This weekend, I was grateful to spend the weekend up at my friend’s lake house with some other friends of ours, and overall it was an amazing fun-filled weekend. When we weren’t out tubing and we had some down time, I was able to get some reading done. I had started All The Bright Places this spring, but had set it down for an unknown reason, maybe I just forgot about it? Either way, before leaving for the lake, I threw it into my bag for good measure, and it certainly was a good idea. I read at night and most of the car ride home and ended up being able to get through the 300 pages that I needed to be done. This book was a lot deeper than I could have imagined, and it took me in for that exact reason.
There is a girl named Violet, who was a survivor in the car crash that killed her sister, Eleanor. There is a boy named Theodore, but he goes by Finch, and he is finally Awake and wants to keep it that way. When they both find each other on top of the bell tower, tottering on the edge, ¨it is unclear who saved who¨. Days after the news has spread about the bell tower incident, no one wants anything to do with the two and their ¨reckless behavior,” so they are partnered up for a seemingly unimportant, year-long project on the landmarks of Indiana, their home state. Over time they become unlikely friends, the popular girl with the loss, and the broken boy struggling between different versions of himself. He is the one that gets her back in the car for the first time after the crash, even gets her driving. With him she feels like she can be free, and with her he feels like he is special and means something, and it blooms from an unlikely friendship into an unlikely relationship. They begin to travel the state together, wandering, visiting unknown sites in Indiana such as homemade roller coasters, and a bottomless pond. It is all going well until Finch can’t hold it together anymore. Violet is aware something is wrong, and when she confronts him he disappears, and she is given the task of finding him.
This book dealt with the topic of depression and suicide and could get a bit heavy in certain parts, and it made me shed some tears , not going to lie. It was very eye-opening and painted a good picture of reasoning behind suicide, and overall the reasoning people do things in general. I’ve always thought of suicide as a topic that just wasn’t really brought up, and I do think it is a scary thought, but I also think it is important that we talk about it. Just like Violet explains in the book, not talking about things only makes them fade, and this is something that is important in this day and age, with cyber bullying and bullying in general, and the fact that society makes people feel ugly in their own skin. We cannot just ignore the effect that this has on people. It is important that we try to help them. Its true, some of them do not want help, but that doesn’t mean we cannot try. No one deserves to feel that way, and if even being in their life and not leaving them makes a difference, that’s how we can help.
Suicide Hotline: 784-2433
Not only did I learn about these topics, but I took a lot of inspiration from this book, such as Finch’s inspiration wall, which is a wall where he sticks all the words, phrases, pictures etc. that come to his mind. Good or bad, they are able to lighten the load on him, and I think that could be a good idea. I am thinking about redoing the bulletin board hanging above my desk in a similar manner, full of quotes and pictures that aren’t necessarily organized, but that relax me and make sense to me. This project makes me quite excited because I love everything about designing that board, it is very fun to pick pictures and rearrange them every once in a while because it shows your changing interests and changing styles and is an overall enjoyable and positive experience. Also then you feel proud of your work for the rest of the time it is up, because you can glance at it while doing homework and feel at home, more or less.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on the book All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and my thoughts related to the book. I would recommend it mostly to older, more mature readers, but to all of those for sure! It was deep and unique, something you don’t find much of in the YA Contemporary Fiction genre. If you have any comments or thoughts you would like to share, comment below! And until next time, goodbye!