Friday, January 2, 2015

All the Bright Places review

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 384
Keywords: depression, suicide, healing
Format Read: ARC via publisher (thank you!)
Goodreads | IndieBound
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.
I don't really have an intro or a nice way to start this, so I'm just going to dive right in.

My favorite thing about this book was, surprisingly, the narrative voices and the dual perspective. GASP. I know, who am I? I never say that. However, I truly loved seeing the story from both Violet's and Finch's POVs. Both narrations were different and unique, and I especially loved Finch's voice. It felt authentic, and I could relate to a lot of his inner dialogue.

The whole story takes place sort of revolving around an "Explore Indiana" sort of mindset. Finch and Violet are partners in a school history project to find unpopular, cool places around their hometowns (and hey-yo I'm from Indiana!). So a lot of their bonding takes place on funny road trips and hikes around the area. I loved all the weird locations they went to (Bookmobile land was my favorite) and how they tied in to the rest of the book.

I also think it's good that suicide and depression are being talked about in a realistic way. These are issues tons of people (especially teens) deal with daily and experience or have friends who experience this. However, I don't want it to become a "thing." Like, this book talked about it wonderfully. But I worry that if so many books start talking about it the wrong way, it will be the next big "thing" in books, and it won't be treated the way it needs to — as a very real and very scary issue. I loved the way Niven approached the subject. It wasn't romanticized or blown out of proportion, and the characters were so real and so true to high schoolers and people struggling with depression.

Niven's style was spot-on, the plot moving quickly but not too fast that we lost things. It was a big book, almost 400 pages, but it never felt overwhelming to be reading something of its size. In fact, by the time I got to the end (in tears, I might add), I flipped the pages frantically because all the sudden, it was over.

And since I loved this book so much, and thanks to the wonderful people at Random House, I have a copy to give to a lucky reader!


Are you excited for this book? Any cool places you'd explore near your hometown?

5 comments:

  1. Really excited for this book to come out. :)

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  2. I agree it is important for issues like depression to be portrayed with sensitivity. Great review!

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  3. I'm kind of trying to explore my city right now and I'm steering away from most of the popular touristy places. I want to look for hidden treasures, pretty places, interesting (to me) places and places where I can do things.

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  4. I honestly can't think of any interesting places in my hometown haha.

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  5. Places in my hometown? I am a cavedweller. I rarely go out and explore my city because it's mostly beaches and I hate beaches. haha. But I have been to various countries overseas. Moving on to the book, I am seriously excited for this. I love the dual POVs. I always had a thing for melancholic books. So I hope I get this one! Thank you for the giveaway! <3

    Carmel @ http://carmelandkyla.blogspot.com/

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