All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is a book about two different stories and how they weave together. Finch and Violet meet on a rooftop, and one of them saves the other. However, it is not quite clear who actually did the saving. Violet is counting down the days until she graduates, so she can escape the town where the memory of her sister haunts her. Finch, on the other hand, searches out ways to kill himself but when something good happens, he stops his plan.

I think the concept and presentation of this book is interesting. The subject matter is one I have encountered quite a few times before, as it seems to be prevalent in young adult literature. Or maybe these types of books just pop up on my radar for some reason? Regardless, I knew I wanted to read All The Bright Places from the brief summary I had heard about it.

Unfortunately, I do not think that I connected with this book as much as I have with others telling stories about similar topics. It was decent writing, sure, but something was still missing for me. I found the ending to be lacking and though I did not think about the specifics beforehand, I was not surprised in the slightest with the way it ended. I kind of wish I was, or at least I wish it packed a bit more punch for me.

I am not sure how much I enjoyed the actual writing in this book. There is not something specific wrong with it, but rather the fact that I did not find something special in the writing. The words did not hook me. I find that the way something is written can have an impact on how I respond to the book as a whole, even if I am not a major fan of the story. For instance, I enjoyed the writing style in All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, though that book is not one of my favourites.

With that said, I do think that this is a decent young adult novel and if you are into things such as The Perks of Being A Wallflower, John Green books, and It’s Kind of A Funny Story, I would still give this one a read. After all, tastes are different, right?

I would, however, caution anyone who is easily triggered by mentions of suicide. As stated, one of the characters discusses methods of killing themselves, and if you are sensitive to that sort of thing, I would not pick up this book.

If you do read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts. Did something hook you? Were you a fan of the ending for Finch? What about Violet’s ending? Did you enjoy the writing itself, or was your reaction like mine? Any thoughts, even something I have not mentioned, are welcome!


Title: All The Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

Publisher: Knopf


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