Misfit Theodore Finch just wants to die. Death is a fascination for him and he occupies much of his time thinking about how to do it.
Popular Violet Markey lives with a deep grief in the loss of her sister. While she has much to live for; graduation, a slew of collages that want her, and supportive parents, she sometimes has trouble just taking her next breath.
When Theodore goes to the Bell Tower of the school thinking this may be the moment, he is surprised to find Violet also on the bell tower with similar plans. Suddenly Theodore makes the decision to save her, although really… who saves whom?
When the unlikely pair are assigned a project together to discover the “natural wonders” of their home state, they find a rare friendship while working together. Both Violet and Theodore have something to learn from the other, yet is it enough to save them from the demons that haunt them?
I adored listening to this book. There were magical elements to it that made me think of other books either intentionally, or brilliantly not. The Bell Tower of the school made me think of the Bell Jar of Sylvia Plath (another person who could not escape her own demons). The play of words between the witty Finch and the book smart Violet felt like whispers of John Green and The Fault In Our Stars.
I do not mean to compare this to other books as this is a unique setting all of its own. Both Theodore and Violet narrate this book so you have a first hand perspective of what they are thinking and feeling. While this is a YA read, it deals with very real topics of depression and mental illness, yet never feels heavy.
As author Jennifer Niven titled the book, “All The Bright Places,” this hold true right to the last page. Take this journey. It will not be smooth, it will not be painless, but it will be worth it.
Fun Fact: All The Bright Places will be a movie! Elle Fanning will play the lead role of Violet. Release date has not been set but watch for it!