All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I read almost all of All The Bright Places yesterday. I didn’t intend to read the entire book in one day. I started reading Friday night, and then I picked the book up again the next morning. I had a hard time putting it down. I read while the girls were at Kumon, and then I read here and there during the day. I was absolutely captivated, and by the end of the book, I was profoundly moved. This is a book that is going to stay with me for a long time.

All The Bright Places is a young adult novel by Jennifer Niven. It is, as the cover states, “the story of a boy called Finch and a girl named Violet”. Finch (Theodore) and Violet meet one day in the bell tower at school. Everyone expects that Finch is up there because he plans to jump off, but no one has any idea that Violet is up there for the same reason. In fact, Violet is credited with saving Finch that day, and no one knows the truth- except for Finch.

The two teens are drawn together by their shared experience. What begins as an awkward friendship slowly becomes something more comfortable, as the two bond over their personal tragedies. They can be their genuine selves when they are together, and not the people their classmates expect them to be.

All The Bright Places is real, and it is raw. It confronts the issue of depression in teens, and it defies the stereotypes and the stigmas of that very important topic. This book is intended for a young adult audience, but I would say that it has greater appeal than its target demographic.

It is very easy to relate to both Violet and Finch, and to understand why they feel depressed and how certain signs are either missed or ignored. As their friendship deepens and they begin to depend on each other, it is clear that this is no ordinary book.

I can’t say too much more without the risk of revealing too much, but needless to say, I would absolutely recommend All The Bright Places.

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