Book Musings: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


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I bought All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven as a part of my December book loot, when my salary got credited into my account. Amazon for that one brief moment let me make my payment online. And I was ecstatic.

My brilliant New Year's Eve plan consisted of eating chocolate chip cookies and reading All The Bright Places, as I welcomed the New Year. I didn't get time to bake the cookies, so I made myself some chocolate pudding and settled down.

Theodore Finch has haunted me ever since. 

I wish Jennifer Niven was a close, personal friend of mine so that I could call her up and talk to her about Finch. When I finished the book, I realized why all the other book nerds that I know had insisted that I read the book the minute the finished it.

It's difficult to believe that a boy as gifted and as talented as Theodore Finch, who is a cry for help from the very first page, is ignored by everyone around him. The book makes you think deeply about how one snide comment, one stray remark can scar a child for life and shape who they go on to become as young adults.


I have been criticized for reading "young adult" books where I am an adult. But I believe the issues that are addressed in this YA fictions, are often problems that have haunted as adults. Believe me, words can leave scars that no ointment can ever heal. Because these scars cannot be seen.

All the Bright Places has it synopsis perfectly in place: This is the story of a girl (Violet Markey) who learns to live, from a boy (Theodore Finch) who wants to die. 


Filled with life lessons, and addressing a topic that we don't often see in fiction books (manic depression), I believe this book has left an indelible mark in my mind forever. I realize this is not my typical book review because I believe trying to review the book would be committing a grave injustice on my part. I have such strong feelings for this book - I wouldn't be able to tell you like it is.
Jennifer Niven

Do pick up this book. Doesn't matter what age you are. And if you happen to have teenagers, and if they ever tell you they're feeling depressed - please do not laugh it off. Depression has no explanation and no age limits. Be there for them.

Read All the Bright Places together maybe that would help.

P.S. - This was the second time I wanted to reach through the book and save a character. It is so difficult to grow to love a person, and then be forced to let them go because you couldn't help them.... I hope some day I'm able to create a character as colourful as Theodore Finch. And I hope no matter what life throws at him, I'm able to save him.  

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