“You have been in every way all that anyone could be… If anybody could have saved me it would have been you.”
All The Bright Places is Jennifer Niven’s first young adult work published in 2015. A film adaption of the book is in pre-production & is set to release in 2018.
Synopsis: All The Bright Places is about Theodore Finch who’s fascinated by death & constantly thinks of the different ways he could kill himself. But each time, something good, something small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting days until graduation, when she can finally escape her Indiana town & her aching grief of her sister’s recent death. The two meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves who. And when they pair up to work on a project where they should discover the wonders of their state, both make important discoveries: it’s only with Violet can be his weird, funny, live-out-loud self & only with Finch can Violet forget to count down the days & start living them. As Violet’s world begins to grow, Finch’s begins to shrink.
Review: The book is described as a book like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green & it is, it’s well written & the storyline is good too. The book touches on topics like death, depression & suicide. I liked that the book spreads awareness about mental illnesses. The book switches between the POVs of Finch & Violet, he counts the days that he remembers while she counts down the days to graduation. I really don’t know how to feel about the book, I did like it but I still feel like it was an alright book. The chapters weren’t confusing at all, Finch talks about the different ways a person can die & a few facts about them:
“January 11. According to New York Times, nearly 20% of suicides are committed by poison, but among doctors who kill themselves, that number is 57%. My thought on the method; Seems like kind of a coward’s way out, if you ask me. I think I’d rather feel someone held a gun to my head. That said, if someone held a gun to my head (haha – sorry, suicide humor) and made me use poison, I’d choose cyanide. In gaseous form, death can be instant, which I realize defeats the purpose of feeling something. But come to think of it, after a lifetime of feeling too much, maybe there’s actually something to be said for fast and sudden.”
It sometimes made me feel that Finch was being too calm about the whole thing, I mean suicide isn’t a small thing, its huge. It affects everyone around you & I get that people around you may not get what you feel, what you’re experiencing but it still does affect them. “Every 40 seconds, someone in the world dies by suicide. Every 40 seconds, someone is left behind to cope with the loss.” Jennifer Niven’s authors note was important, I appreciate the background she gives us readers into the idea behind the book. “Often, mental and emotional illnesses go undiagnosed because the person suffering is too ashamed to speak up, or because their loved ones either fail to or choose not to recognise the signs.” Another thing that I feel may lead to undiagnosed illnesses is the lack of education. I’m not aware of every country in the world or even the whole of my native country so I cannot say with a 100% guarantee, but I know that not everyone knows how important mental health is, how it affects a person, so I feel like since many of us are not aware about all the different health issues, we may not know the signs nor may we know how to help. In my country (again, I’m not representing the entire population), sometimes people with mental disabilities are prevented from having a normal life like any other individual, in terms of marriage, home life, education etc, sometimes people just say “he/she is a mentally unstable person or something is wrong in his/her brain” so we really need to increase mental health awareness & as Jennifer says, “There is, unfortunately, a good deal of stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness.” People feel judged.