All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This was a book I eventually intended to read but the library got it for me and so I read it a lot earlier than I would’ve. This is on the Zoella Book Club so has been gaining a lot of attention as of late, which is nothing but good really. The Zoella book club is definitely not a bad thing, I hope it does for young readers what the Richard and Judy book club does for adult readers.

Finch and Violet are two very different people but somehow they become friends and bond over being sad. That’s the long and the short of it, but this book is so much more than that.

Honestly this reads very much like your typical contemporary YA with 2 fucked up heterosexual kids. However it has a very important that aren’t in your usual cliche contemporaries: you can’t just fix someone who has depression with a relationship. Finch still has problems despite being in a happy relationship with Violet. People who have mental illness can be in a good relationship and still feel so incredibly awful and not right, love is not the cure. A person just can’t be “fixed” by getting into a relationship with someone.

There’s also a lot of talk about grief and how people react differently to the loss of a loved one. How sometimes people don’t want to talk about it and just getting out and living is a good way to heal the wound.

There was classic kind of YA contemporary cheesy one liners that I can see kids quoting and making graphics out of. Violet had a slight air of manic pixie dream girl but definitely wasn’t even 20% MPDG. Finch was a bit of an asshole at times, but that’s what happens when you’ve got depression, you can be a bit of an asshole, I know from experience.

 

I’m not going to spoil the end, I’m not a knob, however I should have seen it coming from a mile off. It was quite an important ending and I’m in two minds about it just because of what happens and how that affects everything else.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good book, it wasn’t perfect and the parenting was absolutely shocking that I felt like there was no way in hell they could be that bad, but you never know. If you liked TFIOS you would probably adore this book.

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9 thoughts on “All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

  1. I’m glad you liked this one; All the Bright Places is actually one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. The parenting was definitely flawed, but I just loved both Finch and Violet and the overall themes of this book. I’m actually one who didn’t like The Fault in Our Stars that much, but loved this one! I can’t wait for Niven’s Holding Up the Universe. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review- I absolutely loved this book, even if it was obvious. I’m quite surprised that you found the parenting to be so shocking that you thought it was unrealistic. If anything, it was sanitised for the readership and it’s not nearly as bad as some cases that exist in the real world. (Just to give some context, I used to work for a youth homelessness charity and the stories of some of the young people are a million times worse than this)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know I can’t imagine a parent who claimed to care that much and was so upset like Finch’s mum was at the end just letting it happen practically. I don’t know. I know parents can’t be the best often but it just felt off.

      Liked by 1 person

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