All the Bright Places | Jennifer Niven

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The Book

All the Bright Places follows depressed “friends?” Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. You notice the quotation marks? Good, because I put them there. Notice the question mark? That was me too. Because for at least half the novel they’re in a state of “Are they really dating?” They meet at the top of the school bell tower and neither of them jump. Then they get assigned a school paper to #discoverindiana. And as Violet become more and more of a person, Theodore becomes less.

The Good Bits

  • The consistency of the chapter swap makes the ending (spoiler) worse (but in a good way) Each chapter is either Violet, or Finch (very YA names right?) and it alternates. first Finch, then Violet. Then Finch, then Violet. Then… yeah. You get the picture. Until the end. That’s when we start to realise something’s wrong. Something’s really wrong.
  • Finch’s wardrobe changes. From one day to the next, we see Finch change his clothes, his entire style, trying to find one that he likes. A Finch that he likes. Although sometimes it’s left me wondering how he gets money for all of this.
  • Anyone can be depressed. The guy at school who doesn’t talk to anybody, or the most popular girl in school. This book highlights that.

The Not-So-Good-Bits

  • I’m not going to lie. This is about as YA as a John Green. (there’s nothing wrong with YA. It’s just very) And flower and a bird. Violet and Finch.
  • Why can’t we have a YA story that doesn’t have a Manic Pixie Dream person? This illusive ideal is just a way to tell people that “hey! you can never achieve this level of nonchalant cool that they somehow end up achieving.”

A Poem from the back cover | Itches

This Book makes me itchy.

Itchy in my room,

Itchy in my lifestyle,

Itchy in my home.

It makes me want to just drive for days,

pack a bag and go,

someplace I’ve never been,

someplace I’d never go.

Somewhere interesting

Somewhere boring.

It makes me want to paint my room,

change my clothes, move out and

run away

Away from work, away from problems,

just… away.

Live in a hut by the sea,

an apartment in a city,

a cottage in the country,

All on an island I’ve never seen

on an ocean far away.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

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