All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

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“Sometimes there’s beauty in the tough words—it’s all in how you read them.”

Theodore Finch and Violet Markey! Two people on the extreme ends of the typical high school strata, yet, similar in ways no one could imagine. They met at the top of a bell tower where both of them went to get rid of their lives. Somehow, in the heat of the moment, they end up saving each other.

When they get paired for an assignment, they might get to know each other better. But every stroke of intimacy comes with a very high price. Theodore and Violet have different and clashing perspectives on life. When a tragedy strikes, one deathly twist is bound to occur.

Okay, ladies and gentlemen… Here is a book which was pretty hyped up. All the people in my peer group were dying to read this book. Considering we just had one copy to share among 4 people, I had to wait for my turn. However, once my turn came, I honestly don’t know what got people so hyped up. I fail to react to this book. It is a 50 – 50 situation for me. Yes, some parts of the book were too good. But the others were too bad. It was like combining two extremities and forcing them to stay together. The result? Well, let’s just say it was messy.

Firstly, I will talk about the story line. The story line was okay. I mean, I expected way better than what I was served. The plot was straight out of a John Green novel which was pretty bad. I mean, if you are writing something akin to such a great writer, if not exceeding it, try to at least match the benchmark! It was like, a faded, amateur version of The Fault in Our Stars. The ‘two-teenagers-battling-with-themselves-and-with-their-life’ plot was quite cliché. Also the bonding over famous author’s quotes? Yeah, it reminds me of a book I have read a lot of times. Any guesses? Oh right… The Fault in Our Stars.

However, no matter how bad the storyline was, the way it was depicted was too good. The writing was real, gripping and gave me chills. Yes, I admit, I cried. I cried so hard after I finished the book. I felt as if I was there in the book and experiencing the same emotions (no matter how stupid or insane they were) as the characters. So yes, the writing style gets an A-plus from my side.

The characters… The characters were not so sharply carved. I think that they could’ve been more finely crafted and there should’ve been more emphasis placed on their life. Also, one of the worst parts about the novel was, that the book put very little focus over the problems of the main characters. Yes, we were discussing them over and over again, only to remind the reader that they exist. But, nothing was done about it! No one tried to help these people, despite knowing how bad they were with their illnesses. Why?

The narration switches between Violet and Finch and yeah, this switch was good. There wasn’t any repetition of perspectives or scenes and both the POVs held a stark contrast. However, again, I couldn’t help but admit, that the book was too predictable. I mean, from the very beginning, it established its theme and it rotated around it, never actually reaching it. The ending? Too predictable! Heart breaking obviously, but predictable.    

That’s all I have to say about this book. Maybe you should give this book a try. I am not saying that it is bad or something. This book has its good parts as well. But somehow, I don’t know why this book didn’t work out for me. If you are a fan of Jay Asher and John Green, give this book a try. Maybe you will like it. But I would ask you all to not have your expectations too high.

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”

And some moments in this book were worth remembering.

Until the next time! Adios Amigos!

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