Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

18460392I’ve read many “Wow” books in my lifetime, a great number of them in the past year alone. So it’s common for me to read a new book that makes me want to recommend it to people, to push it on others even. But when a story still has me thinking about it weeks later, and ALMOST makes me cry, well that’s a pretty big deal.

So where to start with this amazing book? At its very heart, it’s a love story, the story of Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. But love is never easy, and each is dealing with their own issues. Theodore is obsessed with death, and he spends his days thinking of ways to die. Each time, however, life interferes and gives him a reason for living. That “reason”, one day, comes in the form of Violet. She’s grieving the death of her sister. With Theodore’s help, she begins to move on and to actually think of the future. As she’s moving forward, though, Theodore is spiraling downward. Will love be enough to save them both?

This book jumps right in to a very real, very “taboo” subject. Suicide and mental illness in young people are a far too common occurrence, one that is often swept under the rug out of shame or denial. We cannot continue to file it under the category of “normal teenage angst” hoping it will go away by itself. Normal teenage issues do tend to resolve themselves while mental illness does not, often with very real and very tragic consequences.

I still think about this book several weeks after finishing it. It was that good. It’s a story of grief, of hope and resilience. It’s the story of young love and how far it can carry you as well as its limitations. Pick this one up and settle in with a box of Kleenex close by (maybe!).

~Thalia

Buy It Now:All the Bright Places

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