Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.

Theodore Finch is fascinated with death and he’s constantly coming up with different ways to kill himself. But every time he tries, something good stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the moment she’ll graduate high school and can leave Indiana. She’ll be able to escape the grief that’s consumed her since her sister died.

When Violet and Finch meet on the ledge of the bell tower, it’s not clear who’s saved who. After pairing up to discover the wonders in their state, they both make other discoveries. Finch feels like he can be 100% himself with Violet. And it’s thanks to Finch that Violet’s stopped counting down the days till she’s free and has started living in the present again. But as Violet’s world starts to grow, Finch’s is shrinking.

Violet and Finch used to be really different, but also alike in many ways. Violet was popular. She was a cheerleader, co-ran a popular blog, dated one of the most popular guys in high school and was pretty happy with her life and where it was headed. But that was before her sister, Eleanor, died. Since then, Violet has been using her “extenuating circumstances” as and excuse not to participate in her life. She stopped living and just existed. Then, one day on the bell tower, she meets Finch and Violet starts to see her world differently. She kind of grew and changed throughout the book.

11304468_10155598165770018_732522982_nThen there’s Finch. He was definitely one troubled kid. Always reinventing himself, changing his personality and wardrobe once a week. Finch had been through a lot in his short life. Bullied, not only by the kids in school but also by his father. His parents didn’t seem to be involved in his life, letting him take of for weeks and just accepting it. Finch had times when he couldn’t contain his emotions and he’d lash out. Up one minute and down the next. I really wanted to be able to help Finch and knock some sense into his idiotic parents.

I remember being in high school, with all the drama and stress that comes with it. I used to be bullied in school and I know a lot of victims of bullies either think about suicide or actually do kill themselves. Maybe I did think about it, but not seriously enough to attempt it. I did know two girls who used to cut themselves. Both had problems they were trying to deal with but instead of talking to someone they turned to a knife or a razor blade to dull the pain they were feeling. Unfortunately, one of those girls is no longer with us, which I only found out this week. I hope she has the peace wherever she is now that she couldn’t find here.

All the Bright Places was heart breaking, thought-provoking and a really, really great story. I hope that when people read it they’ll realize that they aren’t alone, that there is help out there. That even if you don’t think people care or that you’ll be missed, that people do, and you will be. Your life matters, you matter. So please, talk to someone. Don’t give up, because you never know what’s around the corner, when your perfect day will happen. You may not think that you matter to the world, but you do! So please, talk to someone.

– Aimee.

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