a glorified classics guy but what the hell happened here. I cried. Fuck. I rarely go for YA trust me; I’m a condescending jackass who’s read one too many books. Usually I never even touch these kinds of sappy stuff, I basically hate the genre. I don’t like John Green. Fuck the Fault In Our Stars overrated sack of shit. But I don’t know why this book got through to me. For one thing, it doesn’t condescend, it doesn’t sound corny, it doesn’t try too hard. The thing about adults writing Y

    Fuck. I’m a glorified classics guy but what the hell happened here. I cried. Fuck. I rarely go for YA trust me; I’m a condescending jackass who’s read one too many books. Usually I never even touch these kinds of sappy stuff, I basically hate the genre. I don’t like John Green. Fuck the Fault In Our Stars overrated sack of shit. But I don’t know why this book got through to me. For one thing, it doesn’t condescend, it doesn’t sound corny, it doesn’t try too hard. The thing about adults writing YA novels is that they try to sound fucking stupid. I mean, just because you’re writing for someone younger doesn’t mean you’re writing for someone moronic. Don’t look down on them, treat them like equals. I didn’t feel that condescension here. Jennifer Niven doesn’t fall into the pit of trying to water things down, or sound like a kindergarten teacher or a smartass. It felt natural. She didn’t condescend, I didn’t condescend. Nobody condescended, which is great. Respect begets respect. I digress; let’s get to book in the spotlight.

    The story is about a girl learning to live from a boy who intends to die. It starts with two people meeting on a ledge of a school tower, both considering ending their lives. One out of grief, the other out of pain and in the midst of death they connect .Both survive that day. Then they are hurled together into a project that makes them wander through their provincial Indiana State finding beauty where they never expected to see it. The story of their growth in love and life, trying to find meaning is something that kept me up reading all night. Their journey through those precarious times together made me feel more than the last ten books I’ve read combined. They made me feel alive. But somehow, as one’s horizons grew, the other’s world shrank.

    “It's my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”

    This novel touches on death, depression, and suicide; it paints a picture of love in a canvas of pain. Teenagers for one understand pain and loneliness more than anything: death, grief, love problems, hormones, identity crises, self-esteem issues. You don’t need to be depressed to relate to this novel. You don’t need to experience death to know the pain. Heck you don’t even have to be a young adult. You are just drawn by the flow of it all, you give in. You ride the waves and sometimes you can’t help the flow of tears.

    I guess one of the things that really drew me in is the portrayal of characters. They feel real, they capture the life of someone who feels a variety of emotions, the confusion and pretenses of being a teenager. It captures anger. It captures heartache. It captures the hopeful dread inside someone young looking at the deep abyss of the future. Forget whatever their issues may be, forget their circumstances, they’re persons and they feel real. What happens to them feels real.

    And it also doesn’t hurt that this novel is one giant tribute to Virginia Woolf.

    But I think what’s important about this novel without giving away too much of a spoiler is that it spreads awareness about mental illness and suicide the same way Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time did with autism. This novel has the potential to be a mainstream success, and it talks about an important issue that needs more recognition especially with young people. It gives light about how young people should understand and deal with people who suffer from depression, bulimia, bipolar disorders, and other mental illnesses. Especially considering that young people who suffer from these are the ones most fragile, often bullied by their peers and schoolmates for being different. Ultimately this is a great novel with an important message aimed at the right audience. At the end of the day that’s all we can ask for from a book.

    Whoever you are, whatever your condition may be, know that:

    “You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

    Only sometimes you may get enveloped in darkness, which when you learn to deal with, you find actually accentuates your light.

    Keep your head up.

  • Emily May

    Hmm, so there's a girl whose name is a colour (Violet) and a boy whose name makes him sound like he burst from the pages of a Dickens' novel (Theodore Finch) and they're both super quirky, intelligent and know the names of a bunch of dead poets. Then there's that whole death thing hanging over this novel...

    Err...

    Oh, right.

