I enjoyed reading All the Bright Places so much that I woke up early to finish it yet I feel ill equipped to describe just how this book impacted me. Here are the words that I can give: All the Bright Places is a must read. It captures mental illness, depression, death, and grieving without feeling like it is preaching at you.
Main characters Theo Finch and Violet Markey are such damaged people and Jennifer paints them so vividly they felt real. Finch is totally preoccupied with death and dying and falls into periods of depressions called “being asleep.” With Violet, he can be the weird, quirky person he is without worrying about the labels that his peers have given him. Violet is still grieving from the accident in which her sister was killed. With Theo she is no longer counting down the days until school ends and she can escape but living each day.
It’s unfortunate that this book keeps getting compared to other YA titles. The whirlwind romance of Violet and Finch is dizzying and heady but feels real and fresh, not like something I have read before. I found myself loving the characters hoping that all would end well. At times I was frustrated with Finch and Violet. Finch was so pushy at times and Violet seemed so passive but this worked and moved the book along.
The adults in the book annoyed me. They were not the absent parents in some YA but they were so easily distracted and willing to hope that what their teen was telling them was the truth that warning signs and angered me. Some of them seemed so passive in the lives of these children with issues. I
I love that there was no neat resolution. Jennifer portrayed mental illness without judgement, with preaching and was so descriptive with its effect on Finch that reading the book was felt like I was experiencing every bit of his experiences.
The book will not be released until January but is worth the wait. It’s haunting, it’s lovely and worth waking up early to finish.
I got an early galley of this book through Net Galley. All thoughts are my own. Affiliate links are used in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I will make a small commission.