Book Review of Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Placesby Skye S, Wednesday September 21, 2016
Review of Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places
written by Molly Looby
“Theodore Finch wants to take his own life.
Violet Markey is devastated by her sister’s death.
They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. It’s only together they can be themselves…
But, as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?”
Before I begin, I want to clarify that Niven is an exceptional writer and All the Bright Places is a great book. However, I had many issues with it and they can’t be ignored.
First off, I should mention that loads of people told me how great this book was, and ultimately, I think that was it’s downfall. It didn’t live up to the hype for me. It was good, but it wasn’t as phenomenal as I expected.
I began to notice that I might not be ‘clicking’ with the book the way I was supposed to about 70 pages in when I had to force myself to pick the thing up. I kept reading, thinking I was going to get into it, but to be honest, I never really did. Except maybe 50 pages from the end. I’m sorry, but that’s too little, too late.
The major problem I had with it was that I didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. It didn’t feel like very much happened at all. Spending more than half a book wondering where it’s going and what’s it’s supposed to be drawing me in for doesn’t fly with me. I was getting to know the characters, sure, but they didn’t seem to be doing that much.
While I’m on characters, I must admit, I wasn’t crazy about Violet. I wanted to give her a good kick up the butt. I guess that’s the point, so well done Niven. As for Finch, his rich character development was something to behold, and I can’t fault that. At first, I didn’t like him that much, but as the chapters passed, I learnt to love him, which is such a perfect representation of getting to know someone that I was amazed.
I may not have got on with this book, but like I said, I can’t fault Niven too much. Her writing is beautiful. So beautiful in fact, that I kept taking pictures of certain lines. The philosophies hidden in the pages are powerful, inspiring, and important.
The final thing that I have to say isn’t Niven’s fault at all. On my copy of All the Bright Places, this sentence sits proudly at the bottom, “the next The Fault in Our Stars.” I’m sorry, but this is not technically correct. I’m sure anyone who’s read this book will agree with me. Yes, it’s a heart melter and breaker, but in an entirely opposite way. These things shouldn’t be compared for obvious reasons, and actually, this thoughtless statement irritated me.
Though this book wasn’t for me, if you love realistic young adult fiction that tackles difficult issues, I’m sure you’ll love All the Bright Places.
4 out of 5 Movellas stars
Thank you to Molly Looby for writing this blog