Monday, January 19, 2015

ARC Review: All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Genre: YA, contemporary
Published on January 6, 2015
Published by Knopf
Pages: 384
Read From: 1.10.15 - 1.11.15

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might die, but every day he also searches - and manages to find - something to keep him here, and alive, and awake. 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's death. 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school - six stories above the ground - it's unclear who saves whom. And when the unlikely pair teams up on a class project to discover the "natural wonders" of their state, they go, as Finch says, where the road takes them: the grand, the small, the bizarre, the beautiful, the ugly, the surprising - just like life.

Soon it's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a bold, funny, live-out-loud guy, who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet forgets to count away the days and starts living them. But as Violet's worlds grows, Finch's begins to shrink. 
This is a heart-wrenching, unflinching story of love shared, life lived, and two teens who find one another while standing on the edge.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I do love the simplicity of the cover art, and how when you read the story, you understand the things that are on the front.

Characters: I didn't really like or connect with anyone in this book, but I did feel very sorry for them. Violet, because losing one's sister - especially if you're close to them - would be a tragedy that I don't ever want to experience. And Finch, because he clearly has a lot of troubles - not all of them easily fixed. His mind is his worst enemy. But because Finch resisted getting help so hard, I couldn't completely sympathize with him. I know that sounds extremely hard-hearted and judgmental, but I admit I do have a hard time feeling totally bad for someone who don't help themselves.

The Romance: It was all right. Because I didn't really connect with any of the characters, I wasn't emotionally invested in the romance. And it also felt a lot like what it was: a teen fling. I'm not much into teen flings. But the one aspect I did love about their relationship was how they both helped each other heal.

Plot: Just what it sounds like: two teens meet on a shared rooftop as they contemplate suicide, and then they become friends and help each other find reasons to keep living. And as they get to know each other, they fall in love. This is a sort-of road trip novel. Violet and Finch go on a mini road trip, visiting all of the sites of their state, and for the most part, it's an awesome book! Despite my not caring much about either of them, I did find their story oddly compelling and captivating. Maybe it's just because I've been craving a road trip lately. . . .But I enjoyed seeing how they healed and changed. It wasn't until the end that I started to dislike the book.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: First person, present tense. Each chapter alternated between Finch and Violet as narrators, and their voices were very distinctive. I enjoyed both of them equally. Being in Finch's head was painful and depressing and sad. Violet's was more hopeful, as she's the one who heals the most through their friendship. You get to know both characters very well through their narrations.

Content: 30 s-words, 8 f-words, 5 g--damns, 4 half f-words. Finch and Violet eventually have sex, and that's when the romance went from somewhat deep to "teen fling." You all know my feelings on this by now; jumping into bed just cheapens romance for me.

Conclusion: I knew how it would end; I saw it halfway through the book. The forewarning was there, and yet I still didn't feel prepared for it. Yes, I cried, but mostly, All the Bright Places left me wondering: What was the point? And I don't like it when a book leaves me feeling like that. I think a lot of people will like this book, but for me personally it made me too depressed.

Recommended Audience: Girl-read, eighteen-and-up, fans of Gayle Foreman.

1 comment:

  1. This book is amazing I love it!! I am not done reading it but it is amazing. Out of ten stars I would give it a million!! Its a must read book. It shows the challenges of all social groups popular and lonely. The book is the best!! Thanks for getting it for me mom!!


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