Are you an authentic book lover? Are you a true book lover? Do you understand that not all books end in a happy way? You are in for a treat if you can accept that not all books have happy endings. Jenifer Niven’s “All the Bright Places”, is the perfect book. You may have read John Green’s “The Fault in our Stars”, so you will be familiar with the story Niven will tell.
We will first talk about the author of this complex book. Jennifer Niven, the Emmy Award-winning #1 New York Times bestselling author and International bestselling author for ten books, is also an International bestselling author. These books include All the Bright Places, Holding up the Universe.
Her books have been translated in over 75 languages. All the Bright Places won literary awards all over the globe, including the GoodReads Choice Award in 2015 for the Best Young Adult Fiction. NPR, Time Magazine, the Guardian and Publisher’s Weekly all named it the Best Book of the year. It was also the #1 Indie Next Book for Kids in Winter 2014-’15.
We will now get to the story. All the Bright Places is an inspirational book that shows people that, despite your love and devotion to someone, it’s not always possible to save them. After reading this book, you will see everything differently.
The main characters of the story are Violet Markey, a girl named Violet Markey, and Theodore Finch. Theodore Finch is obsessed with death and constantly fantasizes about how he could kill himself. He is stopped every time by something good, however small. Violet Markey, on the other hand, is focused on the future and counting down the days to graduation. She does this to escape Indiana and the aching grief she feels following her sister’s death.
Violet and Finch are both contemplating suicide when they meet at the bell tower. It is not clear who saves whom, but both survive. They believe they can save one another. They believe that love can cover all of their pain, and that if they put all they have into one another, they can save each other.
The book touches gently on the topic of first love, and how fast you can fall in love with someone. But also the pain that comes after your idea for forever has ended. The book also discusses teenage years and the difficulties of giving your all to someone, only to have it all taken away.
You become more and more attached as you read this book. For their sake, you want their happy ending. Their lives are so complex and they are so young. They are still in love with the idea and concept of love. They decide to give it a shot.
Then fate intervened. Finch later that day in U.S. Geography chooses Violet to be his partner for “Wander Indiana”. Violet tries desperately to escape the project but her teacher tells Violet it’s time for her to “get back onto the camel.” Finch then recalls the accident.
Finch creates a Facebook account to meet Violet and sends her an e-mail friend request. Violet accepts. Finch uploads a video of him singing a song about jumping off a roof to Violet’s Facebook page. She demands that he delete it.
Violet tells Finch, after they meet, that Violet was on the ledge for her sister’s nineteenth-birthday. But nothing matters anymore. Finch insists that something must be important or Violet would not have jumped.
Their first venture is to Hoosier Hill in Indiana, which is the highest point. Violet feels slightly shocked when Finch holds Violet’s hand as he pulls her up to the top of the hill. Over the course of their next wanderings, they grow closer and more in common. As they both try to find a reason for each other to live, their friendship grows closer. There is no reason to wait.
Finch is obsessed with death, but Violet finds reasons to live. Violet is obsessed with guilt, but Finch makes it easy for her to forget the past. Both of them try. They both want it to work. Both want to live for each other.
Both Finch and Violet discover more while working on the project. Finch is only able to be himself with Violet – a strange, funny, loud guy who isn’t so freaky after all. Violet is able to forget about counting down the days and begin living them.
The days go by. Violet falls in love Finch. Finch’s way of seeing the world is what she falls in love with. Finch’s manner of walking, talking, laughing, and snorting is what she falls in love. Finch’s world shrinks as Violet grows.
We learn that Finch has an abusive father who doesn’t live with him anymore and a mother who is in denial about his suffering. His peers label him “freak” because of his mental illness.
Finch is in a manic state due to his undiagnosed bipolar disorder. He struggles to stay awake and not fall asleep for Violet’s sake. Finch is obsessed with suicide thoughts and rearranges his bedroom to make it smaller, eventually moving into the closet. When the Asleep is here, smaller spaces feel safer.
However, love can’t fix everything. This is what I believe the characters learn throughout the book. They refuse to believe it. They want their relationship to be sufficient to keep them alive.
Finch takes Violet to Blue Hole, which is a three-acre lake, on the first day of warm weather. Violet is frightened by Finch’s preoccupation with water and dives under. He then holds his breath for long periods.
Finch encourages her to speak up and she confides in Finch about the anger inside her. He shares with her the scar on his stomach and his dark moods with his father.
After their swim, Finch and Violet are back at Finch’s house and make love. Finch and Violet make a detour to Purina Tower to climb up to the top of the tower, where they wrap themselves in blankets.
Both of them fall asleep and wake up the next day realizing that Violet’s parents don’t know where she is. Finch attempts to calm things down, but Violet’s parents panic and tell Finch to get away.
Finch slips further into his sleep-deprived, depressive state after he is “denied access to Violet”, who has become his reason for Staying Awake. He takes too many sleeping pills one night and then, having second thoughts, decides to throw them up. He manages to get himself to the hospital where they pump his stomach.
He attends a “Life Is Life” meeting, where he meets Amanda Monk, a fellow student, and girlfriend of Roamer. She is Finch’s archnemesis. He discovers that Amanda is bipolar and has tried suicide twice.
Violet is concerned about Finch, whom she hasn’t heard from for several days. She drives to his home. Violet asks him to tell Violet that he occasionally has dark moods that he cannot shake and he confesses to having them.
Violet learns from Amanda that Finch attempted suicide. Violet confronts Finch about the suicide attempt. Finch becomes gloomy and tells Violet that Eleanor couldn’t be saved and that she can’t save her. Violet flees in anger.
She tells her parents all when she returns home. Finch saved her from the edge and he needs their help. They tried to reach Finch’s parents. Finch’s mom says that Finch does this sometimes because it’s what he does.
Finch disappears. Finch has been absent for several weeks. Violet gets a series text messages from him. Then silence. She attempts to move on and creates Germ, her online magazine. Germ also expands her school circle.
Kate, Finch’s older sister, arrives at Violet’s front door on Sunday morning to see if Violet has heard anything. As he does every Saturday, he hasn’t checked in this week. Violet receives a strange email from Finch that Kate shows to him. Violet is shocked that they are no longer in touch.