Book Review · Contemporary · YA Fiction

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: Book Review

18460392Theodore 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.

I’m in such a contemporary mood. I have a list of the rest of the books I have to read in 2015 and they’re all contemporary, except one sci-fi trilogy.

I saw this book in Target one day and was drawn to the cover. It just looked so fragile, like if I touched it it would just break. The book cover made me feel cautious, as if it was telling me that book was very sensitive. And I’m telling you, it’s true (don’t we all judge books by their covers?)

Finch finds himself at the top of the school’s bell tower. Violet finds herself at the top of the school’s bell tower. And that single moment where these two lost kids connect is the driving point for this story.

This is the story of Finch trying to piece Violet back together. This is Violet trying to become better so Finch can become better. This is love and life and sadness and darkness but emerging from the darkness to a blinding light that warms you up from the inside out. I can’t summarize this book without giving anything away, it’s just too condensed. This is just one of those things you have to plunge into. It’s beautiful, and sad. It does deal with sensitive subjects though: death, depression, and suicide.

I started this book with myself lost, and I finished this book with hope. It didn’t heal me magically- that’s not how things work. But it showed me that there’s always light at the end of a dark tunnel and there’s always the sunrise to look forward to every night. It showed me that this isn’t forever and that I can and that everyone can make it. I promise.

“It’s hard to describe, but I imagine the way I am at this moment is a lot like getting sucked into a vortex. Everything dark and churning, but slow churning instead of fast, and this great weight pulling you down, like it’s attached to your feet even if you can’t see it. I think, This is what it must feel like to be trapped in quicksand.

“The thing I know about bipolar disorder is that it’s a label. One you give crazy people. I know this because I’ve taken junior-year psychology and I’ve seen the movies and I’ve watched my father in action for almost eighteen years, even though you could never slap a label on him because he would kill you. Labels like “bipolar” say This is why the way you are. This is who you are. They explain people away as illnesses.”

“The thing I realize is that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave”

Jennifer Niven left a section of her book dedicated to help lines and websites, which I thought would be needed here for whoever needs them:


American Association of Suicidology (AAS)-

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)-


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- (1-800-273-TALK)



Mental Health America (MHA)-

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)-

National Institution of Mental Health (NIMHS)-

Teen Mental Health-


Mayo Clinic-

SOS: A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide by Jeffrey Jackson (published by AAS)- available online, along with other helpful resources, at


Stomp Out Bullying-




National Child Abuse Hotline- 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

If you guys ever need to talk about anything, just contact me, please.

Last book: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Next book: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews


4 thoughts on “All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: Book Review

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