All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


All the Bright Places is a novel that follows two teenagers - Finch, an outcast in all aspects of his life who is constantly thinking of ways to kill himself and Violet, the most popular girl at school but with a tragic background that haunts her. Our story starts on top of the school bell tower where Finch and Violet meet for the first time. But can they help to save each other before it's too late?

I'd heard nothing but good reviews of this book and when my friend Chelsea suggested I read it, I knew it must be worth a read (she's a massive book fan in case you hadn't noticed). So I picked it up one lunchtime and couldn't put it down. In fact, with only 100 pages to go, I sat up until 1am intently reading until I finished.

I found both Finch and Violet to be engaging characters and genuinely wanted to see them both end up together happy and content at last. However, having a fairly reasonable understanding of mental illness, I could tell that was never likely to be the case. Whilst I would agree that there are a few faults with the portrayal of mental illness in this book, by a large it really reiterated the lack of general want of understanding by families and friends of those affected. I found myself getting increasingly wound up by the ignorance of certain characters as the book progressed which led to deeper connection to the main characters.

Although it is arguably a very common technique in writers of this genre - especially in books such as The Fault in Our Stars, which this book is often likened to, I did quite enjoy the use of quotes from other authors such as Virginia Woolf throughout the book. It reignited the love I have for her stories and quotes of hers.

I found this novel to be very endearing and would certainly recommend it (with a warning that it may break your heart a little bit)

Would you recommend or read this book? And why?

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