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All the Bright Places (edition 2016)
by Jennifer Niven (Author)
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Five star books (358)
Books Read in 2017 (973)
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An interesting book but a little depressing which isn't that surprising considering the storyline. Had I been a teenager when I read it I think I would have loved it even though it would have probably broken my heart. Worth listening to, I may also have enjoyed it more had I read the physical book and not listened to an audiobook. ( )
Whew, Okay! This book has been on my shelf for over four years now. I bought it on a sale online and never bothered to read after figuring out that it was as cliche as cliche could be.The first few chapters made me hate both the main characters. It was like they were taken out of a box.
I made up my mind and finally decided to get it over with this time. Even now, I couldn't bring myself to read past the first few chapters as it kept boring me.
Finch came off as cocky and annoying. At times, I felt like he was almost indirectly and sometimes directly pressuring Violet to be his friend. Certain parts are definitely problematic and Finch is, hands down, a stalker. I don't know if it's the effect "You"(the Netflix series) has on people or is being a stalker cute now? If I say anything else, I would have to put up a spoiler tag on the review and I don't wanna go through trouble like that for a book like this.
He even seems to have a type. I was glad that he admitted it. There are points where I feel like Violet was just a reason for him to feel alive. The romance felt lacking and very boring.
I felt like there were a lot of tropes involved just to extract emotions from the readers and that author tried too hard to do so, which was very obvious to me. If you didn't feel so, then happy reading!
Nevertheless, the story picked up later on but the cheesy lines that they keep telling each other in between didn't really help. I didn't find myself attached to both of the characters even though they had very convincing and emotional backgrounds that is relatable to me and I presume, other readers, to varying extents. This relatability could be one of the reasons why the characters seemed a little hollow to me, personally.
I feel like topics as serious and sensitive as mental illness and suicide were romanticized (which is something that is talked about a lot today and a lot of Young Adult authors are found guilty of doing this). This book, however, came out a while ago when it was starting to be a trend and it was not really blamed for doing the same. I haven't read a lot of other reviews and maybe it was blamed. If so, good job, readers! Since I have shat on this book for a while now, let me mention the only good thing about it, which is that Jennifer Niven definitely did good by redirecting the story to a point where it seems more realistic, that it's not all rosy coloured and that sometimes love, even when it feels like it could be enough, it's not. That's why I gave it a 1.5/5. (Since Goodreads doesn't let me give half stars so 2 it is!)
Hey, but admit it, we did see the ending coming. At least, I did. Maybe I have read way too many YA fiction novels now and my mind is rotten. Teehee!
If you haven't read this book, don't bother. You can live without it.
If really you want to check it out, then I wouldn't stop you from doing so.
P.S. Thank you for making me realize I am too old for this shizaz. (Shizaz being books where they use mental illness as a cute character development trope and make two of extremely problematic people forcefully fall in love.)
Update: After having written a paper on the portrayal of depression in YAL, I've got to say that there are a LOT of problems with this book.
Original: They're right. This is one of the good ones. Just go read it. Don't read any reviews; they'll spoil something unintentionally.
This was a rollercoaster. I didn't cry until after I put it down, and then I thought about it, and absolutely bawled. There were so many scenes in this book that perfectly encompassed the feelings of depression and of feeling so small inside this great big world.
Theo's character. Oh goodness. I hurt. He was incredibly well written, and gorgeously flawed. I fell in love with him in this book, and I wanted to fix him. And in that regard I related with Violet even more and loved her even more.
This book reminded me of the Spectacular Now, movie version. Not sure why as they're pretty different. Just an observation.
This lived up to the hype, and was a smooth and easy read, despite the tears, and definitely one for the lists.
Hated this. I would give it 0 stars if possible. Writing was okay, but the overall message of not being able to receive help and the ending...
Finch was not a person. He was a mental illness. Very poorly done on kids with mental illness.
CW: Depression and suicide
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (1)
"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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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century