Published by Random House on January 6, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Amazon • Book Depository •
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.
Absolutely, irrevocably heartbreaking.
What a lovely book filled with so many lovelies.
First of all, let’s talk about that blurb. “The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park”? Woah there. That’s one hell of a claim to make. Granted, most contemporaries nowadays are for “fans of John Green”, but let’s be honest–the majority of them have absolutely nothing to do with his books, except for the genre. But Rainbow Rowell and John Green? And for a debut YA? That was a powerful claim and my eyebrows were up to the heavens in skepticism.
Except. It was amazing. It was stunning and gorgeous and the comparison is actually fairly accurate. All The Bright Places is tragic, beautiful, and it’s simple in it’s premise. A boy and a girl trying to fix themselves even as they fall in love. Sound familiar yet?
Except this is more than just your typical boy-meets-girl story, as TFIOS and E&P are. Niven’s newest brings forth raw and unrelenting characters who are filled with quirks and complexities, habits and dreams. Violent and Finch are absolutely breathtaking characters who cling to what they can; it’s absolutely gut wrenching as you watch them fall deeper and deeper, until all they have to cling onto are themselves and each other. And then there’s not even that.
Their personalities are so different and it’s strange when you realize the cruel irony that View Spoiler » she was always said to save him, when in the end she couldn’t have and she didn’t. « Hide Spoiler. Their characters just meshed though, and before you knew it, it was VioletandFinch, not Violet and Finch.
Violet was such an intriguing character. We know the big parts of her life: She’s a blogger, a person with one foot in and one foot out of almost everything she does, and no idea what she wants to do with her dreams. We know the little things: she hates winter and hates snow, but loves New York. She likes to read. She chased Boy Parade with her sister. And we know all the things in between, including: She loves Theodore Finch.
And who couldn’t? Finch is, without a doubt, one of my favorite YA bookish boyfriends. He’s charming and self-assured (or so it seems) and undeniably altruistic. He’s broken right in half, but no one really sees it, and to him, boundaries are not a thing. He does what he wants and doesn’t wait for anyone to give him the green light. For that matter, he doesn’t give you enough warning to even flash a Stop sign. He’s impulsive and reckless and he’s utterly, utterly remarkable. (And yes, I would even go as far to say that I love him more than I do Augustus Waters.)
The story of star-crossed lovers has been retold a dozen times, but there’s just something absolutely stunning about All The Bright Places that makes it…almost ethereal. There’s a nostalgic feeling for these two characters who are fighting so hard to be part of something, and it’s just so hard not to love these characters. You almost want to wrap them up and carry them away to some other world where all the places are bright. Jennifer Niven does an unbelievably spectacular job with bringing her story to life, and invoking emotions you didn’t expect. There’s something in here that makes you hope against all hope, nailing you right in the chest as you flip through the pages.
Here I go echoing the PR and marketing: This is for fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green. Because if anything was going to be as lovely or as beautiful, it would be this one. A book so tragic and hopeful and hopeless and stunning and poignant all at once–who would’ve guessed?
About the Author
By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson (“If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win”), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.
In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven’t stopped… I’ve written eight books, and when I’m not working on the ninth, I’m contributing to my web magazine, Germ, thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.
Find her: Website | | | | | |
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