Genres: Young-Adult, Contemporary, Realistic-Fiction, Mental Health
Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased My Rating: 4 Stars
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.
All The Bright Places is a beautifully written novel about grief and emotional instability. It took me a few days to actually get into this, and when I finally did, I couldn’t put it down. By the time I got to the end, I was a sniffling mess. While it didn’t end like I wanted it to, I’m still very much in love with this book. It left me feeling a bit unbalanced, as far as my emotions go. However, it’s one of those highly emotional books that you love but just can’t seem to let yourself read again. At least, for me it’s like that.
Finch is one of those characters that I know all too well. He’s the boy who gets bullied in school and overlooked at home. He’s intelligent, but emotionally unbalanced(?), yeah I’ll go with that. I absolutely love his character. You know that there’s a real “thing” going on with him. I hated his home life the most. His mother was an inch short of neglect, and it was hard for me to actually see her side. I know that her ex-husband left his mark in that house. How could he not with his abusiveness? It’s like she gave up caring about anything but work. Trust me, there’s no amount of money in the world that should make you forget to love your children. I WANTED Finch to slap her. It’s like slapping someone who is in hysterics – you need to bring them back down to your level. There’s a defining moment here that makes this novel all too real. Makes me want to say to the world, “pay attention!”.
Violet on the other hand is stuck in her grief. She has lost her sister, her best friend. Adding to her enormous grief, and there’s guilt just beneath the surface also. She’s basically given up on everything. There’s no more blogging, cheerleading – nothing. She just wants graduation to come and go. She has parents who love and adore her. A part of her can’t bother to look at them without fear of them seeing the battle that is taking place inside of her. She just wants it all to stop.
There’s no dramatic irony here. How Violet and Finch meet is the spark of this story. From their meeting, to their friendship, to the conclusion of this story – it’s all psychological. It’s an emotional, mental, intellectual friendship between these two characters. I only wish that it’d been a little different towards the end; but that’s not how it goes. If you love any of John Green’s books, then you will most likely love this one. The writing is beautiful and I’m loving this new trend of mental health in YA novels. Definitely recommend.