Book in Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

1:24 PM

Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publishing Date: January 6th, 2015
Publisher: Knopf
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary:


The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
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.
 
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.



Where do I even begin to describe how beautiful this book is?

I think I just found the best book of 2015 even if it's just January. It's funny because every time I read a really really good book, I am surprised at how speechless I get; whereas if it's a bad one, I always know what stuff I didn't like and I tend to point those out in my reviews. But what to say when I'm blown away with such a gripping and emotional read that made me cry for 2 hours?

Because I am NOT okay, and I don't know when I will be okay, or if I ever will be okay. And every time I see this book, let alone think about it, I tend to have the reaction of  throwing stuff and bursting into ugly tears and just kicking people from sheer sadness and anger - so don't you dare mention this book to me in person if you don't want to be turned into a punching bag or a crying shoulder. 

The blurb of this book tells us that it is for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. These are really heavy claims, and I wasn't too sure since most contemporaries always tell us that it's "for fans of John Green" even if they are NOTHING alike, save for the genre. But man, does this book deliver. I don't want to sound like I'm a PR or Marketing agent, but yes, this is for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell, and you better read it, because oh my God, nothing will compare, and nothing I say will be enough to tell you how beautiful and lovely this is.

All the Bright Places is not just a fictional story about two teenagers who struggle with their brokenness and their constant efforts to hold on with life. It rings with honesty and rawness, and what we read about in this book are things that real people struggle with everyday. There's depression and mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, and these are struggles that we see with our eyes in everyday scenarios. No matter how fictional this story may be, it is real to me, and it should be to anyone. This book is not about how two people fall in love and suddenly just save each other from their problems. This tells us that it's not easy, and everyday is a hard struggle to stay in the Awake, and that it's so easy to slip off into the unknown and just turn everything off. This book shows us that there are good days, but that there are bad ones too, and yet we can keep fighting everyday so we can get more good ones. This tells us that you can hold on to each other as much as you want, but sometimes it's not enough, it's not that easy to fix, and one day it will just eat you alive until you succumb to it and you finally make the leap. 

Depression is not just a quick fix like a band-aid; it should be a constant process of healing and getting yourself together. It's not your fault if things aren't enough, it's not your fault if you can't control it, because somehow it becomes a part of you. And it's okay to ask for help, it's okay to admit you can't do it anymore, because depression is a scary thing and it burns inside you until you just can't take it anymore. It's not just about feeling sad or down sometimes or wanting to kill yourself; it's about struggling to stay alive, and fighting for your life, and looking for good reasons to live. 

There's a huge social stigma that mental illness is just a choice, and people want to suffer and that it's just a form of weakness or they are trying to get attention. But no matter what others think, these issues are real. And it's exactly because of these social stigmas that make people with these conditions not want to seek support or help. And that should change.

All The Bright Places is one of the best portrayals of mental illness and suicide. It's so hauntingly emotional and real, and I think this is one way to get people to understand and accept these issues. It's incredibly gut wrenching and touching to read, and this book complete broke me. This book demands to be read and I can't stress how much this book deserves every bit of acclaim and praise, even if all of them will never be enough.

All The Bright Places gave me a subtle reminder of why I even started reading - and it's because there's just something about these books that invoke feelings into me. And this one, is a keeper.


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