Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Genre: Young Adult Non-Fiction
Quotation:“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.”
Would recommend to: anyone who has previously given up on young adult novels but wants to try again.
(As you can see, I bought this book from Target. It was a great purchase at a great price!)
I was pleasantly surprised (and also emotionally destroyed) by Jennifer Niven’s book. Here are my initial thoughts upon completion:
1. Well that was fast.
The story takes off from the moment you crack the cover — and I LOVED it. There was no waiting around for the story to get to the action — no slow beginning. I was automatically thrown into an interesting story. And it didn’t feel weird that it started that way. I think rather than let you get to know the characters at the beginning of the story and gradually introducing a plot line, Niven did an interesting thing where she threw you into the story and gradually let you get to know that characters. It worked.
2. People like this don’t exist.
Finch is interesting. Finch also seems a bit unrealistic. I always read young adult novels and the main characters always have some weird habit that other people view as a flaw but the romantic interest is enthralled by. I can honestly say I’ve never encountered this in my life. I always strived to be that main character who had some weird quirk that someone in the world would find endearing, but I’ve come to believe that those types of characters don’t exist outside of young adult novels. [But I do think a lot of other characteristics about Finch are very realistic and shed a light on important issues that more young readers should be aware of. So I commend you Niven on the risks you took in shining that light.]
3. This is not your average young adult novel.
Typically, I can figure out the end of young adult book before I even start it. It’s usually happy, and it’s usually clean. I REALLY want to spill the beans on how this one ends (and I accidentally did to my roommate, and it’s going to take her awhile to forgive me), but I will restrain myself. I just want everyone to know that this is not going to end they way you think it will. It will probably shock you, break your heart, and then some unanticipated reaction will pour out of you.
All in all, I
only mostly have nice things to say about “All the Bright Places”. I thought it was well written, innovative, inspirational, and important.
If you don’t already know, Niven touches upon a lot of deep issues, such as mental health, that teenagers face these days. These deep issues can be uncomfortable, but they are so important to talk and write about.
This was Niven’s first young adult novel (she’s written other books geared towards an older audience), and I think she crushed it. She wrote a meaningful piece that wasn’t a cliche waiting to happen.
I recommend this book 110% to anyone that wants to give the young adult section another go around.
P.S. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, don’t be afraid to talk about it. A lot of people care about you, don’t forget that. My inbox is always open.