All the Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven (Penguin)

A compelling, beautiful and heart breaking young adult story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.

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.

If you’re looking for a YA novel that covers death, depression, suicide, teen angst, identity and self-esteem issues and the pain of love then this is your book.  Did that not sell you? It’s a beautiful but heart breaking story.  I enjoyed it but I disliked it too. It made me mad that the adults in the book seemed to hang around ineffectively and at times it felt like it glorified sadness and depression. But then again it didn’t skirt around the reality of being bipolar either. Try it out and let me know what you thought.  Jennifer Niven has written a ton of these kinds of books and she has a huge following.

PS: There’s a movie version out too but read the book first.

 

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