Title- All the Bright Places
Author- Jennifer Niven
Genre– Romance/ Young Adult Fiction
Reviewed by Kayla Halls
“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven is a contemporary romance novel that addresses issues such as mental illness, death, and love.
Violet Markey lost her sister in a car crash, and since then has forgotten what it means to live with passion. Theodore Finch lives wildly on the fringes of life, the only thing keeping him tethered to the land of the living being his fascination with death. It’s hard to imagine how these two hurting, broken people could possibly heal each other. However, in a refreshingly honest perspective, Jennifer Niven weaves these two opposite characters together to demonstrate the beauty of love in healing, of death in living.
An incredible theme in this novel is how life is so different for each and every person. We often think that we know the people around us, that we understand the life story of our peers. In actuality, we never truly know unless they open up. This statement rings true for Violet and Finch in the same ways. Yes, Violet associates with the popular students, and yes, Finch is on track for the title of “criminal” or “prison bound”. Yet, against all odds, they find each other in places that seem dark, and create their own light.
I won’t reveal the ending, but I promise you that your heart will grow three sizes as it expands to hold the waves of emotion that will crash into you as you close the book for the last time. This book is so sincere. That is the best word I can find to describe it. “All the Bright Places” holds a world of living color in its pages. The sheer richness of emotion that one can pull out of this book and wrap around their minds while remaining fully invested in the lives of the characters is phenomenal.
I challenge you to not just read this book but to read this book. Don’t just let your eyes wander over the pages until the words run out. Linger over each paragraph. Contemplate the backstory and poetry behind Violet and Finch. Marvel at the parallels, at the contrasts, at the beautiful smoke and waves that are kicked up when their dark places collide and create a beautiful light.