Book Review: All The Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven

Where would you go if you could anywhere?

Every forty seconds, someone in the world dies by suicide. Every forty seconds, someone is left behind to cope with the loss.

A lot of people often joke about something as serious as a suicide attempt. A suicide attempt is not actually a desire to die. In most cases, it is a cry for help. This book is a fair example of what a teenager in today’s world goes through, specially during their school years. Bullying is more serious and prevailing than we think or know. Labels are everywhere. For each one of us. Some of us develop the strength to not worry, but most of us never mentally grow past those haunting years when we were shy of sharing our problems, at home, with school mates, with friends, with anyone. Those words haunt us for the rest of our lives.

Coming back to the book, the story and language are beautiful. There are many verses quoted from suicide notes; who knew death could be so poetic. Both of the characters share a deep love for writing, words, songs, messages, and to make a difference.

The story revolves around a boy, Theo, Theodre, Finch,  labelled “freak”, “weirdo” and “strange” at high school. His lack of self esteem stems from his relationship with his father. The dynamics of a broken family are depicted so well. There is very little mentioned about Finch’s mother and sisters and how they feel about him, but one thing is for sure, there isn’t much they could do about him, which is both an agony & a tragedy.

We all are alone, trapped in these bodies and our own minds, and whatever company we have in this life is only fleeting & superficial.

The second important character in the story is Violet Remarkey-ably, who is about to commit suicide, until she is saved by Finch. The story proceeds as Theo and Violet get a US Geography project together and have to wander around Indiana in order to make memories, and explore the wonders of nature. Theo tries to find his solace in her & she finds the drive to live in him, the one who’s dying. The story is nothing like TFIOS, even if someone tells you it is. The beauty of this book lies in all these emotions you experience when you’re reading about their wandering and the love for life Finch evokes in Violet and how he loves her. He writes poetry for her, songs that mention her, beautiful things he does for her, because she is his reason to live. You actually wish someone would do all these things for you, because it actually makes you feel like you’re the one keeping him hanging on the end of the ledge when he is ready to let go. Then comes the sad part, when there are no good byes said. The heartbreaking part of the story and the author leaves you with an emotional turmoil. You don’t know whether to feel good, or bad, to laugh or to cry. To feel happy or sad. or feel everything! just feel! This is what this life is about.

It’s all just a time filler until we die.

It’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.

You have to read this beautiful story to appreciate the life you have, the beautiful things around you, the beautiful words that are in your head, waiting to be said, to the beautiful people in your life!

Cardinal & Violet

Love & Light

x Zb




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