    Okay... so don't you just hate it when reviewers try to tell you what you should or shouldn't read? And they make universal stateme

    Hmm, so there's a girl whose name is a colour (Violet) and a boy whose name makes him sound like he burst from the pages of a Dickens' novel (Theodore Finch) and they're both super quirky, intelligent and know the names of a bunch of dead poets. Then there's that whole death thing hanging over this novel...

    Err...

    Oh, right.

    Okay... so don't you just hate it when reviewers try to tell you what you should or shouldn't read? And they make universal statements like "who could possibly love a book like this?" Yeah, me too. Which is why I'm not going to

    you to do anything; but I am going to

    that you consider reading

    instead of this book. Because the theme is the same, only I believe it to be so so much better.

    Perhaps it's just me, but I am getting so tired of these Lifetime special kind of books that seem to hit me over the head with emotional manipulation.

    , of course, created his own set of quirky characters to make a humorous book about cancer, and now we've reached the same for suicide.

    If you did happen to love

    and other books like it, don't let me keep you from snapping this book up - it probably will become a new favourite. But it just did not work for me.

    From the very first page, I felt like the book took centre stage and introduced itself as: "I am a book about suicide. Cry, bitches!"

    I knew how this was going to end; I just knew it. Not even any surprises. Apparently, it's some flaw in my character for not loving

    because these books constantly claim commercial and critical success. I should be drowning in my own tears and mucus right now. Oh well, sucks.

    And honestly... Augustus Waters and Theodore Finch? Please. What century am I in?

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  • Ben Alderson

    OMG

    THIS

    BOOK

    HAS

    CHANGED

    ME

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    This is one of the best books I have ever read. I'm going to say a lot of personal things on here then go on with the review which will include spoilers, but I will put up the spoiler alert before I do. I also want to add some quotes from the book and the author's note at the end.

    This book is about teen suicide and bullying. But, it's also about some wonderful people, happy moments and a bit of crazy-wonderful.

    When I was young I was bullied in school most of my life. I ended up

    This is one of the best books I have ever read. I'm going to say a lot of personal things on here then go on with the review which will include spoilers, but I will put up the spoiler alert before I do. I also want to add some quotes from the book and the author's note at the end.

    This book is about teen suicide and bullying. But, it's also about some wonderful people, happy moments and a bit of crazy-wonderful.

    When I was young I was bullied in school most of my life. I ended up quitting school and getting a high school diploma through the mail, which is legit but doesn't seem so since I never finished school. I never told my family about this and to this day at 43 they still do not know. My entire family think I was just some kind of a loser that didn't want to go to school. Never judge a book by it's cover right?

    When I got sick, physically in 2008 it put me in the hospital overnight and I came out with all kinds of mental disorders. I'm guessing they were brewing on the surface as I have always had some anxiety. I came out with severe panic disorder, agoraphobia (fear of going outside for me), ocd, depression and then came the physical stuff being fibromyalgia and arthritis from all the hard playing I used to do outside before all of this and hereditary with the arthritis, I'm assuming. All of these things turned so bad that I wanted to kill myself many times. I still feel suicidal to this day, and yes I see an psych, no I don't take a million pills, only one for panic. The one thing that held me back was my dog Dakota, I never wanted to leave him, he was my son. Then he had to be euthanized suddenly in Feb. of 2013 from cancer. He just collapsed and then here I am having to kill him. And I thought this is it, I can finally leave and go with him. One out of the couple of friends I have, sent me flowers because she knew he was my son and how much it about killed me much less me killing myself. Surprising to me was that my dad was very understanding and always checking on me since I cried every day. My family knew I always said I wanted to leave this world when he goes, so I guess he was a little worried. And my stupid self let my family and doctor talk me into getting another dog. Now here I am with my rescued greyhound and I don't want to leave her, but I tell you I feel the pull of suicide a lot. I even tell her about it. Her name is Lucy.

    The reason I'm telling all of these personal things is I want some people to know a few things from someone that really thinks about these things. It doesn't make any of us freaks and we can't "just get over it." That's what people say in this world with mental illness. If it's not physical it's not real, well I would like them to walk a day in any person's shoes with any kind of mental illness. If we could "just get over it" we would have freakin' done that by now.

