All the Bright Places


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Jennifer Niven leaves readers stunned with the twist ending of her novel.

Riley Regnier, Entertainment Editor

In a whirl of love and laughter, intertwined grief and struggles, main characters Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are pulled to the edge where they try to find reasons to not go over. In Jennifer Niven’s novel All the Bright Places, the title indicates a lighthearted read, but be warned, it is not.

Niven brings in such vivid descriptions of raw humanity to show how a relationship full of unconditional love can overpass underlying mental and personal struggles. After losing her sister in a terrible car accident, Violet grows shy and loses many of her friendships and her drive to do well in school. Theodore looks every day for a way to escape his life, but every day he also finds something new to keep him there and to stay positive, alive and awake. He finds Violet at her lowest and decides to help her become herself again. Together they begin living their lives to the fullest again. They stop looking at how they wish things were and start looking for something new and exciting right where they are. As they finally learn to love life and rediscover who they are, Violet flourishes, but Theodore seems to wither.

Overall, this book is heartbreaking with its theme surrounding mental illness and the effects it has, not only on the person suffering, but also those around them and the delicate but powerful way it affects them all. Niven offers so much love and adventure with her novel and so intricately depicts the effect we can have on one another’s lives.

While Elle Fanning and Justice Smith do an amazing job in Brett Haley’s screen adaptation of the novel, Jennifer Niven’s writing brings so much more life and emotion to the table. This heartfelt novel is earned its place as a New York Times best seller and will have you falling in love and crying over our endearing pair of broken teenagers.