All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


Fair Warning: Get the tissues ready. I’m a naturally huge crier by nature so maybe you’ll hold it together better than I did by the end of this book but I was a full 10 pages of tears.

The book was funny, sad, and informational, wrapped in a bittersweet truth. All The Bright Places is told by two characters, Violet and Finch, to tell the story of a boy who thinks about death too much and a girl still recovering from it. Together they try to manage living, one day at a time.

“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”
Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

The great thing about All The Bright Places is that it deals with mental health in teens. Niven has created a funny, likable, moody character in Finch that leaves the reader just wanting him to get better. But the truth about mental illness is that even when you fall in love and even when you find something great that should make you happy, it doesn’t mean that your happiness will last. Mental illness isn’t something that you just get over. It’s something that is a constant, continual fight.

This is Niven’s first YA novel (she has several adult fiction and nonfiction) but I thought she did a great job of writing these two young adult characters who found a spark of life within each other.



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