All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

published: 2015 // 378 pages
isbn: 978-0-385-75589-4
read: 2/24-28/2015

"...but the great think about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody." 
- Finch

4 books in 1 month. i feel so good about that . 
and what makes it even better is that after the last 3, I'm ending Feb's reads with a good book. like a 'holy crap i fell in love with this book why didn't i buy it, I'm probably going to buy a copy just to keep forever!' good. 

i saw this book on Hello Giggles facebook page so i thought okay, ill check it out. then Jay bought it and we exchanged books. of course the one book i didn't buy would be the one I'd end up falling in love with and tabbing all over the place knowing very well i couldn't keep it. Le sigh. (see this is why even though i LOVE the library, we just cant work)

so i guess before we start, let me say it is a YA novel with a dark subject. 

Theo (known as finch from here on out) and Violet meet in a very odd setting; on top of their school building. while he's up there to see it all matter. while Violet has no recollection of even getting up there. 
being known as the school's "freak" makes it seem as though Violet was up there trying to save him instead of the other way around which is what really happens. but hes okay with it as long as he gets to spend time with her. 

i guess you can say their class project and Finch's eagerness to get to know Violet is what brings them close together. 

as amazon puts it: this is a story that will stick to you, with you even long after you've finished reading it. i went to log this on my goodreads account and a lot of people weren't feeling this book mostly because it has a "the fault in our stars" vibe to it. but while that book is good in its own right, so is this one. and trust me, i wont be forgetting this one anytime soon (which is saying a lot! if anything, its because of the way it made me feel.)

so, ya ready? 

spoilers below! so stop here if ya don't want to know. 

1. its crazy to think that Finch's father would beat him up at such a young age. i think that's why (I'm pretty sure that's why) he was always having suicidal thoughts. but its even crazier to think that his mother and dad (when he was in his "good" mood) never thought of doing anything about it. as in noticing how often he spoke of suicide and then seeking help for him. 

2. "when he left to sleep" I'm going to be 100% honest with you. i read this book rather fast when i had the chance to read so i picked up on this a little bit slower than i would have had i seen all the signs beforehand, therefore i wasn't 100% sure what he meant. but he talks a lot about the dark days and how he hates sleep and how his sister Kate covers for him when he goes missing. originally, i had thought that he maybe had that disease where he sleeps for days on end without waking up. but towards the end Violet sees that side of him where he lives holed up in his closet. and i mean LIVES in his closet. eats, sleeps, reads, writes, EVERYTHING in his closet. i guess when the fear of "does it matter if i exist" kicks in, that's where he retreats to and nothing can get him out. which leads me to...

3. had Violet not told her parents who then in turn went until the last mile to try and help him, would he have survived? yep, he does end up committing suicide. or as he calls it, left to live his other life. 

the point of the project they were working on was to explore Indiana before they graduated and i LOVE their teacher because he was the only one that called Violet out on her "extenuating circumstance" and basically told her to man up and start living after almost a year of losing her sister in their accident. 
it was Finch's idea to go to all the places they went to. you read in the book how bodies of water calm him like nothing else. so there's this blue hole they go to and all's well and great until he decides to see how far he can go. while you're reading this, it doesn't seem like he was down there for a long time but when he comes back up, you read Violet's crying her eyes out because she went trying to go look for him but of course she couldn't find him anywhere since she cant go even half as far as he can or hold her breath nearly half as long as he can.

why do i talk about that specific trip out of all the ones they take you ask....
because yes, when Violet finally realizes whats wrong and she tries to help, he runs. he runs and disappears and while i do believe she was trying to help, i believe that in a way that's kind of what, as they like to say, broke the camels back. 

in NO WAY whatsoever am i saying that Violet is the reason he finally did what he did. if anything i think she gave him everything he had ever wanted and he was at peace with what he received from her that it was enough for him to move on at the pace that he did. 

when she finally realizes where he is, she goes. (and what the heck Finch's mom!) 
where is he? the blue hole. 
its crazy to think (yes i know its a book!) that she jumps in to the blue hole to look for him even though she knows he's down there and that he wont be coming up. not alive anyways. (mega creepy factor for me!) 

"may your eye go to the sun. to the wind your soul. or go to the waters if it suits thee there," 
ancient Vedic Hymn.

as sad as it all is, what i love about it all, is that i feel that even though he felt he had nowhere else to go and he did end up giving up in life himself, i feel that he gave Violet back her life. she used to hide behind herself and avoided everything. and now, she sees that she can do anything and everything she chooses to; all that she lost sight of after she lost her sister. and i love that even though (i feel) that he felt he wasn't enough, she gave him what he had been looking for; a sense of being important to one person. to matter enough to have a best friend. even if for a bit. 

"you may have been in every way all that anyone could be....if anybody could have saved me it would have been you." 
- Finch


"count for something. be the person I'm meant to be and have that be enough. know what its like to have a best friend. Matter." 
-Finch. when they go to the Before I Die wall. 

spoilers over! (while i did spoil the book above, if you did read, please know that i still left out a lot and you should definitely still give this book a read!) 
i seriously loved this book. its been a while since I've felt like, how can i put it, mourned but celebrated with the characters themselves and the story itself. i guess what I'm trying to say is, man that was a good book!
as sad as it ends (on Finch's end) i feel that it has a powerful message. 

i know speaking of something like this can be very hard but i think Jennifer (the author) living through something like this personally helped her tell her story in a beautiful way that honors the person she lost while also helping her heal some more. 
i have been lucky enough to not know anyone that has thought of suicide. at least not that i know of. 
I'm not in anyway whatsoever an expert on any of this but if you do know someone, please speak to them and hear them out. everyone matters. everyone. no one should ever feel like they don't because they do. 
be kind to one another. 

this book was amazing! (for me anyways) and i definitely  will not be forgetting it any time soon. 

thank you for reading. 

1 comment

  1. This book seems interesting! I'll have to pick it up.
    I've nominated you for the Sisterhood of the world bloggers Award! You can check it out here



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