Published by Random House
Published on January 6th 2015
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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
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.
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.
A quick note from the ladies of No BS Book Reviews:
Last weekend, the three of us (Brenna, AJ & Steph) sat down to buddy read this book. We each devoured the words, the characters, and the story. Each of us were touched in different ways by this book, and we each agree on one thing: This book’s message is POWERFUL. This is a story that needed to be written, and a story that needs to be read. We wanted to formally recommend this book because it is utterly amazing. All the Bright Places showed us the beauty of love, the joy of friendship, and the importance of cherishing the ones you hold dear. This book showed us that even the stories that take us out of our comfort zone can turn out to be something special, and completely breathtaking.
We hope you’ll consider picking up this book, as it holds a special place in our hearts.
Steph, Brenna, and AJ
“It’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”
5 emotionally stunning stars
This book took me on an emotional rollercoaster and left me speechless. Totally and utterly speechless. It’s the story of an unlikely friendship which grows into an amazing love between a grief-stricken girl who has lost her way, and the troubled boy who helps her find it again.
Violet is a 17 year old high school student who is struggling to deal with the death of her older sister, who was also her best friend, in a car accident. Once popular, creative and care-free, she has withdrawn from everything that was important in her life.
Theodore Finch enjoys flirting with death. He reads about it, writes about it, and imagines his own demise with terrifying frequency. Labelled the school ‘freak’, he is constantly trying on different personalities, and is different from the other kids – outspoken with a lack of filter and occasionally violent, he does what he wants when he wants, and doesn’t seem to care what anybody thinks about him.
“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.”
Finch and Violet meet at the top of the bell tower at school when both of them are standing on the ledge. It’s not clear who saves who, but they both come down, and from that moment their lives are irrevocably intertwined. When they are paired up to do a school report on their state they are forced to spend time together, and as they “wander”, they open up and start to get to know each other, and they change each other’s lives in ways they could never have imagined.
“You know what I like about you, Finch? You’re interesting. You’re different. And I can talk to you. Don’t let that go to your head.”
… “You know what I like about you, Ultraviolet Remarkey-able? Everything.”
I loved the set up of this book! Told in the dual POV of Finch and Violet, we get right to the heart of both of them. We see their hopes and dreams, but also their suffering – Violet’s struggle to get over her sister’s death and re-enter the world of the living, and Finch’s desperate need to feel alive. It’s emotional reading at times, but Finch’s constant, fast talking banter keeps things light, and as they start to understand each other, they help each other find happiness, and their relationship becomes something incredibly special. And OMG, the feeeeeeels!!!!
“I learned that there is good in this world, if you look hard enough for it. I learned that not everyone is disappointing, including me, and that a 1,257 bump in the ground can feel higher than a bell tower if you’re standing next to the right person.”
I fell hard for Finch, and every moment with him and Violet together was flawless! I adored watching their relationship progress and seeing the way they impact on each other’s lives. The journey that they go on is an extraordinary one as they seek to understand themselves, and life in general. It’s deep and profound, and Jennifer Niven’s writing flows wonderfully as she tells her beautifully poetic and highly emotive story.
“What if life could be this way? Only the happy parts, none of the terrible, not even the mildly unpleasant. What if we could just cut out the bad and keep the good? This is what I want to do with Violet – give her only the good, keep away the bad, so that good is all we ever have around us.”
This book deals with some really heavy issues, and as beautiful as it is, it will hit a lot of readers hard. I don’t want to be all spoilery, but if you are at all curious about one of the major themes of the book, View Spoiler »mental illness is a very prominent part of the story. « Hide Spoiler. It’s explored in a very real and raw way, and the author doesn’t shy away from the darkness of it, or how it affects the lives of not just one person, but their loved ones as well. It’s heartbreaking watching as it slowly unfolds.
Also, a note about the ending… View Spoiler »This book does not have a happy ending. In fact it’s heartachingly devastating. At one point I actually threw my kindle down on the bed and had to back away from it while I stared in horror taking it all in. Then I sobbed my way through the last 15% of the book with tears streaming down my face. It left me an emotional wreck and absolutely gutted. Ugly crying!! Lots of ugly crying. « Hide Spoiler.
This book had me captivated from the very first page and the way Jennifer Niven tells the story is truly amazing! I struggled to put it down, and read it in a day and the emotional ride left me exhausted and absolutely reeling. I would have liked a little bit more closure at the end – perhaps an epilogue – but that’s a minor issue, and the way it finished is probably very fitting for the story. I know that this book will be one that I never forget.
You can also check out Brenna’s 5+ star review HERE!