DISCLAIMER: I have read this book back in 2016 and posted this review on Goodreads but my thoughts about this still has not changed. A lot of my Goodreads friends have loved this book; I was one of the few that did not love this. All The Bright places will be getting a movie starring Ellie Fanning, and while I believe she’ll do a great job of being Violet, I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll be watching if the story is much like the books.
DISCLAIMER 2: Don’t be fooled by that title. This book does not have a happy ending. Sorry to spoil things for you. But I just needed to say it. It’s one of the things I didn’t like the book.
THE FUCKING ENDING.
It sucks. So bad. I am still angry. It’s the day after I finished reading this book and I am still so angry.
I started this book because my good friend (Camillia) really liked it and we mostly share the same opinions about books (except for Throne of Glass).
Before going into this book, I already knew this was going to be one of those books that would leave me in tears. At least that’s what I expected it to do ( and it did not disappoint by the way… it would make you sob or cry in some way). Would I say it’s a great book? Ehhh… That’s open for discussion. But for me personally, I do not think so. But I appreciate the effort to tell a story like this.
Right so let’s start with the story shall we?
The story follows Finch and Violet who first met each other on top of a clock tower.
Then his head turns away from me and he points at the sky. At first I think he’s pointing at me, but it’s at that moment I see her, the girl. She stands a few feet away on the other side of the tower, also out on the ledge, dark-blond hair waving in the breeze, the hem of her skirt blowing up like a parachute.
And that my friends, is the story of how Finch fell in love with Violet.
No… i was kidding. If you didn’t already know that. But I would have to start the introduction to this book with that. It’s insta-lovey. If you’re okay with that then… you might probably end up liking this book better than I did.
Don’t get me wrong. This book wasn’t the worse book I have ever read. There were just things about how this book was written that I did not agree with at all.
Let me start with the positives because believe me… I only found a few parts of this book I really liked.
I have a love/hate relationship with Finch. He was a character that really annoyed me at the beginning, especially during that time that I had to listen to him go on and on about Violet. It drove me crazy. Like I said on one of my status update, he reminds me too much of Q (Papertowns) and Gus (The Fault in our Stars). If both of those guys had a baby, it would be Finch.
It wasn’t easy for me to love Finch. During the beginning of this book, I found myself really bothered about how he switches his personality from one to another. At first I thought he has multiple personality disorder, but it wasn’t that. It was far more complicated. I liked how he was written towards the later part of the book.
His story was the one that stuck to me the most.
IT MADE ME FUCKING CRY
Yes! I am a masochist. I love reading books that would tear my heart to pieces. This book was no exception.
I was so annoyed with this book at first that when the really emotional parts came, I really freakin’ cried. There was no way around the fact that this was a very sad book.
To be honest, all this sadness was all towards Finch and how the author chose to use his character. I feel sad and cried because of all the circumstances that he had to go through, while also crying because of extreme outrage towards the author for making Finch’s role in the entire story really disappointing.
SHOWED HOW PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS ARE OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD
Finch was bullied for being different. He was bullied because they couldn’t understand what he was going through.
I liked how this book shows how pretty fucked up people could be when it comes to things they do not understand. THIS BOOK SHOWS THAT PERFECTLY. MENTAL ILLNESS is not something people should make fun of. It’s something serious. It’s something that would make or break a person. And in this book, someone did break.
Now let’s get to the fun part. The things I did not like. I’m going to try and be nice
I HATE VIOLET.
Everything about her I did not like. I didn’t like how the author focused more about her. You’ll think it’s a dual perspective novel when really the story was more about her than anything else. And I hated it. I would have preferred seeing more of Finch than Violet.
For one, I hated reading her POV because it was boring. All blah this. Blah that. Blah. Blah. Blah. My sister. Blah. Blah. Blah. I did not care at all about anything that she was saying. Not one. Even when she talks about her sister, I did not care. There was too little to care about her.
Another reason… Honestly? I cannot think of anything else aside from the fact that I think she isn’t a very convincing character. For someone who lost a sister, how she acts and how she thinks, doesn’t reflect the sadness that she’s “still” experiencing.
HOLY FUDGE THE ROMANCE WAS TERRIBLE
Who do authors think it’s a great idea to put in a romantic aspect in a book about mental disorder?
Probably to sell books.
I hated the romance part of this book. It felt so forced and unrealistic.
One day, when they were both hanging out the school tower, thinking about whether they should jump or not. The next minute, they were mad about each other. Well, mostly on Finch’s part.
There was no connection. I didn’t feel it. I had the same problem with Eleanor and Park, where I feel it would have been better if Violet and Finch were just friends. The romantic relationship often turns me off, especially since this book was supposed to be about MENTAL ILLNESS.
VIOLET AND HER SISTER
Violet’s depressed about the death of her sister.
The thing is, you have to make us believe the character actually really like the person that died for the depression to be realistic. They’re sisters, yes, but I don’t feel that’s enough for her to get extremely depressed about it.
FINCH WAS USED AS A TOOL AND NOT AS ANOTHER MAIN CHARACTER
I love Finch. The way his character was treated in this book was beyond unfair.
I didn’t like how he was used as a tool for Violet’s character development instead of giving him some character development too. He did develop quite a bit, but it still feel cut short to me. I would have wanted the author to focus on his development rather than Violet’s because his story is a more important story to tell.
I hate that this book went to an entirely different way than I would hope it would.
OVER-ROMANTICIZING THE ACT OF COMMITTING SUICIDE
Now this is the part that really threw me off.
I can accept the insta-love. I can accept the author completely disregarding the importance of Finch’s character. But I cannot accept the way she showed that Suicide was okay. That suicide was the only way out of a problem.
It feels to me that the author desperately wanted this to be a cry-feast book (which it was successfully was able to), but the way she ended up doing it was by giving a bad example to the readers.
I’m not an expert in mental disorders. I know that. But in my opinion, a book that deals with disorders like this should be there to influence others to be better. That there is hope in cases like this. That all is not lost when you are battling something like depression or any form of mental disorder. I mean sure, not all people who battle depression overcomes it, there is some truth to that definitely. I was hoping this was a book that will encourage people to live, not the other way around.
The author did show, in a realistic way, how other people treat people who are different from them. That’s fine. What I really did not like is the fact that this book gives the impression that no matter how much someone cares about you, when you’re depressed, you would still choose to end your life and that in the end its okay to do so because no one would really care.
What is someone who’s experiencing the same thing happen to run into this book and read it? This book is for young adults. A books like these should give better example to its readers and not give them some idea that it’s a hopeless case when you have a mental disorder.
The author could have wrote a very, very compelling and poignant book should she have stuck to what was important. This book would make you cry, yes, but for the wrong reasons.
Again, I’m not saying this is a bad book. It just tried to be like something else when it could have been exactly it’s own. This book was so much like a bunch of other books that it got lost. It feels like TFIOS, Eleanor and Park, and Paper towns… sooo… yeah… that’s not really a good thing.
Anyways, I’ll leave you guys with something Finch said that really stuck to me.
“I learned that there is good in this world, if you look hard enough for it. I learned that not everyone is disappointing, including me, and that a 1,257-foot bump in the ground can feel higher than a bell tower if you’re standing next to the right person.”
Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Genre / Themes: Young Adult, Mental Health, Contemporary
POV: Multiple POV, First Person
Publication Date: January 6th 2015
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.
I know a lot of you guys love this book so I hope none of you come at me with pitchforks. LOL.