Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (5/5)

Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Blurb:
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

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.

This book was amazing. Absolutely perfect. Everything, from the characters, to the romance, to the actual plot, to the individual problems both characters faced was fantastically written – this is definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read. ‘All the Bright Places’ had excellent flow: there were never parts that seemed too rushed, or other parts that seemed as if they had been drawn out. No, this book was unquestionably seamless as far as pace was concerned.

To start off with, the characters. Violet Markey and Theodore Finch are the main characters of this story. First off, Violet: things had never been the same for Violet ever since her sister passed away in a car accident. Then, she was sad, an introvert, just plain unhappy with the life she now lived, a life she felt was no longer worth living. But through these waves of depression, a new Violet comes out once she meets Finch. This Violet is kind and caring. She’s broken out of the shell that had hindered her for so long. Not only that, but Violet just seems to be an honest, innocent girl. Though the death of her sister most assuredly rocked her life, she still hadn’t experienced the true emotions of the world.

Then there was Finch. He was smart, intelligent, and to be frank, quite ingenious. But to the rest of the world he was a Freak - a Freak who was suicidal, a Freak who just wasn’t worth anyone’s time, a Freak who nobody really loved. Everybody would fling these insults and criticisms at Finch thinking he was a misfit because they didn’t understand him, when on the inside he was a truly nice guy.

Now onto the romance plot. Let’s just say that I wasn’t really surprised that Finch and Violet ended up together. But even though it was easy to tell what was going to happen, this book was still astounding. The chemistry between Finch and Violet was great and quite interesting to read about. From the very beginning of the book where the two characters still aren’t very close but they both can’t help but feel the steady force of attraction, to the end of the book where the two characters know they love each other, Ms. Niven sets a good pace for the romance plot in this book.

And then there was the actual plot, which was spectacular. Reading about the places Finch and Violet went to (as they were trying to complete their class project), what they did there and how they got closer to each other was really interesting. Ms. Niven provided great details that really enhanced the feelings of the two characters. But the biggest things going on throughout the book are the thoughts of suicide. Reading about how people thought about killing themselves, more specifically on how they wanted to die was an eye opener. I had never truly realized the impact of suicide and the true meaning of doing so.

All in all, this was a great book. The distinct characters, remarkable romance plot and an overall fantastic plot were all key reasons to why this book was phenomenal. I’d definitely recommend this book to anybody who loves romance books/realistic fiction.

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