Submitted by Juliana Lima on 15 December 2017 - 12:40pm
It might look obvious by the end of this review, but All The Bright Places is my favourite book so far. To read it you just need a comfy bed and a box of tissues, that's essential. This heartbreaking but BEAUTIFUL (yes, in caps) novel by Jennifer Niven tells the story of Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, two teenagers from Indiana.
Finch, a boy with suicidal thoughts, meets Violet, who's suffering from PTSD. Their story begins at the school bell tower, where both of them were intending to jump from. They get to know each other better when assigned to a U.S Geography project called "Wandering Indiana". From that moment onward Finch and Violet open their personalities to one another and to the reader, who gets more engaged and feeling part of the narrative as the book goes on.
Finch brings up the best in Violet and, ironically, teaches her how to live. Violet, on the other hand, brings light, love and somehow hope to Finch's life, awakening him. The narrative has intense shifts between the ups and downs, always making the reader keep devouring the pages.
The beauty of the story is, especially in the details. Every Virginia Woolf quote, colour reference and symbol enrich the narrative and drags us deeper into the lives of Violet and Finch. Niven's ability with words creates an easy though detailed flow to the story, a mixture of sharp narration and vertical description of the most profound feelings of each character. Not to mention the brilliant distinction between Finch and Violet's tone and style of telling the story.
Most impressive of all is the way Jennifer Niven has approached such delicate themes without looking depressive or dramatic in the bad sense of the word. Niven brings suicide and PTSD in such a way that you can feel close to the characters without that constant sense of distance and pity, but instead, you think you are living the characters and understanding what they are going through.
All The Bright Places is definitely worth the reading because it makes you appreciate life and stop to reflect on what are the real problems in life.