Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Genre: Realistic Fiction 
Page Count: 338
Age Range: 13+ 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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. 

My Thoughts:

I have been thinking so much the past couple of hours as to how I wanted to write this review. When I first finished this book I was like "OHMYGOSH OHMYGOSH WHAT WHAT WHAT?!?!" but once I had more time to think about it, it was more "what what what". That probably makes no sounded so much better in my head. So what I am getting at is that I am half and half on this book so let me tell you why.

(well before that I'm just gonna give you some information on it)

Okie dokie. So meet Finch. He has always been labeled the weird kid and is not able to connect to many people. So when he finds himself on top of the bell tower, it is not a surprise to him or any other students at school. But what is a surprise is finding Violet across from him on the ledge. Violet's sister died in a car accident the year before and is having trouble getting back to the living (metaphorically). Boy meets girl and they help each other find happiness.

First of my problems with this book. Doesn't this sound familiar? I feel that I have read so many books like this lately and while I was reading this there were so many parts that I was like "hmm, this sounds really familiar, I wonder if I have read this book?" I mean yes, there were major differences and parts of the book that made it unique but the main theme was soooooo similar to most YA books.

I did like the way that Niven handled the soft topic of suicide. I thought that her experience or knowledge on the subject really came through the pages. The way she crafted the characters, especially Finch, made me feel everything they were feeling like I was actually them. At the end of the book, Niven actually wrote a couple paragraphs explaining her experience with suicide (friend/family). It was like "duh" moment. It is those kinds of authors who can take their own personal experiences and churn and turn them into a novel that reflects what they felt. Crazy.

Niven also did a great job with the flow of the novel. It was smooth and really easy read. The plot was exciting and the suspense at the end literally had me at the end of my seat. Overall, this book had its strong points if you can get past familiar-ness (definitely not a word) of the plot.

Rating: ***/*
Cover Rating: I'm a fan
1. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
2. Paper Towns by John Green
3. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Favorite Quotation: "Before I die I want to _________"

Now, what do you think?

a Book Nerd

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