Reviewed by Courtney
All the Bright Places, a young adult fiction novel, is about two broken twelfth graders,
Violet and Finch, who both coincidentally end up staring back at their school from one hundred feet. Written by Jennifer Niven, this book journeys through the eyes of both Violet and Finch. In the first few pages of All the Bright Places, Theodore Finch makes his way to the bell tower at his high school, oblivious to Violet’s presence for a while. When Finch convinces Violet to go down along with him, they immediately connect over similar, deathly thoughts. Their relationship takes off after this peculiar encounter. Finch volunteers himself to be partners with Violet on a history project and the rest is history. For their history project, they are supposed to travel to different local places and learn about their history. Violet in the first half of this book is hesitant and unsure about Finch. She always feels attracted to him, but in her head, she tells herself it is nothing. She is having a hard time letting go of her social standing and what other people think about her, confused about where she should be. Finch, on the other hand, has known he loves Violet from the moment he first confronted her. Finch is known as a “freak,” which leads Violet worrying about him. As they spend more and more time with each other, they begin to enjoy “wandering” to these places. Many themes are also portrayed throughout the story, which include suicide, bullying, faith, love, hope, and mourning. Throughout All the Bright Places, Violet learns to get out of her comfort zone and how to put her faith in the future. She learns how to deal with losses and burdens. She even learns how to deal with the loss of her sister, Eleanor. Finch realizes that love is more than he could ever imagine, but fails to see that love is worth living for.
On a scale of one to ten, I rate this novel a ten. I give this book that rating because the author is able to portray so many messages in only 388 pages and in an organized structure and style. Another reason why I give the novel a ten out of ten is because Jennifer Niven hit a home run as far as writing goes. She did an incredible job creating these teenagers and making them come alive. Her words take the reader into a whole new world away from reality. It is amazing how capturing and captivating her writing is and how accomplished her ideas are. She completely submerges herself into these two different characters and does not judge them. She simply delivers the messages they have to give to the reader. A young adult reader will be lost if they do not take hold of this amazing book and cherish every word of it. Honestly, please scratch that thought. Everyone, of all ages, should read this whimsical, heartbreaking journey of Violet and Finch’s.