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All the Bright Places

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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
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.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 03, 2014 – Seniors Theodore Finch and Violet Markey run into each other on their school bell tower, contemplating what it would be like to jump. It's more dark-cute than meet-cute, which also describes the book. Finch thinks about suicide every day; Violet was happy until her sister died in a car crash. While Finch, aka "Theodore Freak," is a marginal presence in their high school, he's smart and handsome a musician who, readers gradually realize, suffers from undiagnosed manic depression. Violet is equally smart, and as they traverse Indiana for a geography project, looking for "wonders," they flirt, argue, admit dark secrets, and fall in love. In her YA debut, adult author Niven (Velva Jean Learns to Drive) creates a romance so fresh and funny that it seems like it could save Finch; she also makes something she foreshadows from the first line surprising. The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities and limits of love in the face of mental illness. Ages 14 up.

Customer Reviews

Going to be the best YA book in 2015

The story is actually inspired by the author's own real life experiences which she discovers the label "survivor after suicide" or "survivor of suicide". So, the main theme of the story is about finding hope in difficult times, come out from your cave and live again. The story will be adapted into a movie starring Elle Fanning as Violet Markey.

It starts with Finch and Violet meeting each other at the ledge of a bell tower located at their school when both of them are trying to jump. Finch saves Violet's life by saying to her: "Take it from me, the worst thing you can do is look down." From that moment on, Finch is changing himself without him knowing and he's very interested in the real reason why Violet wants to kill herself. With all the annoyance, disturbance and freak moments Finch caused to Violet, she falls in love with him.

This book is written in first-person POV where each of the chapters featuring either Finch or Violet's narration. As the story goes, Finch is counting the number of days he is Awake. At first I thought he has a disease that will cause him to be unconscious for some time but later on found out that he is depressed and suspects to be suffered in bipolar disorder. He could be funny and cheerful at this moment then angry and destructive the next. That's why he is usually called the "Freak" and troublemaker in his school. I feel sad and heartbroken when I learn about how he got this mentally unstable problem and at times I thought he can be cured because he loves Violet and he tries to give up suicide because of her.

On the other hand, Violet is counting down the number of days towards her graduation. After she meets Finch at the bell tower, she becomes the "heroine" who saves Finch from jumping off but that makes her feel worse and guilty. She starts to blame herself after being a survivor of the car accident which killed her elder sister - Eleanor. It's surprise to know that Violet doesn't reject or hate Finch when he invited (or force) her to be his project partner for their U.S. Geography project to explore the places of interest in Indiana. She thinks he is funny and not weird and she falls in love with him too.

I haven't read The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor & Park so I don't read with expectations and not intend to compare to any of them. I love the story and stayed awake midnight just to finish it which I seldom do nowadays. The ending is okay but I expect more from Finch. To be honest, I didn't cry but my heartache when the end comes. It's like you're growing with these two characters as you read through the book.

This book is definitely a must-read no matter or not you're a fan of TFIOS and/or Eleanor & Park. It conveys a very important message to the teenagers (and some adults): don't ever get shy to talk to the family members and friends that you can trust on your depression. You can live a second life if you're willing to step out.

My suggestion to the reader of this book: Read it, learn from it and find your bright places.

Beautiful, Gut-wrenching, Life-changing.

A THOUSAND Thank You's to the publishers for allowing me the honor of reading an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

I mean, WOW! My heart was, and continues to be, SO full after reading ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES. How can I give a book this wonderful the justice it deserves in one little review? I’ll certainly try…

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES is truly spectacular! Move over, John Green! Get out of the way, Rainbow Rowell! Jennifer Niven has officially taken the YA genre to the next level. It took such courage to tell this story and I applaud her publishers for championing such an emotionally honest, complex, and truly difficult piece/topic.

I have not been able to shut up about this book since I finished it! It is beautiful and utterly gut-wrenching. I was left in hysterics for a good hour or so after the last page. I wish I could have stretched it out forever. The downside to reviewing books on a regular basis is that I often have to power through some wonderful reads I would much rather savor. Problem was: once I got hooked, I could not stop reading. A very good problem to have… ;)

Ms. Niven’s characters were raw and real: from the guidance counselor and high school peers, to her protagonists, Violet and Finch. I believed them. Every. Single. One. Jennifer Niven has the unique ability to make her readers truly empathize. I felt as if I were living their story. At times I was left feeling equally as angry or hurt or confused or awed or happy as they did.

Mental health and suicide are two extremely important issues, which tend to get swept under the rug or minimized due to lingering stigmas. So often books (or movies or tv) attempt to broach the subject and fall flat. I suspect this is due to the fact that many of the writers have no real life connection to the subject. They barely scratch the surface of the research. Which leads to getting caught up in and consequently reinforcing stereotypes. They also tend to fixate on the negativity surrounding the topic. It’s a vicious cycle.

But once again, I was blown away by the amount of research you can tell went into this book. It saddens me that this was such a personal story for Niven (read the Author’s Note). But I think it was remarkably brave of her to share a fictionalized version of this piece of her past with readers. Considering this story is partially based on her own reality, she managed to bring a different level of emotional truth to it. More impressively, she wove in an undercurrent of humor and left readers a stunning message of hope. I mean, WOW. A girl who truly learns to live from a boy who wants to die. Wrap your head around that.

5 BRIGHT stars for ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES!!! I can definitely say I’ll be giving this one another more leisurely read (I hope) once I get some downtime. I want to live it all over again and I cannot wait to see the film version recently optioned (Elle Fanning is attached). I may or may not be harassing my book club to read it next month... ;)

Calling it now: International Best Seller. I am beyond excited about the discussion this book is going to inspire. ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES is a life-changing read!


This is my new favorite book. Changed my outlook on life. WANDER

All the Bright Places
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Coming of Age
  • Published: Jan 06, 2015
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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