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All the Bright Places

Cover: 'All the Bright Places'

Staff Review: "All the Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven

★★★★★

Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, and Finch calmly provides directions that bring Violet back to solid ground. Violet, in turn, directs him. Finch, who already has a reputation as a “freak” is content to let the world believe the Violet is the hero. Violet, who is struggling with the death of her sister the previous spring (as evidenced by her self-imposed isolation), isn’t sure how she came to be on that ledge or what to make of Finch. She finds herself partnered with Finch on a school project that requires them to visit sites of note in their home state of Indiana, and so their “wanderings” begin. The resulting relationship expands Violet’s horizons once again, and Finch is astounded by the realization that he can truly be himself with her, though he struggles to keep his wandering thoughts, moods, and anger in check. This is a realistic, heartbreaking story with mature themes, including mental illness and suicide that are explored in a thoughtful manner. It’s a touching story, beautifully told from the alternating points of view of Violet and Finch, each of whom have a distinct voice. The audiobook is excellent. Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, Matthew Quick, and Ned Vizzini are likely to appreciate this book.

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

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