Book review: All The Bright Places

#bookreview #allthebrightplaces #halfcoffeereviews

He says, “ ‘Lovely’ is a lovely word that should be used more often.”

Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are both dealing with their respective issues. Their first encounter was on the school ledge; one of them is trying to jump, or maybe both of them are! Somehow one saves the other and that’s the start, the start of their adventures, and a beautiful yet heartbreaking story.

I had seen the book at my local bookstore, and (suprise!) on Instagram, but I never got around to buying it. That changed and I finally picked it up because I saw Alia Bhatt post a picture of it. It’s a pathetic reason, I know, but I felt like maybe I should give it a shot.

“You make me lovely, and it’s so lovely to be lovely to the one I love.”

Firstly, let me say this out loud that I don’t like the romanticization of mental health issues; they are anything but pretty. And there are tons of books which glorify them, for what reason I don’t know and probably never will. So, kudos to Jennifer Niven for not doing that. This is absolutely honest and real, and I appreciate it.

“Pale with dark hair, the one who is coming is melancholy, romantic. And I am arch and fluent and capricious; for he is melancholy, he is romantic. He is here.”

Finch and everything about him is just so beautiful and sad. You would want nothing but to hug him tight, and tell him that he’s okay, everything’s okay. But then, he knows it’s not and it’s eating at him- to the point that he does what he does, because he can’t seem to think of any other way to avoid it. Even the small nuances of his are made to make you feel for him. The way he speaks to Violet, thinks of her, his ideas, his actions..I just couldn’t get enough of him.

“You’re all colours in one, at full brightness.”

But Violet, I couldn’t really connect with her character. And maybe it’s just me, I felt a certain lack of depth in her, however it wasn’t that much of an issue. She had her moments, and she was okay. But for me, the story was more about Finch.

“A string of thoughts run through my head like a song I can’t get rid of, over and over in the same order: I am broken. I am a fraud. I am impossible to love. I am a fuckup. I’m broken, and no one can fix it.”

There are cliché moments in the story, which did seem like a bit of a throw-off. But that’s okay as it is a YA novel, I did expect that to be the case. So, I wouldn’t say that I was surprised or disappointed. I’ve seen people compare this to The Fault in Our Stars, and although there are similar elements, I would say that the two are completely different.

“I love the thrill of impending, weightless doom…”

Sitting in silence and staring at the wall after downing a double shot espresso, I’m still trying to accept the story. And you will too because this will definitely tug at your heartstrings and break you. By the end of it, I can say for sure that I do feel a certain hollowness, now that I’ve read it.

“If there’s one thing I know it’s that no one can promise anything.”