Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible (affiliate link)
“…the great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.”
“The thing I know about bipolar disorder is that it’s a label. One you give crazy people. Labels like ‘bipolar’ say This is why you are the way you are. This is who you are. They explain people away as illnesses.”
I loved All The Bright Places! It is an absolutely enthralling read which is certain to pull at the heartstrings. The two main characters, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, are both teenagers who attend the same high school, but come from two completely different walks of life and seem to have nothing in common. They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, each intending to jump, but make the decision to live instead. As I was reading the first couple chapters, I started to worry that it was going to be a book geared towards a much younger audience than my 30-year-old self: a high school romance, corny and cheesy with lots of teenage angst and insta-love. I was really happily surprised when that wasn’t the case AT ALL. It gets better and better the further into it you get. The second half is absolutely amazing; and I was ugly crying by the end.
This book reminds me of 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, in a good way! It touches on a lot of heavy topics: depression and mental illness, suicidal thoughts and plans, and the impact of loss on family and friends. However, it still somehow remains positive and inspiring overall. One thing I really liked was that it describes what it’s like living with bipolar disorder in a way I’ve never seen before. There are many books dealing with mental illnesses, but Jennifer Niven’s refreshingly new approach is eye-opening. It tells the story without the usual condescension and allows the characters to be more than just their illnesses. I finished this book and immediately told my husband and best friend to read it. Needless to say, I highly recommend it and therefore I’m giving it a 4.5/5 score.