All the Bright Places: A Book I’m Still Thinking About Two Months Later

All the Bright Places: A Book I’m Still Thinking About Two Months Later

While All the Bright Places is publishing today, I got a chance to read it in November. I’ve thought about this book a lot since then. I’ve seen a few negative reviews and I’ve considered what they have to say. The conclusion I’ve reached is that I recognized these kids. I’ve seen them in my halls and called them out for their antics, and prayed they would live through another weekend if I let them out of my sight. The authenticity of these characters will touch readers who know people like Theodore and Violet. This book will resonate with you and punch you in the cry box. If you don’t believe they are real people because you cannot fathom teens like these, you may fail to connect. This is one of my top reads for the new year. I’m recommending it to students left and right. They go to school with these characters. If you liked The Fault in Our Stars or Thirteen Reasons Why, or Eleanor and Park, add this one to your TBR list.

All the Bright Places
Jennifer Niven
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Knopf

Theodore struggles with periods of overwhelming depression. Violet can seem to figure out how to live since her sister died. When the two meet while contemplating suicide on the same ledge, they find that some things might be worth living for. The characters were people I recognized, believed in, and quickly learned to care for. The plot was paced well, allowing time for a relationship to develop without dragging. I was engaged in the outcome and read it straight through in one sitting. I thought the themes were well suited to the intended audience and came from a pair of sincere and believable teen voices. I am still thinking very hard about the way this one ended, and it is going to stick with me for a while. Language, sensuality, and situations are edgy, as is any good contemporary YA that reads authentically to its intended audience. It is appropriate for mature high school readers.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

One response »

  1. Pingback: The Last Time We Say Goodbye | Handheld Dream

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