The following is a book review by The Ameri Brit Mom. This post expresses the genuine opinion and experiences of The Ameri Brit Mom and is in no way endorsed by authors, publishers, and outside influences.
Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Copyright Date: 2015
One thing that my husband and I have in common is our shared love for literature. Although he prefers the biography/memoir genre he knows my heart is in Young Adult fiction. I was so pleased that this year for Mother’s Day he gifted a couple of books for me from my summer list. Summer hasn’t hit yet, but I have now accomplished one of my summer must-reads from my earlier post, Motivating Readers and Myself.
All the Bright Places is about two seniors battling with emotional issues and scars. The two meet on a bell tower ledge at their high school where each is prepared to take their own life. Before this event Violet and Finch are practically strangers, but this encounter brings them together and helps to form a bond between two troubled teens.
Theodore Finch is the school freak. He lives up to his label with his off-the-wall attitude and behavior. Brought up in a home of instability Finch uses his absent father as a scapegoat and lives his life barely awake. His world is dark and he feels very little until he meets Violet on the ledge of the bell tower.
Violet Markey is a popular ex-cheerleader who suffers from survivor’s guilt. A few months back she was in a car accident with her older sister and best friend, Eleanor. When her sister passes away in the accident Violet is left in a constant state of grief and is counting down the days until she can leave this town and the memories of her sister. One day she finds herself on the ledge of the bell tower because she doesn’t think she can keep on living without her sister.
After they convince one another to continue living they begin to foster a relationship that is built on their common hurts. Shortly after the bell tower incident their US Geography teacher assigns the class a project where they venture to different landmarks in their home state of Indiana. Violet and Finch use this assignment to find the beauty in the world around them and the mission of venturing to these places gives them a sense of purpose.
A majority of this book was uplifting and full of hope. Themes in this story include love, acceptance, and finding one’s purpose. I fell in love with the characters and with conclusion of the book I experienced an emotional response. I couldn’t stop reading until I found out what happened to the main characters in the end. Ultimately, the ending of the book was not what I had hoped and I was disappointed, but I understand the lessons that the author was trying to teach using her own experiences as inspiration.