    I'm going to add a quote from the book that sums up how I feel personally and I know alot of people feel the same way.

    *QUOTE FROM BOOK*

    Amanda stares at her hands. "I can only tell you how I felt. Ugly. Disgusting. Stupid. Small. Worthless. Forgotten. It just feels like there's no choice. Like it's the most logical thing to do because what else is there? You think, "No one will even miss me. They won't know I'm gone. The world will go on, and it won't matter that I'm not here. Maybe it's better if I was never here."

    **Quote finished**

    This gave me chills because I have said that in my head and out loud so many times. I even asked my parent why they even had me. And you see so many people seem like they are ok, they can hide these things. Look at Robin Williams, it doesn't matter if your rich or poor, if something is going on with you and there is nothing to be done or no one sees it... that's it. Being lonely sucks!

    Okay, let's move on to the review! **SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT**

    I fell in love with Finch from the very beginning. I liked Violet too, but it's Finch that steals the story. He is fun, crazy, seems like he is so full of life, but he's not..

    Finch and Violet meet at the top of the bell tower at school. This was not a planned meeting, this was a random meeting of two people that where thinking of committing suicide. Can you imagine, someone messes up your suicide attempt. These stupid, insignificant prats are yelling for Finch to jump. They should have the crap beat out of them. People like that make me sick. Anyway, Finch ends up talking Violet down from the tower but lets everyone think it's the other way around and she is labeled as a hero.

    They end up being friends, but not without a lot of pushing on Finch's part. Violet doesn't really want to be around anyone too much. Her sister Eleanor was in a car wreck with her almost a year ago and Eleanor died and she didn't. Violet feels like this is her fault because she told her to take the ice-slicked bridge. So Violet has her own issues. She won't get in a car, things like that. Sweet, wonderful Finch brings out all of the good in Violet. Brings her back to herself. They do a cool report for school together where they wander around and look at wonders in their town. It's so wonderful and I would love to do that!

    They do fall in love, and I was so hoping this would help Finch. But throughout the book he is still fighting these death feelings. He has a mom and two sisters, but they don't see anything wrong, they just say that is Finch. He has a dad who left them for another woman and her son and he is a big jerk of a dad always saying Finch is a loser etc.

    I think Theodore Finch is a wonderful character. Just like so many out there that take there lives or lose their lives. I can see how wonderful he is, but he just can't.

    Obviously, Finch takes his life, but I'm not going to say how he does it. I'm not going to say any more about this wonderful book but to tell everyone to read it! Read it! Understand it! Love it! These things are real! People like this are real! And there should be no room left in the world for bullies or people that don't understand mental illness. Get off your high horse and let others live the way they want and try to have some compassion!

    I can't find the other quote I highlighted but I think I got my point across!

    **I'm going to put the Author's Note in here because I think it is another important thing for people to read. I'm not going to add her personal parts of the note because that may not be right to do unless she asks me too. I'm just going to add the basic parts and some hotlines.**

    **AUTHOR'S NOTE FROM THE BOOK**

    Every forty seconds, someone in this world dies by suicide. Every forty seconds, someone is left behind to cope with the loss.

    In All The Bright Places, Finch worries a lot about labels. There is, unfortunately, a good deal of stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness.

    Often, mental and emotional illnesses go undiagnosed because the person suffering symptoms is too ashamed to speak up, or because their loved ones either fail to or choose not to recognize the signs. According to Mental Health America, an estimated 2.5 million Americans are known to have bipolar disorder, but the actual number is a good two to three times higher than that. As many as 80 percent of people with this illness go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

    If you think something is wrong, speak up.

    You are not alone.

    It is not your fault.

    Help is out there.

    **End of partial AUTHOR'S NOTE**

    Some hotlines:

    SUICIDE PREVENTION 1-800-273-TALK - suicidepreventionlifeline.org

    DIAGNOSING MENTAL ILLNESS IN TEENS - helpguide.org

    I recommend this book to everyone!


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