All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is contemporary novel/romance. It follows two main characters: Violet Markey and Theodore Finch, two teenagers in their senior year of high-shcool in Indiana.
Violet Markey lost her sister in a car accident a year before the beginning of the book. Violet was also in the car but she survives which adds to her depression, because, as it happens, Violet is not yet over her sister’s death. She has a hard time carrying on living.
Theodore ‘Theo’ Finch is a lonely boy with suicidal thoughts although he desperately wants to live. Everyone in his highschool calls him a freak and either nobody pays much attention to him or they pay too much.
Theo and Violet find each other at the top of their high-school’s Bell Tower, both of them thinking about jumping. Through a geographic project, for which they have to discover and visit the wonders of their state, Finch will give Violet back to taste for life. Yet as he does so, he will sink into a dark mood, one that comes from his bipolar condition. Violet will try everything she can to help him out.
This book is quite dark, although punctuated with good humour. It raises awareness on mental illness and suicide, and makes us wonder if we truly can help people who have decided to end their lives. The book does not say we should not try to help them, on the contrary, but, if ever it happens, it reminds us that it is not our fault if someone we care about decides to take the leap.
I quite liked this book, it has a great characterisation. I grew attached to the characters and hoped for them. It also reminded me how much I hated high-school with all those bullies who have nothing to do with their lives than bother other people who have asked nothing but to be left alone.
Although Finch was reckless and crazy at times, I much rooted for him than Violet, even if I cared a lot for Violet as well. Overall, I really appreciated this novel and it is nice to read a stand-alone once in a while.
I rated this novel 3*/5.