Review: All The Bright Places

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

all the bright placesTheodore 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. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?

This is a teenage YA (young adult) book, but it’s got such a punch. It’s a weird, quirky story about loving the world and the places in it, seeing beauty in everything, seizing the moment and learning how to live; but (thankfully) it’s not using the usual cliché events. It’s about a growing relationship between two very different people, and it’s brutally and bitterly honest about grief and depression and mania and mental health – and not just the affect on the person experiencing it, but on the people and the world around them.

lie-downI love the imagery in the book, and the language is wonderful; I read it in an afternoon, as it’s that easy a read. The plot’s a tumbling mess of wonderful, and the second half….ALL OF THE FEELS.

I’m not sure if I’ll re-read or not – the book’s going off to @vicorva because I think she’ll like it, and after that…not sure. I’m going to give it a few weeks to let the Feels settle, and see what I think about potentially plunging in again!

This was part of my Discoverability Challenge.

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.