Another book review for the Twisted Book Club! Last time, I reviewed Into the Water. This time, I read All the Bright Places written by Jennifer Niven (trigger warning: mentions of suicide). All the Bright Places is written from two perspectives. On one hand, you have Theodore Finch and on the other hand you have Violet Markey. They are both teenagers in High school somewhere in Indiana. The two actually meet by chance. Throughout the book Violet is struggling with guilt and remembering the car accident that killed her sister. While, Finch is struggling with his mental illness and his problems at home. Want to know my opinion? Keep on reading 🙂
All the Bright Places
The story starts with Violet and Finch at their school’s bell tower. One way or another they talk and they both get off the ‘ledge’. Later, they have class together, and eventually start talking. Violet and Finch eventually end up working together on a school project. The project encourages them to discover their home city and they have to explore new places and write about it. Other than the adventures that Finch and Violet go on together for the project, they have their own struggles. Finch is struggling with his mental health, which nobody in his house knows about. Violet is still struggling with her sister’s death. All in all, the story is a poetic, but tragic love story between two broken teenagers.
What is interesting about the story is that it touches on mental health issues and the aftermath of losing someone. Not only that, but it is particularly about teenagers. The story of Finch and Violet pertains suicide, mental health and death, a stigmatized trio. I am not used to reading about mental health and suicide, so I thought it was an interesting read. Finch and Violet were both trying to find reasons to live for and they kind of found it in each other.
I think that the essence of All the Bright Places is that one is never too young to go through tragedy. Both Violet and Finch have a lot on their plate. Not only that, they both deal with their tragedy differently. Violet’s grief consists mainly of guilt. Why did she deserve to survive the car accident and her sister not? Why does she deserve to pursue her dreams, while her sister can’t anymore? Finch’s mental health issues on one hand frighten him and on the other hand he is so fascinated by death. He is constantly imagining what it would be like if all of his suffering would stop. The thing with mental health and depression is that people expect you to force yourself to be happy, or find reasons to live for. But it is not that simple, you cannot control that.
Throughout the story, you can really see the change in Violet as she starts to hope again and eventually she wants to live.
I loved reading All the Bright Places, because it is different from what I normally read. The overall story is poetic, it touches upon important subjects such as suicide and trauma. Even though you might never fully understand Violet and Finch, they are relatable characters and it gives you a new perspective concerning mental health and the loss of loved-ones. If you are struggling with depression, you can seek advice.
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