All The Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven

4 out of 5 stars

I was not prepared to get emotional reading this book, I’ve been emotional enough with the death of my mother, but this book did this little trick of sneaking up on me and grabbing my heart.

Theo Finch is such a lost soul.  He’s called the freak by his classmates. He thinks of different ways to kill himself. He goes through dark periods that he calls the sleep but he’s so full of imagination and drive. He goes up to the bell tower at school one day, only to find Violet Markey standing up there. Violet is a popular girl in school who is living through her own sadness. Her sister died in a car accident that she blames herself for. Theo starts talking to her and they both get down off the tower together. The rumor spreads that Violet stopped Theo from killing himself. Theo finagles his way into doing a class project with her and slowly they learn about their home state and each other.

But even the most loving person cannot stop someone from their dark thoughts and sadness seeps in.

I don’t want to give a way anything that happens in the story but I will say, the end had me in tears. The scavenger hunt was just the right touch for the love story between Theo and Violet. The book also raises awareness to the stigma of mental illness and how people don’t want to be pigeonholed with a title. You could feel Theo’s pain as he changed into the different versions of Theo that existed and you could feel his joy in just being with Violet. And It was great to see Violet open herself up to a different crowd.

This really is a lovely, sad little story and one worth picking up.

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