Jennifer Niven is known best for her Young Adult fiction as well as non-fiction novels. She has also won a Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction. All the Bright Places was her very first novel which got published in 2015.
The cover of this book is extremely soothing and appealing, a blue background with different colored post-its stuck on top. The post-it on the top right corner says “A story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.” This is a great read which targets issues many of us face but find it hard to talk about; mental illnesses. It is indeed an emotional story with more lows than highs; it is a story that will bring tears of joy as well as frustration because of how relatable it is. It might make you want to punch a wall, it might make you want to cry, but it will make you feel something.
It is a beautiful story; it is so real that it’s easy to get lost within the pages thinking it’s a part of reality. The author in my opinion, did an amazing job writing about such a sensitive topic in a way that would not only intrigue people but also help them understand it from the point of view of someone who has been in that situation. It talks about love, heartbreak, loss, bullying, mental illnesses, social pressures; something every young adult faces at one point or the other.
The story revolves around Finch, a boy suffering from bipolar disorder and Violet, a girl who has trouble dealing with the loss of her sister, two seniors of the same school who barely knew one another until one day they meet at the roof of their school, both, planning on killing themselves.
What I like about this story is how the characters fall in love, it’s not the usual ‘boy meets girl, and they instantly fall in love’ concept, it takes its own course and time, capturing the beauty of wooing someone and making them feel comfortable.
A love story born out of the desire to die, even though on the cover it says that it’s a story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die, I disagree. Finch wants to live; he does everything in his power to not give in to the urge of killing himself. But will this newly found warmth and connection be enough to lead him away from the darkness? Will Violet’s love help him find the strength or will it be the end of him?
I give this book a 4.5/5 because of how amazingly it is written as well as how emotionally healing this book is.