Monday, January 5, 2015

All the Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All the Bright Places

Five very bright shining stars and I hope it gets many more five star ratings from its intended readership, teens. I hope every teenager reads this, and gets some hope and/or understanding from it. It has been more years than you might guess since I was in high school, but evidently it has not changed.  So easy for all the adults around you to believe everything is fine or ignore the clues when in reality, death and madness are waiting to embrace and engulf you…
And then you find somebody or some book or something inside to help you hang on.

This is first of all a love story, how Finch and Violet fall in love. It’s also a story about dealing with high school and cliques and tragedy, difficulty, mental illness, survivor’s guilt. It’s about resilience, and sinking or swimming.  It’s hard to survive to adulthood, and the book acknowledges that, no talking down. All told in present tense, alternating chapters with Finch’s point of view, then Violet’s.

All in such luminous, tender prose. It’s a beautiful, beautiful book and I read the last three chapters and beyond while sobbing. Good tears and sad tears and grateful tears.  I can’t go any deeper without spoilers…

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