All the Bright Places

What a beautifully disturbing, haunting, heart wrenching, heartwarming, young adult novel. Finch and Violet are an unlikely pair. Finch, a misunderstood misfit, and Violet, more popular and accepted by their high school peers, meet in an unlikely place in an unlikely way. Violet is up in the school's bell tower for the same reason as Finch, to contemplate jumping off.

The freak and flower soon form a special bond. With Violet, Finch can truly be himself and feel accepted for who he is. With Finch, Violet can feel alive and whole again, something she hasn't felt since her older sister's death.

The bond between the two is cemented when they pair up for a class project. The assignment is to wander their state and discover its wonders. For Violet the project turns into a scavenger hunt of sorts. It is a hunt that ends in tragedy as the girl once again must realize the horrific feeling of loving someone so much, yet being completely powerless to help him/her

This novel had me hooked from the very beginning. Violet's story is told quite early on, but it takes a while to learn about Finch, a tactic that keeps the reader very intrigued and trying to guess why Finch is the way he is.

The novel is so well written, the pain of the characters so well captured, that I suspected that the author certainly must have had to experience a horrible loss herself. Indeed she has, as she describes the reasons for writing this novel and the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Rarely do I have a strong emotional response to a book, but this one had me reaching for the Kleenex. So keep a box of tissue handy and read on!

Book Blurb for All the Bright Places

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2015 4.00