Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

April 1, 2015 Young Adult Book Reviews 6 ★★★½

Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer NivenTitle: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Published by: Knopf BYR on January 6, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Source: YABC
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 388
Click it: Goodreads | Amazon

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.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

I received this book for free from YABC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One Line: Finch was quite a character and one I really enjoyed getting to know.

What I Loved: I really liked being inside Finch’s head. He was such an interesting character and watching his development and subsequent unraveling was what kept me going throughout this book. Although I wasn’t too keen on relating his condition to what happens to him in the end, it was still quite an experience. Maybe I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should’ve been, but I did not see that ending coming. It definitely broke my heart a bit and I found myself caring for Finch in a way I didn’t expect I would. I enjoyed all the little adventures Finch and Violet went on for their project. Oh, I also liked all the facts that Finch told readers about. It was pretty fascinating, albeit, a bit morbid.

Left Me Wanting More: Violet wasn’t as interesting as Finch. She’s wasn’t bad or anything, just nothing all that special. I honestly can’t even recall anything memorable about her. Also, once you learn about what Finch was dealing with, I really didn’t like the author’s take on it. I’ve been exposed to quite a bit of those who suffer from what he suffers from and I just didn’t like the direction the author went with it. I’m no expert on it, but it just didn’t click with me. Also, before finding out what the truth, I swear I thought he was suffering from something more grave than what it was. I know I’m being vague, but I don’t want to go into too much detail as I believe discovering Finch’s truth is part of the reading experience, so I don’t want to give anything away.

Final Verdict: I’ll admit I wasn’t as emotionally attached to this book as others, but that has more to do with the fact that I’m not an emotional person. The book itself does have its lulls, but overall, I really enjoyed it. It’s a story about two young people falling in love, one learning to live again, and the other coming to terms with his reality. I think it was very meaningful and realistic, again, despite that one qualm I had about it.

*This review was first published on YABC.*

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6 Responses to “Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven”

    • Vi

      Yeah, it’s hard for me to really get into YA contemp for some reason, but it was still an enjoyable read.

    • Vi

      Exactly! There aren’t many YA contemps I genuinely like, Idk why. NA & Adult contemp is more my style. Something about the teenage mind & mannerisms, I guess?! Lol.

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