All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


Published by Penguin Books, January 2015, 388 pages, £5.59

Quick Description: A book about love, suicide, mental illness and the coolest guy you will ever meet.

Steam?: yes, but nothing graphic.

Plot: 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.

I am so happy to have read this book. This is a book that actually made my heart expand. You will see on twitter and instagram, fans saying that this book has changed them in some way. I get what they mean. It really is one of those books that, when you reach the last page, you feel like a completely different person from that first page. I even started reading the first few pages again to remind what my perspective was like then- which was only a few days ago, but felt like an eternity.

Ok- rewind. This book will introduce you to the most unique character ever- Theodore Finch, who I can only describe as a hot weirdo. This is wrong as he hates labels. But anyway, this dude is a hurricane. He is everything, all over the place, extreme, dangerous and fascinating. The author had seriously taken characters to a whole new level. At one point I even thought he was the new Edward Cullen- does anyone know what I mean or just thinks that’s weird??? Ok, I know Twilight is what it is now, but there was a time when it just belonged to us- the girls who read before school started. And Edward broke the mould (as far as my 15 year old self thought), and I think Finch does as well.

Anyway, the connection between him and Violet is pretty electric and I can promise you a lot of swooning. Violet is not as interesting as Finch. But she embodies the every girl. She’s smart, vulnerable and tough. Finch helps her to enjoy life after the death of her sister, and the two of them create their own little world. There are a few cliches: the quoting of literary greats, guitar playing, random and quirky activities in public. But altogether quite charming.

But I have to warn you. There are dark spots in the book. Finch has problems that are perhaps too heavy and late to solve. They start to expand and turn inwards, and it is a bit of a suck-zone towards the end of the book. I don’t want to give much away, but its not really for the faint hearted. Even though it made me sad, I wouldn’t want to be the person who I was before I read this book, before I met Finch. He really is quite special.

Thanks Penguin for my copy xxx


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