All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Sometimes it’s nice to get an advanced copy of the book that you know, just know, will be HUGE in 2015. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching book. It’s about grief, loss, mental illness, being an outsider and finding the true love that springboards you to a better place. I sincerely hope everyone who reads it will love it as much as I do.

All The Bright Places will be The Fault in Our Stars of 2015 – an epic love story between two doomed teenagers… But it’s something about the writing – pretentious and goofy and heartwrenching and poetic all at once – that elevates it from a YA novel into a truly resonating reading experience. Jennifer Niven writes in a style and class that could rival the great writers. The characters are all richly detailed, so vivid and complicated and human – every page makes you love them a little more. Be prepared to cry your heart out in this romantic, poetic novel about living life to the full even when it seems impossible to move on.

Theodore Finch has always been an outsider. Bullied at school, dealing with depression, he has just come out of a coma-like sleep and is determined to stay awake. Up on the school bell tower, with thoughts of throwing himself off, he meets Violet Markey. After losing her sister in a car accident, Violet has been shrinking into herself, withdrawing from the world to try and survive her grief. They both need the other to survive – Finch can be himself around Violet rather than the myriad of personas he uses to survive the school day, and Violet finds the colour coming back into her world with Finch’s zest for life and possibility.  Working together on a school project, Finch and Violet road trip around Indiana… slowly healing, slowly falling in love, all the while leaving their mark on the world.

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But while Violet’s world takes shape again, Finch’s starts to shrink. Despite his attempts at living life to the full, and encouraging Violet to reclaim all the things she was passionate about before the accident, something inside him is holding back.

I give this book all the stars in the sky for the complete and utter perfection it is. The writing is breathtaking, the characters are vivid, complex, the plot is perfection. I am blown away from reading All The Bright Places and feel like this is the kind of book that will stay with me forever. It is a sad, powerful, poignant novel.

This book is an absolute must read for 2015 and I won’t be surprised if a film will be announced soon too. I actually feel privileged to have been able to read this book and will be recommending it to everyone next year.

 

*I will advise however that this book can be quite triggering to some, it deals with difficult topics of mental illness, self-harm and suicide so please be aware of the content, and know that support is available.*

 Lifeline Australia

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