Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Violet and the Finch: All the Bright Places Review

Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf BFYR
Release Date: January 6th, 2015!
*eARC kindly provided by Random House Children's via NetGalley*

From Goodreads...
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.

***

My Review!
Some books you love, some books you hate. Some you never think about again after you've read them and others stick with you. And then there are those that touch your heart and impact you in the best way possible. All the Bright Places was one of those books. It was a moving, thought-provoking, and beautifully written story that I think everyone (and especially teens) should read. 

It's hard to tell you about this story, because you really just have to go in blind and experience it all for yourself. But know this: it isn't a book to take lightly. It deals with sensitive topics and characters who are struggling just to live and put smiles on their faces. It's a book that will not only make you feel every single emotion but will have your heart in knots and your stomach queasy because you feel so much for these characters that all you want is for them to be happy. And these characters make it so easy for you to want them to be happy. 


I love that this was told in dual POV so I could have both sides of the characters' story. It was so easy to connect with them. And it was so easy to fall in love with them. Theodore Finch is one of my new favorite book boys. He's a little quirky, a lot charismatic, and his personality is hard to pin down. He's funny, sarcastic, rude, pushy. He's all of these and so much more. The complexity of his character made his POV my favorite parts of the book. I loved being inside of his head, even when it was a dark place and full of pain. My heart hurts for Finch and all that he is and all that he went through. And I fell in love with him and all of his pieces.


It was also easy to connect with Violet Markey, a girl who is going through her own pain. Her own grief after losing her older sister in a car accident. Everyone thinks she's doing fine, that she's over her sister's death. But what they don't know is that Violet is spiraling and depressed and lonely. So of course it takes Finch, the guy who knows exactly how she's feeling, to be the one to get her to open up and start living her life again. Violet's growth was so beautiful to watch unfold. She might have wanted to give up, but she's a fighter. She's strong and loves fiercely. And she had to learn that life is short and bad things happen, but it's worth it.


These two characters were a lot alike, but their POVs were still distinctive and unique. They were both hiding behind a facade of fake smiles, of sarcasm laced with bitterness, of struggling inside with something that they think they are alone in. But they weren't alone, because they had each other. Through everything, their relationship gave them both something that they never had. Someone who knew what they were going through and wouldn't judge them for it. At first, their personalities clashed. But after that first meeting, the two of them form a bond that gives them both more than what they had before. A relationship that challenges them and pushes them and makes them question everything about themselves and each other. And with it grows a love that is all at once complicated and passionate and full of firsts and discoveries about each other and themselves. 

You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.
Their relationship took center stage in this book, which I did not mind one bit. In fact, whenever any of the secondary characters had cameos, all I wanted to do was get back to the chapters with just Violet and Finch. I just loved reading about them. I loved watching them struggle to fight their way out of the darkness and finding the light in their lives. I loved that Finch gave Violet the push that helped her fight the grief and find the will to live again. And I loved that Violet brought color to Finch's life and made him feel worthy and loved for who he is and not what he does.

The way the author handled both Finch's and Violet's problems and struggles and thoughts and feelings was utterly brilliant. It was a beautifully woven story that explores the darker side of life and what it means to live. It dealt with some sensitive subjects that were handled with such care and thought by the author, which made them realistic but not overdone. It was heartbreaking and funny, happy and sad, painful and joyful. It was a kaleidoscope of feelings and about more than just two teens falling in love.


I could seriously gush about this book all day. I could talk your ear off about how much Theodore Finch means to me and how much I adore Violet Markey. Two characters who met during the lowest points in their lives but came out of them having gained more than what they'd lost. And God, there is so much to talk about. But if I did, I would spoil everything. And I can't do that. I don't want to do that. I'm currently crying as I'm writing this, if that's any indication of how much this book has impacted me. I can't even tell you why until you've read it and understand why it's caused ugly sobbing in so many people. So all I really want to say is this: All the Bright Places has a strong message that needs to be heard.



RATING:
5 Paw Prints!

14 comments:

  1. I'm definitely putting this on my TBR. Just reading your review made me want to cry and I can't imagine how good the book is.

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    1. I'm so glad you're reading it right now! Tweet me all your feels. :)

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  2. MY BOOK DID NOT COME. Damn 2 inches of snow means that UPS cannot bring me this book!? WHAT!? All the rage, Holly. I have All. The. Rage. Also, I promise I will read your full review after I read it, but I want to go in blind ;)

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    1. I know we've already talked about this, but I'm so happy you read it. Are you still broken? I am, sort of. I think I'm slowly but surely getting over this novel.

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  3. So looking forward to this book. I love that there's a duel POV.

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    1. Loved the dual POV; I hope you enjoy the book. :)

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  4. Okay, I'm just eating my words now in the last comment I left, because then I saw your review for this one! I just loved your point about the characters both hiding behind a facade and it was incredibly beautiful the way they supported each other. Wonderful review Holly (why haven't I discovered your wonderful blog before? I'm your 300th follower :D)

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    1. Girl, you've commented on here before! But I don't think you have since I changed the blog name, but thanks for coming back and for following! :)

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  5. This is such a wonderfully written review! In fact, it makes me want to read the book even though I told myself I'm not going to. I just can't with that ending. :( But these characters sound incredible, as does the writing. Sigh.

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    1. Gah, I know why you're not going to read this and I totally understand and fully support you in it. I wish you would, though, because it's so amazing and so worth it. But I respect you decision. It's not an easy book to read, that's for sure. Thank you for your comment; it's really nice to hear that it made you want to read the book even though you planned not to. :)

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  6. This is one of those books I really want to read! It sounds like a memorable one that has such a deep meaning to it you can end up crying over it. I love the idea of great characters and writing style. And I had no idea it was going to be a movie! D: Already?

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    1. Very deep, very wonderful message. And yesss, it's going to be a movie and Violet is already cast! I can't wait to see it come to life. :)

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  7. This book broke me, it was so amazing. I just finished and am still reeling in the feels!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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