Book Review: All The Bright Places.

"It's not what you take, it's what you leave." | Photo by Butter My Books.
“It’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.” – Finch. | Photo by Butter My Books.

Back in my heydays, I knew what books I wanted to read. Science fiction and fantasy, but mostly fantasy. Magic and sorcery, elves, invincible and swashbuckling heroes, horses and archers penetrating the dark throne rooms of Middle Earth. Yeah, all that jazz. I knew what I wanted to read so I knew which books to buy when I went to Border’s.

These days, everyone is a Nobel Prize winner and everything is a bestseller. You never know who to trust, and you never know which book actually made it into the Top 10 List. Instead of spending endless time browsing the shelves of a bookstore, I registered for an account with Tumblr. More so I could share and spread the love of books and coffee (and photography, at one point) but I knew there would be readers and book lovers like myself out there and I kind of hoped that there would also be book reviews for titles and authors I’ve not heard of before.

True enough, I found them. And this short review and opinion I’m about to write for ‘All The Bright Places‘ by Jennifer Niven is how I found the book’s existence. Via Tumblr. You can read the book’s synopsis here on Goodreads. Before I continue, what I’m about to write are my opinions. Please don’t judge me. Thanks.

I’d be honest with you. I didn’t find the book all that easy to read. First, it was quite confusing when the chapters switch between Finch and Violet. More often than not, I find myself going back to the start of each chapter to see who was it this time. I have read many books before where the character speaks from a first-person point of view (‘The Post-Birthday World‘ by Lionel Shriver was one of the most confusing books I’ve ever read!). Alternating chapters and all that. Phew. But I survived it, nonetheless. Anyway, back to Finch and Violet.

Yes, no doubt suicide is a topic not to be thrown about for fun and it is a serious matter if someone were to talk about suicide like it was a joke and actually think of all the ways and which would be best to kill himself or herself with. Somehow, the book didn’t really hit the spot like it did with ‘Thirteen Reasons Why‘ by Jay Asher. That was actually more emotional for me. In fact, I’d put this book in the same pile as ‘Eleanor & Park‘ by Rainbow Rowell. These two were actually quite annoying to read and I couldn’t wait to finish it as soon as possible. (My apologies to the other Rainbow Rowell fans out there!)

Finch was a bit disturbing. Actually, I’m not sure if he was suffering from depression or bipolar disorder. Because the things he did reminded me of the things a friend of mine did too. One minute, they could be happy as a clam. Next minute, they were on the other end of the scale, saying and doing things that don’t make sense. My friend was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is now on medication. Finch could have been the same. The sad fact was that his family (what’s left of it) either weren’t aware of his situation or just didn’t care at all. Violet was just another fickle minded high school teenager who didn’t know if she should be in a stable and consistent relationship or live life to the fullest and join forces with a spontaneous and random kid. The other kids played their roles pretty well as the bullies of the school. Of course the shocking discovery was Amanda Monk’s participation in the “life support” group. Well that escalated quickly.

It’s a good thing that this book was a Kindle version. Which means that it wouldn’t seem like a waste of money if I actually went out to buy it. At most, it would just be a waste of space. Oh well. It did its job as a form of companionship when I was halfway reading it. Now that I’m done with it, I can finally move on to other “brighter” places in life. Like Rainbow Rowell’s other book, ‘Fangirl‘. I’m still reading it and it’s the best book I’ve read by her so far.

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