Thursday, 8 January 2015


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.

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES is an extremely powerful story about love, loss and and the struggles people go through within themselves. Finch and Violet are the star - crossed lovers of this story, only throughout the book the only people who stand in their way are themselves and their ideas of self worth and self blame. 

The story alternates between Violet and Finch and how they are both struggling with their inner demons. Violet, who is still reeling from her sister's death, is struggling to find peace, as she places blame on herself for the accident that happened. Finch doesn't have a 'reason' for being the way he is, which at times makes his story a lot more difficult. However, they both have one similarity; they are tired of being judged and labelled by those around them. Through these characters, this book explores the stigma surrounding mental illness and the harsh reality of the way society handles this stigma. This is, at times, dealt with sharply, which can be difficult to read. However, the approach to the subject of mental illness is maybe what is needed to get society to open its eyes to the problems surrounding this stigma.

Make sure you grab the tissues while you read this book. The use of the count(up) at the beginning of each chapter creates an uneasy build up to catastrophic events. Niven cleverly weaves a sense of darkness and foreboding in between these pages, even through the brightest times. You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll question the society we live in. This is a fantastically written, heartfelt book that isn't always easy to read, but it's definitely something that you should read. 


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