All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Photo of the book All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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I’m the kind a reader that will put off reading a book until she sees a movie or a TV show coming out about it. I know, I know, not the right reason to read a book, but it’s an easy motivator for me since I’m pretty much staunchly in the camp of read it before you see it. In this case Netflix just recently released the movie adaptation with two of my favorite young actors. All of that added up to enough for me to finally motivate pick up All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (which I’ve had on my iPad for almost 5 years). While this book started strong, it quickly veered into territory I wasn’t comfortable with, and felt a little too similar to some other popular YA books.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

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