All the Bright Places (Review & Giveaway!)

All the Bright Places (Review & Giveaway!)
Hi there!

Title: All the Bright Places

Author:  Jennifer
Niven
Publisher:  Penguin Books
Published Date:  6th January
2015
Rating: 4 stars
 
*Thank you to Soudha @ Of Stacks and Cups for the
giveaway win!*
Buddy read with Lekeisha @ Lekeisha the Booknerd. You should check out her review of it here!
Synopsis: Theodore Finch is fascinated by death,
and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time,
something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation,
when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her
sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s
unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the
“natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important
discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny,
live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch
that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as
Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow
Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice
in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Review: The
hype for this book was intense. I had seen so many gushing reviews about how
emotional this book was and that it led to crazy tears – quite along the lines
of The Fault in Our Stars. To be honest, I wasn’t really feeling The Fault in
Our Stars which made me a bit nervous when it came to this book, but it was a
great read! I was especially looking forward to it after Charnell’s review @
Reviews from a Bookworm.
This novel was told from the dual perspectives of Violet
and Finch, who were both hurting in different ways. There was Violet, who had
recently lost her older sister in a car crash while she was also in the car,
and was suffering grief from that. Then there was also Finch, who was obsessed
with death and bullied at school.
Finch was a character I really loved, but could never connect
enough with to immerse myself in the story. He was bullied at school because he
refused to fit a certain label of what was normal and accept. He was himself,
always. I am someone who is strongly against the idea of conformity and it made
me so happy to see that, but so sad with how he was treated. He never fought
back although he could easily beat up those bullies. I loved what he did for
Violet to help her through the grief she was experiencing. Everything he did
for himself and for her, was for her benefit.
 
His family was dysfunctional in a completely different
way from the usual. His parents were divorced and his mother turned into an
uncaring, empty person who was worn out trying to work so many jobs to keep
them financially stable. Half the time I wanted to shake her and get her to pay
attention to her kids, but at other times you could see how the separation had
broken her, and she was struggling to get by herself. Finch’s father who is
remarried throughout the book was horrible. He was abusive and he was cruel and
I couldn’t stand him. I wasn’t supposed to though, which made it a point to
Niven of course.
Violet was a cheerleader and popular girl who couldn’t
bear trying to fit in after her death. She’s a writer, a bookworm and a blogger
– and even with all those things we had in common (including losing a loved
one) I still didn’t get as immersed as I would have liked, like with Finch. She
was the character that underwent the most character development as well because
there is a steady and substantial difference from herself at the beginning than
in the end. I liked that a lot.
Secondary characters were also done quite well in this
novel. Brenda and Charlie were Finch’s friends and they were nice enough, but
it was the mean girl Amanda who really did develop over the course of the
novel.
In this novel the two main characters count their days
different. Finch is counting up, from when he was last asleep (what he calls
having a very strong depressive period of time where he does literally nothing…
it’s like he ceases to exists). So basically he is counting the days he is
awake. Violet on the other hand is counting the days down to graduation when
she can be done with school. It was interesting to see how their counting
changed as time went along.
This book does a wonderful job of showing the differences
between depression and grief. I think it depicts both of them so accurately of
course, in the case of one person. It shows us what it means to lose someone.
It shows us what it means to live – truly live. It shows us what we are worth,
what people might remember about us, and ways that we can do good in this world
whether it is a big difference or small. It nailed it.
There is a romance in this one which is really sex
positive in my opinion, but it is all clean. Any scenes fade out into the next
one so we don’t see anything. A clean YA!
One thing you really need to do is read the author’s note
for this book. I have recently started doing this, but Jennifer Niven is
telling a more personal story than I had believed. This book is based on true
events, although how much or how little I couldn’t tell you. Either way, the
author’s note is worth the read in this book.
There were plenty of quotes from other authors in this
book (and it even made me want to read The Waves by Virginia Woolf, which I am
going to do) but I have two that I want to share with you. One an original
quote from the book and another is one that the book quoted but I just love
either way.
Quotes: “Today
is your day. You’re off to Great Places, you’re off and away!” – Dr. Seuss, Oh,
The Places You’ll Go.
“You are all the colours in one, at full brightness.”
Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Giveaway Time! Enter to win a signed copy of All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, open to US/Canada only (sorry International people! Tuesday I have a giveaway open for you too, so hang in there!)
Olivia’s Question: What is one thing that can cheer you
up even a little when you are feeling down?
Olivia-Savannah x


38 thoughts on “All the Bright Places (Review & Giveaway!)”

