ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES is a contemporary YA novel written by the very talented Jennifer Niven.
I have come across this novel earlier this year. There was a lot of buzz about it the book bloggers and book reviewers' world. At first I couldn't understand why, but after reading this book, I couldn't do anything else but sing praises about the story and the author's incredible story-telling.
Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. Violet Markey is devastated by her sister's death. They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. It's only together they can be themselves... 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?
Let's talk about the beautiful edition first. Paperback. 378 pages long. Sky-blue coloured background with post-it notes. The pictures of post-it notes are raised slightly, so you can touch them when handling the book.
The story is written from the point of view of both main characters - Violet's & Finch's. And you all know how much I enjoy when the story is told from different points of view. It makes it more original. More interesting. And definitely more put-down-able.
The writing is engaging. Modern. Packed with pop culture references which are part of everyone's life. Not to mentioned, that the whole story is very relate able. At the same time, this book is packed with so much sadness.
The story... well.. let me first mention how brave the author is... How original and unique her story is... Ms Niven is afraid of writing about the saddest thing in the world.. A human being.. A person thinking about taking their own life. This story is heart-shattering. Heart-breaking. Unique. Wonderful. Mesmerising. A true original in the YA genre. I was hooked to it from the first page. Finch & Violet's story is un-put-down-able. You will start reading it and it gets under your skin. It will be the only thing you will be able to think about. You will want to find out more. You will hope. You will hold your breathe and wish for a miracle - a happy ending. And you will cry. You will cry crocodile tears. For a moment, I had to put down the book. I had to take a break from reading it and put my heart back together. This book isn't like any others. This is a book which will leave a mark on you. It is one of those books you will recommend everyone to read. It's life-changing. It opens your heart and mind to this you previously thought won't matter to you. It would never happen to you. But the author has opened the door and now you will want to know more.
What a brave thing to bring Bipolar disorder into the story. I can honestly say that this is the first book I have read which touches upon this subject. And it describes in the way that everyone can understand what these unfortunate souls go through. It shows you the mood swings, the always present thought of committing suicide, the walls closing on you feeling... You will finally understand what these people feel... And it changes your life. It changes the way you live your life.. It will make you want to seize the day and live it. Because you never know which day will be your last.. 'LIVE. LAUGH. LOVE.' Will become your motto.
The two main characters in this story are so relate able. You cannot help but love them both so much. Violet who went through the unfortunately tragedy of losing her sister. She is in so much pain when she meets Finch. The world is grey. There is no sunshine for her. But then she meets this boy who forces her to start living her life. He reminds how beautiful living can be. He expands her world. And he falls in love with and she falls in love with him. Deeply. Passionately. With the whole heart and soul. But as Violet's world is getting more brighter, more sunnier, Finch's world starts to shrink. He is in such a dark place. Will Violet manage to save the boy she loves?
Thank you, Ms Niven. Thank you with all my heart and soul for writing this books. It opened my mind and soul to things I didn't dare to think of before - young people taking their own lives, bipolar disorder, the pain when losing someone who we loved dearly. Thank for shining the light upon this subject and make it more visible. Your story is one of a kind and it should be a permanent fixture in everyone's library.