Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication date: January 6, 2015
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary/Realistic Fiction)
Source: Unsolicited copy
All the Bright Places broke me. I managed to read it during a buddy single sitting read. I could not put the book down and by the end of it my face was a hot mess. I couldn't breathe through my nose or read through the tears. This book was heartbreaking, beautiful, breathtaking, emotional, and full of life, hope, and dreams. I went into it knowing so many people loved it, and quite frankly I now completely understand their obsessive love and how this book, that wasn't even on my radar before I received it on my doorstep, is the next big contemporary novel. It doesn't hurt that it already got picked up for a movie and is in the middle of casting.
I have never read a point of view like Finch's. I daren't close my eyes for one second in fear of being left behind with his running thoughts. If I had one word to describe his chapters it would be exhilarating. It was so hard trying to catch up to him. I was fascinated and completely immersed during his chapters. Jennifer Niven made everything so damn believable, and truly captured the way writers should write about mental illnesses. Finch's character is so strange and beautiful and you can't help but fall in love with him. I know my friend and I did. As for Violet, I felt she is sometimes overshadowed by Finch in reader's eyes but I really enjoyed her chapters too. Some people said it was unnecessary to have a dual POV but I believe seeing everything and Finch through Violet's eyes is really an eye opener for the readers. Violet and Finch's story is tragically beautiful. The struggle they both go through is so real that you can't help but root for them and wish them eternal happiness. I have not fully connected with book characters as much as I did with those two for a while.
All the Bright Places deserves all the praise it got. It is its own book and comparing it to other contemporaries truly doesn't do it justice. It is the story of two unlikely teens getting together and fighting their own battles while trying to pursue happiness. It isn't the cookie cutter tragic teen story, I hope it is the start for the redefining of realistic contemporary YA fiction. Teens are people and they are all unique and different. Only when we start telling each of their stories can we really understand the complexity of life and people around us. All the Bright Places taught me that and so much more. To give you an indication of how loved this book is, I read this for a book club where out of the five people, four of them gave this book the full 5 stars.