Book Review: All the Bright Places

Title: All the Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven


Theodore Finch is fascinated by death and he’s constantly thinking about different ways to kill himself. One day, on the ledge of the school bell tower, he meets Violet. Violet’s having trouble dealing with her sister’s death, so she came on a ledge, seeing if she is brave enough to jump. Finch “saves” her and since then, he can’s stop thinking about her. Still, everybody in school thinks she saved him – because after all, he is a “weird one” in school.

Finch is more than happy when they work on a school project together, where they’re discovering natural wonders of their state. But they’re also discovering each other’s world and they become very close friends soon.

I read this book a few month ago but I was too lazy/busy to write a review. So, writing this, I did have some troubles about remembering what happened – ok, I remembered the story but the details were (almost) gone. Which says a lot about the book, no?

Considering, that this book deals with important topics, such as suicide, mental illnesses, bullying, I expected much more. In fact, I was disappointed. It’s well written and also quick to read, but that’s all.

It’s hard to point out, what exactly did bother me about this book. Perhaps poetical writing, in which author wants to disguise the seriousness of the situation. Maybe too mature Finch and Violet, who were exchanging Virginia Woolf’s quotes on daily basis (I highly doubt that any of my schoolmates knew who she was at that age) or their unreal world that they created. Don’t get me wrong, I know that people often create their own worlds when they’re dealing with mental illnesses but it just didn’t felt real here. It’s not like that (And I worked with people with mental illnesses. I know something about it.).

I’m only glad, that this book doesn’t only deal with depression but also bipolar disorder. However, I think that readers who are not familiar with this particular illness can not understand, why Finch behaves like that. It should be more pointed out why one day, he’s in heaven and all funny-happy and the next moment, he’s down and totally depressed.

At the same time, however, it’s all to revolved around the illness. Considering, that they both “recognized” the problems they had and they found a support in each other and that they could rely on each other, I still have troubles with understanding why they refused help.

And about the help and support… ignorance of the adults, as has been described in this book, just stunned me. I was speechless. And I couldn’t believe it. It felt just too phony to me. I know that some people have parents who don’t care. But seriously?!? His own mother didn’t saw what was happening with him? I found this absolutely unbelievable and unacceptable.

At the end, it seemed to me, that author didn’t want to encourage readers to seek help if they need it (or help someone else) but the message of the book is: nobody cares. There’s no help and each one has to deal with their own problems and in their own way. Things will be better after the death. WHICH IS WRONG!!!

Every life counts.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Did you read All the Bright places? What did you think about it? Like it or not? Please, share your opinion in comments below!


9 thoughts on “Book Review: All the Bright Places

  1. It’s really interesting to see a different opinion about this book. I read it a couple of years ago and I absolutely fell in love with it. Maybe I would think differently now though!

    I have since met Jennifer Niven & I understand she actually went through a lot of this herself and I know she wouldn’t mean to be insensitive as it’s a topic really close to her heart. But as I said, maybe I would have a much different opinion if I had read it now instead of when I was a 14 year old helpless romantic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually read somewhere, that she wrote this book because of the similar events that happened to her, yes :)
      Like I said, it’s nothing wrong with the story itself, I just wish it would be written better. Maybe, if I would read it when I was younger, I would also love it. I don’t know :) Sometimes it’s just hard to tell, why something didn’t felt right. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      • From what I’ve heard (it was a very emotional talk I attended haha, I think everyone cried in the end!) she was kind of like the Violet in the story. She talks about “her Finch” a lot!
        Definitely! I completely get it – I think some just suit somepeople at certain times and not some people at others! Also I love how us book bloggers can share our opinions without arguing or anything, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know! I just don’t understand why some people are so offended when someone has a different opinion. I just love it when someone felt different while reading a book :D
        It’s exactly why we’re here – to express and share our thoughts and also to discuss books!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually agree completely with you!. When writing my review of this book I was trying to find a way to word this aspect of the book, because it disgusted me, but you’ve done this perfectly. The only reason I rated it as high as I did was because it did create emotions in me, which is hard to do. But I think this may have been down to the fact that I had listened to this book has an audio book, so there was so much emotion portrayed in the characters voices, which enabled me to connect more to the two main characters better, especially Finch, which I doubt I would’ve done otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

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