Review: All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven

Release Date: January 6th 2015
Published By: Penguin Australia/Knopf
Pages: 400
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: heodore 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.

Review: This book. THIS BOOK!!!! *sigh* I will never be able to do this book justice.

I really don’t know how to review All the Bright Places. It is a book that will leave you broken with your heart in a million smashed up pieces while you rock in the corner in a sobbing mess. Yes, this is THAT book!

You know the expression, “the feels”? Well, no matter how much you think you know what that means, unless you have read All the Bright Places, then you really don’t. This is the book that will give you the feels!!! It is a rollercoaster of emotions; it will rip your heart of your chest while you beg for more. It is the book that gave me the worst book hangover I have ever had, it is the book that prompted me to write the post ‘5 star horrible books’ and it is the book that is so wonderfully and beautifully torturous that I recommend it to each and every one of you. It is THAT book!

All the Bright Places is incredible, beautiful, painful, torturous, breath-taking - THIS BOOK is the one you need to read. The one that makes you understand that some of the most wonderful books are horrible, and that feelings can jump straight from a page into your heart. This book is one that will not be forgotten - intense, sincere, powerful and utterly amazing in every way.

And I am not okay after reading this book. I don’t think I ever will be again. And I am SO thankful for having read this incredible, incredible book.

The synopsis for this book has recommended to it fans of other books and authors. It is even described as “The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park“. This is pretty powerful comparison in the YA world, but please know that this book is extraordinary in its own right! So while the comparisons are nice, especially since this is Jennifer Niven’s YA debut, they really aren’t required. This book is phenomenal all on its own, and I personally think that All the Bright Places is better than any book used in the comparisons. Big call I know, but I am proud to call it.

There are so many things I could tell you about this book, to tell you what it really about… but I don’t want to. I think it would be better to go into this incredible experience with as limited knowledge of the storyline as possible. I want you to learn from it, I want you to feel it! It won’t hurt if you know a little about the story, but really this is what you need to know about it: It about a girl and a boy. That wandering and post-it notes reveal truths and secrets, and that finding something is not as important as leaving something behind. And that it is important. It is very important. And finally, you need to know is that you will hurt, you will love, and you will need tissues.

This book reached me on a very personal level, unfortunately I understood something that one of the characters (Violet) went through all too well. And to be honest, due to my personal experience , it can make me desensitised to this situation when I read it within a story - but All the Bright Places made me feel. This is not only a testament to Jennifer’s fantastic writing, but also that she understands in a true way that most do not. The raw emotion leaps of the page, and I am in awe of Jennifer’s understanding and honesty, as well as her beautiful and genuine writing.

The writing is nothing short of phenomenal. Jennifer Niven has proved not only can she tell you a story, she can make you feel it. The pain and suffering in this book is so perfectly written that I can give nothing but my upmost admiration to Jennifer. But there is also a fantastic balance of love and laughter, and this is also superbly written and interweaved in to all the right places. Both Violet and Finch are amazing, troubled, relatable and likeable characters, and I utterly adored them and their relationship. With a beautiful prose, All the Bright Places takes you on a journey through some of the darkest and brightest places. With brutally honesty, this breathtaking story is chilling and heartfelt. Filled with pain, forgiveness, love, happiness and understanding, In The Bright Places is one astonishing read that should not be missed!

This book literally left me speechless, and in tears. I was, and still am, traumatised. Up until this book, I have never read a book that’s words grew hands and reached in and seized my heart with such force. The power of this novel then allowed those hands to squeeze my poor bleeding heart until it was broken into a million pieces - and I loved every second of it! All the Bright Places is gripping, stunning, honest, haunting, astounding and truly remarkable. Jennifer has taken pain, love, understanding, joy, darkness, wandering, leaving, experience and truth, and rolled it into the best contemporary novel I have ever read.


To Finch and Violet - you make me happy.

To Jennifer - thank you for the lovely.



What do you think?

  • Well you did 10x better than me ;) I love this review! What’s funny is that while you connected so much to Violet, I connected a lot better with Finch. I think that’s why, even though I loved the book and would want to reread it, I’d be afraid to. Just like you said - Niven GETS it, and she portrays those heart-stabbing emotions with brutal honesty.

  • Mawa Mahima says:

    I love this review of this so much. I am anticipating reading this A LOT now. Thanks for writing this…I love how despite it all she managed to make you feel, I’ve read books where I’ve instantly been turned off because the subject matter hits too close to home so to hear that she still manages to make a person love this book is high praise indeed!
    Mawa Mahima recently posted…Genome: The History of Us, the SpeciesMy Profile

  • Renee says:

    and there’s only more school. *sigh*
    But thankyou for the review! I’ve only heard good things about this book!
    Renee recently posted…Are you in the VA FAmily?My Profile

  • Nicole says:

    Wow, what an amazing review. Adding to my TBR pile immediately.

  • I absolutely adored this book as well! I’m so glad that you loved it. :D I’m so happy that it’s coming out soon so that I can make everyone read it!
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…Amie Kaufman, Secret Santa and DebutathonMy Profile

  • […] All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: I actually read this book in 2014, but it was released in 2015, so I am including it in my list (too bad if you think that is cheating!). This book is AMAZING! I adore this book so much. It crushed my heart into teeny tiny pieces, and even though I ugly-cried, I enjoyed every beautiful and tortuous word in this must read book! My review can be found here. […]

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