By: Jennifer Niven
Location: FIC NIV
Genre: Youth Fiction- Suicide and Teenage Depression
It's my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”
― Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places
How do you approach a book review that deals with youth suicide but also makes you somehow feel good. How can you write about a book that sends an empty shiver down your spine while still making you feel whole. How can I recommend a book that gives a kind of permission to end your life?
Finch is a guy who just does not fit, he does not fit at school, he does not fit at home. he discovers though that he does fit with Violet- she is cool and popular, he is not, he is a freak- or so he is always told.
He and Violet have a knowing- they are both suicidal, in fact they met each other while they were on a high tower ready to jump..
Despite Finch's weirdness and his reputation at school as being a freakish nobody- Violet falls in love with him- she discovers the real Finch.
The question is- will it be enough to save Finch from himself!
This book also deals with the power of a dysfunctional family and a father who has a violent grasp on his children, it describes the scars on the inside that this inevitably leaves. It journeys you through the pain of a siblings death through a car accident and all the survivor guilt it causes, it takes you to the heart of high school bullying based on fear and rank, you discover what a fake world that is.
All the Bright Places is a gutting look at youth depression, its causes, its outcomes.
I know Finch, I know Violet- they walk in this school too! Maybe that is why I recommend this book!