Book Review – All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All-the-Bright-Places-jktAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

‘Is today a good day to die?’

Violet is devastated by the loss of her sister and is having a hard time. Everything has changed and she lost herself when she lost her sister.

Along comes Finch, the weird guy at school no one really want to be seen with, helping Violet to start living her life again. In the meantime, he struggles with problems of his own. He is broken beyond repair and is trapped in a dark place of his own.

They meet on a rooftop staring into the depth of their own darkness. A meeting that introduces a beautiful story about finding a way out, the single stream of light in all that darkness.

The two protagonists, Finch, and Violet are two completely different people from different social groups and family situations, but bond over the fact that they are both hurting in a way that isn’t visible to others.

Mental illnesses like depression (and suicidal thoughts) can’t necessarily be seen on the outside. The seemingly happy people can be breaking inside. No matter who you are and where you come from. However, a kind or caring action or word can make one find that little stream of light in all of that darkness and change everything.

On the other hand, not everyone can be saved. Their darkness is too thick and they can’t see of find that single stream of light.

Mental illnesses and suicide need to be talked about more. It’s out there, no, it’s here, it happens right here among us and it won’t go away  just because we ignore it or label it differently.

A truly amazing story that really gets underneath your skin and stays with you for a long time. This book is a great way to get a discussion about suicide, mental illnesses, norms and ethical issues going. Read it with you child, friend, parents or students.


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