“All the Bright Places”

The novel turned movie, which shows the impact of mental illness, is bound to pull at some heartstrings

The book has several stand out quotes.

Good Reads

The book has several stand out quotes.

“Is today a good day to die?” This opening line ensures readers of the page turner ahead. The moment I opened the cover of “All the Bright Places” by Jennifier Niven, I knew there was no turning back. I spent every free moment I had with this book in hand, unable to put it down. 

It tells the beautiful story of the quirky outcast, Theodore Finch, and the “popular” girl, Violet Markey, who seemingly has it all. While they may have very different lives, these two students have one major thing in common; both have a mental disorder that leads them to the top of the bell tower at their school, believing that there isn’t much left for them to stick around for. Together, they find their way down and are forever a part of each other’s stories. After becoming partners for a school project, they spend their hours together wandering the state, making memories, and growing closer over each trip they take. Despite the oddity of their relationship to an ordinary onlooker, they make it work. 

I really loved the author’s style of writing because she made it very engaging by putting you in the shoes of both main characters. Seeing situations through two perspectives helped build up the characters so much more than if we would have only seen the story from one point of view.”

— Lauren Ritz

Author Jennifer Niven uses a rather interesting writing style which makes all 388 pages a very cool, beautiful read. She splits the book into chapters by switching between the different perspectives of Finch and Violet. It doesn’t go back in time, just changes the narrator and continues on with the story from a different person’s perspective. Even with the clear split, she managed to write through the story in a very smooth manner, making it an easy, enthralling novel. Freshman Lauren Ritz agreed, stating, “I really loved the author’s style of writing because she made it very engaging by putting you in the shoes of both main characters. Seeing situations through two perspectives helped build up the characters so much more than if we would have only seen the story from one point of view.” Along with the multiple perspectives, the insight into the characters minds and what they were thinking through different scenarios provided an in-depth element to the story which not just any writer could pull off. 

The author also wrote this book with a clear purpose. Though she might not have stated it right in plain sight, even younger readers could gather, Jennifer Niven is trying to spread the message of hope and encouragement for students facing mental illness head-on. Freshman reader, Nathan Baszuro, found this message right away, stating, “She wanted to let people know that reaching out can be for the better, no matter what happens.” She spreads this message through the eyes and experiences of two very strong, relatable characters, making it easy for any student to find comfort knowing they’re understood. 

This book could be carried a long way with its uniqueness in plot line and characters alone, but the way the author chose to write this story, carried the tale that much further. Despite spending hours with this book in hand, I can happily say, it was anything but a waste of time.