I have been meaning to post a review for this book, but I needed some time to think about it and comprehend what happened. And after giving some thoughts, I’ve come up with a review that is well deserved.
Title: ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES
Author: Jennifer Niven
I would recommend it to anyone really, and I suggest that you don’t get swayed by my review and keep an open mind when you are reading this book. This has just been my opinion and review.
This contains spoilers and read at your own desecration.
What is it about?
It’s about Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, about their meeting at the school’s bell tower, their wanderings, and how they’ve fallen in-love. But it isn’t just about the romance because the novel delves into taboo territory – it talks about mental illness and suicide.
Theodore is fascinated by death, and writes down different ways people have committed suicide. He’s a very troubled character, and although at the beginning he seems to be a cheerful individual as the story progresses he becomes more closed off and the themes becomes darker.
Violet on the other hand is still grieving the loss of her sister from a car accident, and she blames herself for it. She’s become closed off and no longer acts the way she was before – she marks everyday with a big black X as she counts the days before graduation and she could finally leave Indianna.She attempted suicide but was saved by Finch. Her story becomes more happy as the story progresses as she finds her world expanding and with atheists she was becoming more like old self herself, but forever changed.
Initial impression after reading the book
First of all, I know I rated this book a 3.5, however it does deserve a 5-star rating, but I have my reasons for this.
It was an extraordinary read, and it was able to reduce me to tears, in my book that’s a good, great even, novel right there because it made me feel! Yes, it is quite like the Fault in Our Stars, with it’s “quirky” teen characters.
I couldn’t put the book down, because 1) it is very well written 2) I love the characters and 3) because it tackles the topic of mental health of teenagers – something you don’t see in many YA books, and a topic we tend to avoid. So, I’m glad that someone has written a novel that centres the mental health – and how truly important it is for people to be aware that it is a subject that needs to be addressed!
Additionally, I really enjoyed reading about their wanderings and reading about all of the places they’ve visited.
After careful deliberation
The book is great in a sense that it addresses the issue of mental health of teenagers, and how the stigma and discrimination attached to this topic affects the sufferer of a mental health illness greatly.
I’ve already said the good bits before, in my initial thoughts of the book, but now it’s about the things that I didn’t quite like, I’m going to make a list for it, because it’s easier to focus that way.
- Finch and Violet’s characters are well developed and are wholesome, whereas the rest of the characters just comes and goes, and it feels like they’re just fillers – there are no substance into their existence. Which brings me to…
- … The parents of these two teenagers! Finch’s mum just doesn’t care about his problems and instead dismisses it as him being too tender hearted and that the only kind of illnes acceptable is physical pain – what about emotional and mental? Same goes for Violet’s parents… They tried to help, but the way they tried to wasn’t enough – just calling in to offer a name of psychiatrist? It would have been better if they actually tried to talk to Finch – but that’s my opinion and ok now it’s just a book, but I just can’t imagine how much these adults just doesn’t seem to care.
- Near the end of the book, I wish I could have read more about what was going through Finch’s head, what was he thinking?
- There are so many questions I want to ask the author! What is Finch’s history? There were hints, but I couldn’t be sure- there’s no clear explanation.