Book Review: All The Bright Places


A novel which will make you smile, laugh, sing along, and cry buckets of tears in its 388 pages. It’s a heart-wrenching novel about the effects of mental illnesses and how they’re mostly passed off as being ‘quirky’.
This book talks about the suffering of mentally ill or disturbed people, and the effect it has on them, and the people around them. The two protagonists, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, meet on top of the school bell tower, where they’re both planning on jumping off. They ultimately save one another, and end up being partners on their U.S. Geography ‘Wander Indiana’ project. Finch is suicidal and Violet suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
They wander and explore every important and not-so important place of Indiana. Finch teaches Violet how to live fully and freely again, when all he wants to do is escape into the void of death.
The story, told in alternating viewpoints, handles some heavy adult themes for a regular Young Adult novel. Themes of depression, counseling, PTSD, suicidal tendencies, and escapism are beautifully written and explained by author Jennifer Niven.
This book will make you live and explore your own hometown, after some crying of course. “We do not remember days, we remember moments.”
Some critics have also described it as a meeting point between the heartbreaking ‘The Fault in our Stars’ and the touching ‘Eleanor and Park’.
There is also a recently released Netflix movie based on this book, starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith. However, the book will definitely tug at your heartstrings more, as you feel all the emotions, and picture it in your mind.
If you’re feeling suicidal, or suffering from any mental illness, please seek out help. There is a lot of beauty in this world, and you’re part of it. You’re important.
You are all the colours in one, at full brightness.
By Yukta Baid


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