All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven [REVIEW]

all the bright places

All the Bright Places is one of the most captivating books I’ve read this year. I’ve had it for a while, but never thought to pick it up until recently. I am so glad I did. This book was a wonderful mix of heartbreaking and hopeful. The narrators draw you in and make you feel everything they do. As sad as this book was, it left me with an overall feeling of happiness, which is something I never expected. This book tugs on all your heartstrings, and you want it to.

The way Finch and Violet brought out the best in each other was so incredibly special. Despite everything Finch struggled with, his ability to teach Violet to live while wanting to die was unbelievable. There wasn’t much I related to in these characters, but I still felt connected to them. I loved the concept of their wanderings, and how their relationship grew and changed in such a natural way. They got to see different sides of each other that they would never have seen otherwise, and found something to love about life together.

I saw it coming, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. I was heartbroken by the end of the novel, but I loved the impression of everything being okay you were left with. The characters moved past while still remembering. What finally broke me was the final wandering. It was something unexpected and absolutely shattering. I was so glad it happened, and that throughout the book you were reminded of Violet’s initial tragedy and her struggle with dealing with that.

This book was a gift. Suicide is a topic not typically focused on in YA lit, and I’m glad to see it being handled in a mature and serious way, while also reminding readers that you can move on and learn to live again in the wake of a death. I hope everyone reads this before the movie comes out, in a wholistic way unaffected by preconceptions of the film. I hope anyone struggling with mental illness in any form reads this book and experiences it for themselves, and finds comfort in it.