Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review : All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Title : All the Bright Places
Author : Jennifer Niven
Genre : YA contemporary
Release Date : January 6th, 2015
Publisher : Knopf

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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.



"Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself"

To everyone around him--including his own family--Finch didn't seem suicidal. And to be honest, if there's no Finch's POV in this book, I didn't think he's suicidal either. He seems carefree and happy and live-out-loud-type-of-guy. Turns out, everyday, Finch always think about the best way to die and search for famous peoples who have done it (including quoting words from said famous peoples).

"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"

Before her sister's death, Violet used to be a popular cheerleader and a student council's member. But since her sister's death, she changes. She's trying to be more like her sister in act and in appearance, hoping that by doing so, she didn't lose her sister who's also her best-friend. The problem is, by doing that, she can't stop blaming herself for the accident, and so, she might be alive, but she's not living.

"When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom"

Everyone think that Violet saves Finch who's planning to jump, but the truth is, it's Finch who saves Violet, and only they know the truth. Violet wants nothing to do with Finch after that, but Finch is a very persistent guy. When they got an assignment for their Geography teacher to discover natural wonders of Indiana, Violet (reluctantly) pair up with Finch (because Finch ask her out in front of the class and she can't say no). Now, you guys know how much I love books with road-trips in it, and this book has a lot. They went from hills to lake to man-made roller coaster. Because of Finch and those road-trips, Violet begin to live again.

"But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink"

This sentence is confusing at first. I mean, how can Violet's world grows, but Finch's world begins to shrink? But when I read this book clearly, I begin to understand. Here's the thing : meeting the love of your life doesn't always 'fix' your mental-illness and suicidal thoughts. This is a thing that I didn't realize and didn't know before. From the beginning, it's pretty clear that Finch has a mental-illness, and I quote :

“It's my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.” 

It's just unclear what mental-illness he has, though I think he's bipolar since he has this Asleep/Awake phase. When he met Violet and begin to spend times with her, his suicidal thoughts might be decreasing, but his mental-illness is still there, eating him slowly from the inside. And in the end, his mental-illness is the one who took his life.

All the Bright Places has a lot of important messages. First thing is, mental-illness is a REAL thing, and it can be cured, if one is brave enough to speak about it and if (and only if) the people around them actually take it seriously, and not just wave it off like most people. Just because they can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. Secondly, when Finch actually committed suicide, I was mad at him for leaving Violet to grief again in less than a year, but then I realize it is really happening. Jennifer says in her acknowledgement page that every 40 seconds, someone committed suicide and so, every 40 seconds, someone is left to grief. I think this couldn't be more true.

Overall, All the Bright Places is a beautifully written and important books about mental-illness. Will I recommend this one? Definitely!


“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.” 


1 comment:

  1. Great review! I really like this book. The writing is so good. :)

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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