All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I am so sad, my life is destroyed, this book broke my heart into several million pieces and scattered them across the lands. I am so upset.

All The Bright Places is so beautifully tragic. It’s confusing and sad and gorgeous. There is no logical universe where Theodore Finch and Violet Markey should end up together, but they do. And they are perfect. Not separately, but together. It’s about a boy, Finch, and a girl, Violet, who find themselves up on a ledge at their high school’s bell tower. Not the best of meeting places, but it’s somewhere to start. Since neither of them end up jumping off the ledge and it is the start of a beautiful friendship and eventually something more.

Violet has been through her fair share of heartache, especially after the car accident where she lost her older sister, Eleanor. Finch is fighting off his own demons as well. Finch has been called a freak all of high school, and he really is a whole different kind of person and I love him, but that is beside the point. Violet was a cheerleader and she was popular. Finch corners her into working on a school project with him and kind of into hanging out and spending time with him.

I love Finch. He’s always changing. He changes his hair and wardrobe, he paints his room, and when he feels bad he lives in a closet. Finch’s mind runs a mile a minute, and he reminds me a little bit of Hamlet. He is crazy, but brilliantly so. Finch brings Violet into a whole different world, one that was witty and adventurous and completely different from what she was used to. It was impossible not to fall in love with Theodore Finch. It was also impossible not to have your heart dragged across shards of glass and thrown into a volcano of lava and sadness.

I love Violet as well, not in the way I love Finch, because I would marry Finch. I love her because she’s real. She is sad and hurt and does things that she never thought she would. She mourns her sister and deals with grief in extremely human ways. She’s so real. She is not perfect in anyway and I love her because that makes her kind of a perfect fictional character.

Read this book. Read it real good. When you begin to reach the end, lock yourself in a Finch-style closet fort and bawl your eyes out. It is excellent for fans of The Fault in Our Stars, who love to torture themselves with terribly sad books.

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