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All the Bright Places

by Jennifer Niven

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,7661683,923 (4.01)30
"Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school--both teetering on the edge--it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the "natural wonders" of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another"… (more)
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English (163)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  All languages (168)
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
Preaching is all Uncle knows, so here we go!

I noticed that when things are really starting to get “serious”, as they say—because she’s more or less recovered and he’s on a romance high—he still reverts to a certain ideation. (I love the mind, the stories, but when your mind starts mulling over suicide stats in your suicide journal it’s time to start reading Leonard Jacobson.) She’s interested, so she asks him about his life more, so he has to talk about his life more, and so instead of The Great Escape, it’s just life and he can’t deal….

Also worth remembering is that one of his sisters, the younger sister, censors her own books (romance novels) by—literally—cutting out with scissors all the difficult passages. Like any true romantic, of course. I used to be a music high chaser, a romantic, and so I know. Now I suppose I’m still a romantic about something else, but I’m not a “realist” or a materialist…. It’s just that when life gets cold, I can wrap myself in a warm cloak of pessimism.

It’s largely a non-minority book, although the Wander Indiana theme deserves some credit; still, it’s essentially non-minority American individualism, so be advised. It does, however, make some reference to how girls do suffer through certain things as girls, even when the boy and not the girl is the one with the more severe disability.

I think that it is still essentially a romantic comedy, albeit a romantic crisis comedy, and not a marriage plot book, like Sophie Kinsella or Regency Jane.

I suppose it remains that we cannot cut out from our life all the temporary goods, either.

…. I guess I took a preemptive non-liking to Finch so that when something unstable happened to him, you know. Kinda selfish, I know.

Archangel Michael: …. And you *points*—
Guardian Angel: *eyes closed* not Finch not Finch not Finch
Archangel Michael: —get Finch.

I didn’t run away with Violet but I thought I was more like her.

…. Certainly a lot happened to Finch that he could have talked with his therapist about.

…. I think it’s worse when you have something like that happen when you’re still an old-child. Plus, he had no social ideas, even deluded ones; it was just him and his illness.

…. It would be nice if I could write something else, and it would probably be less judgmental, but it wouldn’t make sense, even to me.
  goosecap | Oct 2, 2021 |
I just finished reading All the Bright Places a couple of minutes ago. I don't have it in me to even think about writing a review for this book. I don't know how people write about mental illness. I mean it's difficult for the people going through it. But, I can't even imagine what it would take for another person to understand it so deeply and to write about it so beautifully. I am a mess right now. a total and complete mess. and yet, I feel incomplete. like the book took a part of me with its ending. ( )
  VipashaAiyer | Sep 28, 2021 |
Loved it. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
suicide ( )
  rolyat | Aug 5, 2021 |
Review originally posted at The Children's Book and Media Review

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he spends a lot of time thinking about ways that he might kill himself and if it is a good day to die. He meets Violet Markey on the ledge of the bell tower at school. They talk to each other enough to prevent either from jumping off, and later Finch requests that Violet be his partner for a project to discover the natural wonders of the state. Finch helps Violet deal with the recent death of her sister, and the two of them come together with their mutual difficulties. As Violet begins to heal, however, Finch’s world gets more difficult and Violet has to discover all the bright places on her own.

All the Bright Places looks cheerful from the cover and the title, but it is anything but. It deals with difficult issues like abuse, suicide, death, mental illness, and substance abuse. It seems to be written from the perspective of helping those who lose someone to suicide, but the message for someone struggling with suicidal thoughts seems to be that there is no hope, adults cannot be trusted with problems, and if you kill yourself in the right way at least your death can be inspirational to others. The adults in the book ignore the very serious issues that Violet and Finch face, but neither of them are open with the adults in their lives either, which contributes to the tragic ending. The characters are treated as descriptions of mental illnesses instead of real people for a good portion of the book. Finch starts out as a complex character, but evolves into a “manic pixie dream boy” trope. The writing is gripping and intense, but the difficult themes of this book were not handled well. ( )
  vivirielle | Aug 4, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Nivenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eekelen-Benders, Aleid vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heyborne, KirbyReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for all the Germ girls and guys, who make it lovely
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Is today a good day to die?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school--both teetering on the edge--it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the "natural wonders" of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another"

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