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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | Review + Giveaway

book review and cover for All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven [twitter | website]
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 384
Target Audience: Mature Young Adult
Keywords: depression, opposites attract, senior year, death of a sibling
Format Read: ARC from Publisher (A BIG thank you!)

Summary: After meeting on the top of the school’s bell tower, both contemplating the horror of jumping off, Finch bursts into every aspect of Violet’s life and they’re paired up (at his insistence) for a class project that requires them to spend even more time together.

• • •

Have you ever read a book that was SO GOOD you had to stop reading it so you wouldn’t finish it? I admit that this hasn’t happened many times to me. Usually I get heart palpitations and I dread finishing, but I never completely stop reading. Well, that’s what happened with All the Bright Places. I got to 92% and turned off my kindle, turned out the light, and snuggled in bed. Of course my mind wouldn’t quit racing and I couldn’t stop thinking about Finch and Violet. But at least I had that 8% to finish the next day.

The Meeting Place: On top of the school’s bell tower, both Violet and Finch are contemplating what it would be like to jump. Him: because he fluctuates between being “awake” and “sleeping” and because he’s fascinated with facts about how people have died. Her: because she feels she’s responsible for her sister’s death and can’t grasp why she was allowed to live.

The Story: Finch and Violet are two extremely unlikely characters who after meeting atop the bell tower, are paired together for a class in which they have to discover elements of Indiana over the course of the semester as their major project. This project and Violet’s company — the way she fascinates him and he wants to know more of her story — keeps Finch awake and helps him not to slip into the depths of his depression. He wants to keep Violet safe and alive and make her see she’s going to be okay. He’s known as a freak; she’s part of the popular crowd. He cares what no one thinks and tends to masquerade as different personas whenever he so chooses. Violet envies his ease and intelligence, but she’s also wary of him.

The Charm: Wit. Humor. Laughing out loud at the easy banter between Violet and Finch. Beautiful, gripping writing that really connected me to both characters (especially considering it’s old in alternating POVs). Finch and Violet were ALIVE and unique. The scenery and locations they visited were so “normal” and unspectacular until they arrived and breathed life into them. Meeting Violet and Finch is like taking a deep breath of the most intoxicating scent you’ve ever smelled — it fills you up and makes your lungs burn because you never want to exhale and lose the deliciousness.

The Clincher: There’s this feeling that something’s going to happen as you can feel that they’re both trying to climb out of the long, lonely slumbers they were in before meeting. My emotions were on such a roller coaster as I learned more and more about their stories and who they were. There’s such joy in two polar opposite characters meeting (however tragically that might have been) and seeing their relationship progress to such a beautiful place.

I’ve already marked All the Bright Places as a favorite for 2015. I finished the last pages and immediately pre-ordered a finished copy to be mailed to Estelle. I never, ever spend a lot of time re-reading books, but this book is so strong and remarkable I’ll need to. (I highlighted a bazillion passages and think each time I read it, a million more will stand out.) I guarantee Jennifer Niven will be racking up multiple awards for her incredible work. (She deserves every one of them.)

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• • •

HAPPY NEW YEAR GIVEAWAY!

I loved All the Bright Places so incredibly much that I want to start 2015 off by sharing a copy of it with someone!
Enter below. (13+ older, US residents only.)
Spread the word.
READ THIS BOOK!

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January 23, 2015 - 4:57 pm

Alexa S. - Your review is making me lean heavily towards wanting to read All the Bright Places, M! I’m still not sure when or if I’ll be getting to it, but I do love that your enthusiasm for the story + characters shines through so clearly in this review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and for encouraging readers to pick it up!

January 6, 2015 - 11:00 am

Lena @ Addicted 2 Novels - OOOOO, I haven’t heard of this book, but now I want to read it. Roller coaster emotions + relationship progression = my cup of tea.

*adds to Goodreads*

My new years resolution, which is completely cliche but whatever, is to lose weight and get back in shape. I gained an embarrassingly amount of weight in the past three months. Time to lose it and get toned!

January 4, 2015 - 10:53 pm

Carmel - My New Year’s Resolution is to be brave. I still have a lot apprehensions in general. Hopefully I could just let things be and just trust in the magic of new beginnings. Thank you for the giveaway!

January 2, 2015 - 10:41 pm

Jaime Lester - One of my resolutions is to start eating healthier, and drinking more water, less Dr. Pepper!!! UGH!I am not looking forward to it, but it must be done. I work out all of the time, now I just need to get the eating part down!

January 2, 2015 - 5:35 pm

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - (M, I just went to Goodreads to mark it rec’d by you and saw that I’d already done just that. I SO love how much you love this one, that it made me excited twice.)

January 2, 2015 - 5:33 pm

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - MAGAN! I have to admit that I haven’t paid much attention to this book because it seems to me that so many people are reading it right now, at the same time, but your words are BRILLIANT and make me want my hands on it NOW. I love that I can tell how much you love it and WOW, I just want to read it NOW. That is why I love reading friends with enthusiasm. Happy New Year friend and thanks so much for this recommendation! xo

January 2, 2015 - 3:43 pm

Jessica @ Strung Out On Books - I loved this book just as much as you did! Definitely a fav of 2015 for me too! I haven’t ordered a finished copy yet, but I plan ASAP! Finch and Violet will be with me for a long, long time! Lovely review! 😀

January 2, 2015 - 3:35 pm

Natalie - My New Year’s Resolution is still a work in progress. But it’s something along the lines of finding a good balance between still reading a lot of books but not forsaking my homework. Thank you for the giveaway!

January 2, 2015 - 3:35 pm

Natalie - My New Year’s Resolution is still a work in progress. But it’s something along the lines of finding a good balance between still reading a lot of books but not forsaking my homework. Thank you for the giveaway!

January 2, 2015 - 2:52 pm

Amy Deatherage - im excited for this one.

I plan to keep with the “don’t worry, be happy”.

January 2, 2015 - 1:51 pm

Barbara - Hi!

My 2015 resolution is to be more active in my blogging, Twitter accounts, and Goodreads. I’ve heard so many great things about this book, I can’t wait to read it!

January 2, 2015 - 1:03 pm

Ashley C - My new years resolution is to stress less! Don’t worry about the small things! 🙂
Thanks for the chance!
-Ashley

January 2, 2015 - 12:17 pm

Chloe @ YA Booklover Blog - I’ve seen this book around but haven’t heard much. Your love for this book is so clear and really makes me want to read it! The concept sounds so interesting and I’m intrigued by Finch’s different personas.

January 2, 2015 - 11:55 am

Cassie - I have this book on hold at the library, and I am so excited to get my hands on it as soon as possible!

January 2, 2015 - 10:33 am

Brianna - I am getting excited to read this one!

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