  • I read the book in the beginning of the year and I loved it!! What I do not like in general is when books are compared with another book like this one was with The Fault in Our Stars so it got immediately branded. But just because it's a sad book with teens, doesn't mean it doesn't have a message to pass on. And it's a message about mental health which is something I deeply care about and think people should change their views when it comes to mental health and the stigma that it's attached to it.

    I am so happy that you read it and enjoyed it.

    • I remember reading about how much you liked this one! I know that the comparisons do bother some people – and it should, actually. I know it doesn't bother me but we shouldn't hold up books to other ones. They are individual!

  • Thanks for the review. My daughter loved The Fault In Our Stars book and movie. I didn't read the book but watched the movie & didn't think it was that great. This book sounds good and I would love to win it for her. The girl loves to read! 🙂

  • I'm kinda hesitant to read this book too girl! Probably because it's so…eh.. hyped up? Maybe I'll wait until it all dies down. But anyway, I wasn't a fan of The Fault in Our Stars because of the ending and for the first time I didn't watch the book to movie adaption (and I usually love doing this but…) meh. Sooo, I'm still on the edge about this book girl but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much anyway! I'm glad it's positive and that Dr.Seuss quote=automatic coolness points!♡♡

    • I can understand your reasoning. Maybe waiting until it has died down a bit would help you? I am glad Lekeisha suggested a buddy read because it was what I needed to push me to dive into it. I wasn't a fan of TFiOS but for different reasons. I did love the movie adaption though <3 But if that one upset you… I think this one could.

  • Very nice review! I still need to read this one and I think I kept putting it off because of the hype. Connecting to the characters is really important to me so I'm a little iffy on this but it sounds like they went through a lot of development in the end.

  • I'm a little torn when it comes to this book. I've read reviews like yours which are pretty positive and others, which are quite negative and so I don't know what to do especially since it's a YA novel and I know I've been having troubles with them for a while. It looks like a deep read and one that deals with loads of issues which is not something every YA does but at the same time, I'm afraid it isn't greatly done? or at least that was the main issue all negative reviews pointed out. And the problem with this kind of read is that I do know a bit about the issues they talk about and when I see something that isn't correct, I get easily mad. I don't know what I would do about this one but I'm glad you enjoyed it :))
    And when I'm down, I try to listen to music that relaxes me or watch a favourite movie/series ^^

    • I know what you mean. I think if you have been feeling iffy with YA for a while then this isn't one for you. I did think it handled the theme of depression and abuse pretty well, but it did very much have a YA feel and if you haven't been enjoying that lately then maybe it is bet to turn it down.

  • This is a really lovely review, Olivia. I've got a copy of this on my shelf and am pretty excited to start it, although I also have this niggling worry that I mightn't be as into it as others are! It happens, though, and I'm going to give it a go either way. I'm a little dubious about the sex, since I think it can be really good and is important for sex to be properly depicted in YA, but I can understand that individual preferences comes into play in this regard. xx

    • I hope you can love it! Don't worry about it too much but do give it some time – it took me a while before I could get completely into this story as well. I know what you mean about the sex portrayal, but I think this one did it fairly well? It still remains a clean read though.

  • (This book sounds so much like a movie here in India) I really like the sound of the book though, especially discovering the natural wonders. That is always a beautiful journey.
    That second quote is my favorite, something I'm going to remember!

    One thing that can cheer me up, hm. I usually read a book or call up my best friend. Or just watch an animated movie lol

  • I am so glad to hear you liked this book. I remember seeing it around and I have been curious about it. It is on my list now. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

  • Oh, I love this review! I bought All The Bright Places a while ago, and I've been meaning to read it. I've heard nothing but good things, and I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Plus, isn't that cover gorgeous? Clearly I need to check this out.

  • Didn't realize you were posting today!! Let me go and add this link to my post and I'll go ahead and schedule it to post right away. My mind was stuck on the 25th for some reason. Totally agree with your review. I would enter the giveaway, but that would be selfish since I have it already. But who doesn't want a signed copy?!! LOL! It should post within the next few minutes!

  • I must be out of the mix. I hadn't heard any hype on this book. It sounded good until you said it goes too close along the same lines as TFIOS. Thanks for the great review! 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

  • Awe…Your review of Finch is so sweet. I think I would really love him as well — so giving and thoughtful. Depression (especially of the postpartum kind) is often looked upon as a weak man's illness. It's not! I'm glad the book does a "wonderful job" of touching upon that. Great review Olivia.

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