It’s crazy that this year is edging closer to being over. I’d been so optimistic in setting my GoodReads challenge for the year at 52 books, but at the time of writing this, I’m sitting at 13 books read this year. Not my best numbers. But alas, I will keep trucking on through my TBR pile. I recently finished All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, and I’m so happy that I picked this book up. I’ll throw it out there now that it’s a young adult romance dealing with teen suicide.
Typically, this isn’t a book that I would pick up. I’m a crier, and teen suicide isn’t a topic that I would normally want to subject myself to simply for the sake of crying. (And I did cry. Hard.) To be 100% honest, I noticed All the Bright Places in stores a few times because I was confusing it with Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Don’t ask me why I confused the two so many times, but it made me pick up All the Bright Places enough times that I finally paid real attention to the premise and decided that I wanted to give it a chance. I’m so glad I did. Let’s dig in, Wyrms!
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might kill himself, but every day he also searches for—and manages to find—something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small 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—six stories above the ground— it’s unclear who saves whom. Soon it’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself. 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 probably one of the few books that I won’t talk very much about. I’m not sure what exactly I expected when I decided to read it, but the book description is pretty spot on. What I did not expect was to relate to Violet’s story as much as I did. Not her battle against depression or suicidal thoughts, but how trapped she felt in her small Indiana town. Throughout the story, Finch works so hard to get Violet to open her eyes to the wonders of Indiana. He wants her to see the things right in front of her instead and to appreciate the time she has in the present.
I have not had kind thoughts towards being stuck back in a small Ohio town after spending 5 years in Washington state. I miss the city and life I used to have, much like Violet misses the life she had before her sister died. Along with Violet, I was reminded to look for the good surrounding me now.
I think I’ll leave the review there, BookWyrms. You’ll know if this is something you’re interested in reading or not based on the premise. I know it isn’t for everyone, and I’m still a little surprised at myself for picking it up. I will warn you that the ending crushed me. BUT… it was a deeply sweet story, and I’m glad that I read it. (I still haven’t decided if I want to watch the Netflix film. On the one hand, I know it’s going to make me cry, but on the other hand, it’s a super fantastic cast.)
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