You know it's a serious book when it starts off asking if: Today is a good day to die?
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is about Finch and Violet, two people who started off, to me, as two losers! One constantly contemplated killing himself and the other just wished she was dead. They were contemptuous and so heavy on life, it was almost depressing... but not for long.
If I really wanted to, I know I could have contacted Ms. Niven and asked about Finch and Violent and their relationship, but the best part of a book is being able to come to my own conclusion. Yes, it's about depression, dealing with the loss of a loved one and suicidal tendencies. It's also about being a teenager, not knowing what's ahead and how to deal with what life gives you. Or not.
Before purchasing All The Bright Places, I read what others thought of the tale. They were so busy commenting on mental issues, they lost sight of the story. Yeah, Finch attempted to recreate himself numerous times but who didn't as a teen?! I still go out and about from time to time and use a British accent while shopping for the heck of it! I don't suffer multiple personalities! None I'm aware of anyway. The thing is, it was
just how I dealt with not being/having what wanted to be/have. Violet suffered Survivor's Guilt and she ended up re-evaluating her entire life; I understood that too. Every person on this planet has some form of guilt. It's life.
What I didn't understand were some of the conversations that took place! As with many YA movies, I couldn't relate to them. When I was younger (OMGosh- did I just say that?), I pondered my life but I didn't sit and carry anapestic conversations on Virginia Wolf and the Brontë girls. Many of my friends didn't even know who they were! All the teens in this book were normal, except for pieces of our protagonists. Yet even with the weird conversations, this book was lovable. It was pleasant and allowed serious issues, such as college, what the future holds and things like the value/purpose of life and what's to come. Depression, cyber-bullying, physical bullying, divorce, suicidal daydreams and so much more are also there but it's not solely about that! Not to me.
It's about teenagers: broken, confused and lost. This book was about two lost souls that came together, embraced their difficulties and functioned as if they'd never met atop a six-story ledge contemplating a leap! I know Finch suffered, but I also believe had he stronger, caring parents, his fictional world would have been so much easier. Maybe. I think he'd have received the necessary assistance to continue inspiring and maybe even thrived himself. Instead, they let him fall. I didn't like that.
I enjoyed it; written as fluid as liquid, teenaged poetry: bumbly, misunderstood and true to life. I dislike quitters though, and that's where the book upset me. I may never read the book again but there are so many beautiful lines to quote- and not from Wolf or the Brontë's. But sadly, I was not happy with the ending. This book teaches small lessons, but ultimately, it says quitting can be a beautiful thing (the conclusion I came up with), and that simply isn't true. As a reader, I was left numb and disappointed.
Niven's a creative author and I felt more from her words than I have from any other YA novel. She did her job well, but the brightness was clouded over. I found myself both happy, then ultimately sullen in All The Bright Places.
Emotionally off to another book! 📚
Bulluying, cyberbullying, bipolar disorder, any mental disorder should never go unchecked. If you know someone who may be suffering, don't be a by-stander. Seek help.
Rating: 👓👓👓/5 specs
*Shenandoah Family Christmas is next.
**Book is from my personal library.
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