Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Published: January 6, 2015 by Knopf
Length: 400 pages (hardcover)
All the Bright Places is SUCH a great book (one of my new favorite contemporaries). Overall, I would give it 4.5/5 stars.
(I’m gonna keep this review positive in order to avoid spoilers and because I’m not in the mood to be critical. That being said, there were parts that I didn’t like, or thought were unnecessary, but overall, it was fantastic!)
Why You Need to Read All the Bright Places
- Finch is really funny, charismatic, and kind. I enjoy all of his arrogance because it’s not obnoxious. All of Finch’s characters make the story not so heavy.
- It is a great representation of mental illness and suicide. It is really sad at times, but also shows all the things that it isn’t. It touches on some very heavy topics (suicide, mental health, loss and death), but it also has a lot of humor and happiness involved. (Actually I stopped reading after the first chapter, because I was afraid it was going to make me feel really depressed, but it got a lot better, and I am super glad I read it.)
- I love the traveling aspects of it. A big part of the story is a wander project that Finch and Violet have to do for school, and I love all of the travel. They have to go around their state and just see things. It makes me want to go find all of the unique little places that aren’t noticed very often.
- It tore me apart. Not sure this is a good thing, but I was super upset for a good day afterwards.
“I think I’ve got a map in my car that wants to be used, and I think there are places we can go that need to be seen. Maybe no one else will ever visit them and appreciate them or take the time to think they’re important, but maybe even the smallest places mean something. And if not, maybe they can mean something to us.” (41)
“I am not perfect. I have secrets. I am messy. Not just my bedroom but me. No one likes messy. They like smiling Violet. I wonder what Ryan would do if he knew Finch was the one who talked me down and not the other way around. I wonder what any of them would do.” (49)
“When we’re in the act of wandering, we need to be present, not watching through a lens.” (97)
“I guess you can be yourself, whatever that means–the best and the worst of you. And they love you anyway. You can fight, but even when you’re mad at them, you know they’re not going to stop being your friend.” (128)
“I know life well enough to know that you can’t count on things staying around or standing still, no matter how much you want them to. You can’t stop people from dying. You can’t stop them from going away. You can’t stop yourself from going away either. I know myself well enough to know that no one else can keep you awake or keep you from sleeping. That’s all on me too. But man, I like this girl.” (139)
“None of us knows how long we have, maybe another month, maybe another fifty years–I like living as if I only have that two days.” (194)
“The thing I realize is that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.” (376)
What did you think about the book? What did you like/not like about it?