All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Posted March 15, 2015 in Book Review / 2 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 16 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug use, alcohol use, language, and/or violence.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Published by Knopf Books on January 6th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 388
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Includes a PDF Help Line Resource Guide and a Note Read by the Author.

Main points

 This book nearly killed me. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t function. I knew it was going to be a book that caused feels, but I didn’t know quite how harsh it was until it happened. I mean, the signs were there, but I was mistakenly assuming there would be some kind of happy ending. I had to set it aside for a day before gathering the strength to finish it. View Spoiler » Because this book was able to disrupt my life in such a way, I gave it 5 stars because I believe the more a book affects you, the more powerful and important it is, and the better it is for you as a person. It will make you learn and grow somehow.

It’s still very hard for me to think about it, let alone discuss it. I have to hold off thinking about that moment and just remember the before, which was a long time. And I truly thought it was going to end up a happy book. This book has no happy ending. No silver lining. It is a story of loss, harsh and plain with the ability to destroy you. When you read the last pages, it will be with a resigned feeling, not one of contentment. Maybe there will be a little closure, but no satisfaction. At that point, you’ll just be reading it to finish, to end the heartbreak and try to stop the feeling of it tearing apart every little piece of your soul.

I don’t know how made for each other Violet and Finch were, but they certainly got along in a way that I don’t think they could have with anyone else. It’s a shame it took Violet a while to get used to Finch. By then, I think he was beyond her help. But that’s always the question she’ll- we’ll- be asking.

I did like Finch. His weirdness was cool. He was so genuine about the things that no one else was, yet he lied about normal things. He was a character. I identified with him a bit, but I feel like I didn’t understand quite why he thought the way he did. There was a lot of thinking but little explanation why.

I liked Violet, although less than Finch. It took a little too long for her to take her wall down and I saw her as unfeeling for most of the book. But at least I can understand why. (Extenuating Circumstances)

Honestly, I really don’t know what to make of it. It was a good story, and then it was awful, and I gave it five stars but I will never allow it in my house again because it almost killed me. So…read at your own risk. Feel the feels. Might as well enjoy the filler in our lives before the inevitable end.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

…but some are.

(the original quote was by J.R.R. Tolkien)


About Jennifer Niven

By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson (“If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win”), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.

In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven’t stopped… I’ve written eight books (two of those are forthcoming), and when I’m not working on the ninth, I’m contributing to my web magazine, Germ (, thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.

Overall: five-stars


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2 Comments on "All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven"

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I’ve been so afraid of reading this, but I want to, but I’m so scared. But I’m so curious! But, again, it’s sad. I can’t make up my mind :( I used to love sad books, but now I hate it because it makes me feel sad. Sometimes, books like this can ruin my day. (Has happened already, lol.) I like how this book can change you! I’m glad it did for you. Finch and Violet sound like really great characters. Thanks for the review! :) I’m very convinced, but I’m still afraid. i might want to read this in the next 5 years or so. :P