• Title: All the Bright Places
  • Author: Jennifer Niven
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
  • Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fiction
  • My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

For a long while, I had All the Bright Places in my notes but kept skipping over it. I thought it would just be another one of those John Green coming of age books. Don't get me wrong, I'm in love with Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. I just kept putting off All the Bright Places for some reason. So when I finally started it, I was in a state of "What is this piece of beauty!?". It totally caught me off guard. 

Jennifer Niven is a genius for starting her book off with Violet and Finch standing on the bell tower. Immediately you think "Why is this seemingly normal girl doing something so stupid and who is this strange boy with the weird name also doing this stupid something?". Books that leave you guessing on the first page are my favorite! Such a good way to seduce the reader. As you keep reading, you find out Violet is haunted by the past and Finch serves as the medicine that heals her. He helps her live again and she makes him happy. I know it sounds like the books I was hoping it wouldn't be, but this felt entirely different. Throughout the whole story you're wondering what is wrong with Finch. He's known as a freak at school and is obsessed with death. He also changes his look constantly. One moment he is 80s Finch and the next he is nerdy Finch. Not to mention he paints his entire room a different color. Sound weird? I don't know if the author was giving clues throughout the book or if it's just what I got from it, but I honestly think he has a mental illness. And Violet doesn't realize it till it's almost the end of the story. This book hits so many emotions! Sometimes it's hilarious, such as when they arrive to Hoosier Hill. And other times it's depressing. 

But wow Violet and Finch's journey is one you can't put down. How can two people so different find such a deep connection? Finch finding Amanda in the meeting just proves how wrong you can be when you thing you know someone. You never know what's going on in people's lives. Plus I learned a lot about Indiana that I never knew. I can't even express how happy I was when I searched the largest ball of paint and found that it truly is in Indiana. And there really is a man who built a rollercoaster in his backyard! Who knew Indiana was so eccentric. So yeah don't pass up All the Bright Places because you think it's another indie novel that's trying too hard. It's one of a kind! And please feel free to give your thoughts or opinions, especially if it's about Finch, because I still don't understand that boy. 

Published by Hannah Leigh