The Book Report

"All the Bright Places," in review

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More stories from Jenna Clausing

The Book Report
October 16, 2019
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The Book Report

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It all began on a ledge. Theodore Finch was standing on the edge of a bell tower in between classes. Usually this was his place, where he spent his alone time. But in this case, he was with an unusual companion.

On that specific day, Violet Markey was also on this ledge, for a different reason than Finch. Ever since her sister died in a car accident, life just did not seem the same.

On this ledge, Finch realized he was not alone, and began to talk to Markey. The two become friends and their friendship blossoms as the novel goes on.

The two are then paired up for a social studies project that requires them to explore their small town in Indiana. They decide to explore outside of their small town on their “wandering” adventures.

In these adventures, Markey and Finch began to fall in love. The spots to which they wandered became their spots.

While their relationship was beautiful, it could not stay this way forever. Finch has undiagnosed bipolar disorder which causes him to have very extreme low points and high points in his life.

There are instances in the novel where he attempts to kill himself, but saves himself because of his and Markey’s relationship. Their relationship is just about the only thing that brings Finch joy in life.

“All the Bright Places” is a depressing but beautiful novel. The author, Jennifer Niven, does a wonderful job at playing with the emotions of the reader. She is great at taking the reader’s heart, ripping it out and then, shortly after, putting it back in its place.

This novel has a sharp, intense beginning, and does not slow down in pace throughout the novel. The fast pace of the novel makes it an amazing read and a definite page-turner.

Niven did a great job  showing the different characterizations and inner thoughts of Finch and Markey. The chapters of the novel switch off between Finch’s and Markey’s viewpoints which adds a lot to the novel.

Had the novel been just from one of the character’s perspective, the reader would be unable to get the full insight on what Finch and Markey are thinking. The two perspectives are also able to show conflict between the characters in a strong way.

When there is a conflict between Finch and Markey, the reader is able to see the big source of the problem, but also the intricacies that Finch and Markey are dealing with that could make this conflict bigger than what it seems.

“All the Bright Places” puts readers through a rollercoaster of emotions but in the best way possible. The novel makes readers fall in love while breaking their hearts all at the same time.

Niven has written nine books, and is working on her tenth. Her novels range in genre from fiction to nonfiction, and she also writes books for both adults and young adults.

Good Reads granted “All the Bright Places” a 4.2/5 star rating. Amazon reviewers gave “All the Bright Places” 4.6/5 stars.

Clausing can be reached at [email protected]

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