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Live. Love. Read

  • Writer's pictureSantita D’Anjou

A Book Review: All the Bright Places

One word-WoW! What an amazing read! But, before I get into what the book is about, and the experience I had reading it, I want to share something with you.

A little about my book preference:

I love young adult fiction!! I read all types of books, but this is the genre I read the most. Because I am an English teacher, I like to read what my students are reading; this keeps me up to spend with all the new trends and vernacular. Although this is my preferred genre, I do love a good self-help book, or a riveting biography/ autobiography. Some books outside of this genre, that I would recommend are:

The Help by Katherine Stockette

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Night by Ellie Wiesel

The Shack by William P. Young

Now, let’s get to this rollercoaster of a book.

About the book:

Violet is popular. Everyone knows her name and she is well liked. She's smart, beautiful and a "cool kid." Violet is also an aspiring writer. She is counting down the days to her high school graduation because she is so ready to move on with her life, but there's one huge problem. She is dealing with a devastating death of someone she never imagined her life without.

Finch is odd. Everyone thinks so. Instead of calling him odd kids at school call him a freak. He often does really random things, like when he painted his entire body red to protest meat consumption. He is unpredictable which is why everyone dislikes him. What makes things even worse is that he has a very bad temper and is currently facing expulsion if he does anything else out of line. Finch is also a senior. He is suffering from depression that he can’t seem to shake it. He doesn't fit in and his parents just recently got a divorce. Sometimes he "falls asleep" for several days at a time. He wants to have control over this "deep sleep" that comes over him, but he can't seem to control it, until the day he meets Violet.

One day Finch and Violet meet during a very awkward situation. They are both standing outside the bell tower at school, floors from the ground, contemplating taking that very long jump. Will they? Or, will they save each other?

My thoughts about the book:

Where do I begin?! This book made me laugh, cry, yelp, and scream before it was over with! I had so many emotions during and after reading this book. I still feel a little angst now that I think about it. At first, I thought, I do not want teenagers to read this book. My students came to mind. I thought, I don't want them to be sad after reading this book. What if they become depressed because of it. Why would someone write a book like this!? Then I thought, no this is a great book for teenagers to read. Maybe they would take their words a little more seriously. Maybe they will read this and think twice about some of the things they are doing and saying to each other. By the end, I got it! I understood why Jennifer Niven wrote this book. If a book is super good, I always want to keep reading, so I read the authors notes in the back. I read Niven’s note in the back and all the pieces came together. I would give this book a nine out of ten. A nine only because I cried...and...I hate crying.

Why I think you should read it:

I recommend this book for very mature readers. Although this book will make you cry, it has a great theme. Although this book deals with very serious topics, I think very mature teens fourteen and older, can handle it. I think this is a good read because it really helped me to see my students in a different light. It made me realize that I should pay closer attention to my student's demeanors and behaviors. Hopefully, after reading it you will also pay more attention to those around you. I have never read a book that caused me to feel so many emotions at once. I mean, there was even a time where I was in denial! I could not believe what I was reading. I didn't want to believe what I was reading, but the topics and issues covered are realistic and very relevant. The author does a wonderful job creating suspense and humor that will keep you turning the pages. You will not want to put it down! So, if you are ready to experience this rollercoaster of a read, go pick up, All the Bright Places.

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