All The Bright Places (YA Reviews)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hello! I'm back today with a review of All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I've gotten so much reading and writing done over the past couple days, and I'm quite happy on my progress (Even though I'm still behind on my 2017 Reading Challenge...Ambitious goals are not easy ones to reach!) But anyway, we've had 3 snow days (5, if you count the weekend, and more to come) in up here in Boston, if you're wondering about my burst of progress. XD, but rambling aside, here's my (non-spoilery) review of All The Bright Places!

Age Recommended: 12 + (It's considered a young adult read, not middle grade! The story has to do with suicide, so it's good to keep that in mind.)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (September 13, 2016)

The beloved New York Times bestseller that Entertainment Weekly described as “sparkling” and says “get[s] under your skin.” You won’t soon forget this heart-wrenching, unflinching story of love shared, life lived, and two teens who find each other while standing on the edge.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might kill himself, but every day he also searches for—and manages to find—something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small 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—six stories above the ground— it’s unclear who saves whom. Soon it’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself. 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. . . .

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My Thoughts: 

“I should be happy, but instead I feel nothing. I feel a lot of nothing these days. I've cried a few times, but mostly I'm empty, as if whatever makes me feel and hurt and laugh and love has been surgically removed, leaving me hollowed out like a shell.” 

Can I just start with...

This book gave me so many feelings that I honestly couldn't, and still cannot, comprehend. 

I think the best way to describe how I felt when I closed the book is exactly that quote up there. I couldn't follow what had just happened, and I couldn't understand what I'd just finished. 

Of course I was expecting some hurting, as this book is about suicide, but clearly I wasn't prepared for the--it wasn't even even a whirlwind, more like a--BLASTING BLIZZARD of emotions. The book ended waaaaay to soon for my liking probably because I was desperate to hold on to the characters, and refused to let them go. I told myself when I began the book that I would not get too attached to the characters. Repeated that like a mantra while reading. And yet... #fail

Let's begin with the leading main character: 

Theodore Finch is my all-time favorite fictional boy. From his battle against himself, to the way he holds his head high when people poke fun at him, there's no reason for you not to love this guy. Finch's presence in the book is a candle lighting up a dark room, and he's honestly changed my outlook on life and living greatly. I've felt so many things for him, embarrassment, happiness, love, sorrow. I don't think I've ever empathized with a character as much as I have with him. And don't even get me started on how much I learned from him. (Let's just say I have an obsession with sticky-notes now...) 

I won't discuss the other characters, in fear of spoiling the book, but basically what I'm trying to explain is that I love Theodore Finch with all my heart and refuse to hear any criticism of his *sigh* beautiful soul. 

[*insert cartoon heart eyes*] 


“I learned that there is good in this world, if you look hard enough for it. I learned that not everyone is disappointing, including me, and that a 1,257-foot bump in the ground can feel higher than a bell tower if you’re standing next to the right person.” 

Just going through the quotes on Goodreads makes my heart ache. :( 

I really enjoyed how Niven writes with purpose. Every part of Finch's story is there for a reason. Not to mention the character development and the relationships and the depth of the world. 

There wasn't anything particularly special about her writing that stood out to me. (Of course it was pretty, gosh, just look at the quotes!) But that's not a bad thing, especially because sometimes it's better to be simple and get your point across. But I think the simplicity of her writing was what caused every moment of All The Bright Places to be that much more heartbreaking. There's no sweetening it up or sugar coating, it's just facts. 


On a scale of 1-10, 10 being it shattered my heart and left me in pieces and one being I barely blinked throughout the book...

I'd give this one an 9. 

It's definitely one of the saddest books I've ever read, and the only reason it didn't get a 10 was because it didn't make me cry. I don't think I've ever cried because of a book before (My friends say I have a poker face when it comes to books, haha)...And the streak continues. BUT it was really close this time. SO KUDOS TO JENNIFER NIVEN FOR PROVOKING ALL THE FEELS. 

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My Rating: 

Won't be forgetting this one any time soon. 

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Thanks so much for joining me today! Hope you all have a nice week! 


  1. You're right, Cindy. That is a book that's hard to forget. But the ending depressed me and I wished it could have ended differently. Did you know they're making a movie of this book? It's coming in 2018.

    1. Oh, I wish it ended differently too. I've been moping around for the last couple days XD. And they are?! That's so exciting! I can't wait to see it.