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All the Bright Places
Cover of All the Bright Places
All the Bright Places
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"A do not miss for fans of Eleanor and Park and The Fault in Our Stars, and basically anyone who can breathe."—Justine MagazineA New York Times bestsellerSoon to be a major motion picture...
"A do not miss for fans of Eleanor and Park and The Fault in Our Stars, and basically anyone who can breathe."—Justine MagazineA New York Times bestsellerSoon to be a major motion picture...
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Description-

  • "A do not miss for fans of Eleanor and Park and The Fault in Our Stars, and basically anyone who can breathe."—Justine Magazine

    A New York Times bestseller
    Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!

    A 2016 Zoella Book Club Pick!

    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.

    This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Gayle Forman, Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.
    "At the heart—a big one—of "All the Bright Places" lies a charming love story about this unlikely and endearing pair of broken teenagers."
    — New York Times Book Review
    "...this heartbreaking love story about two funny, fragile, and wildly damaged high school kids named Violet and Finch is worth reading. Niven is a skillful storyteller who never patronizes her characters—or her audience."
    — Entertainment Weekly
    From the Hardcover edition.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book Finch

    I am awake again. Day 6.

    Is today a good day to die?

    This is something I ask myself in the morning when I wake up. In third period when I'm trying to keep my eyes open while Mr. Schroeder drones on and on. At the supper table as I'm passing the green beans. At night when I'm lying awake because my brain won't shut off due to all there is to think about.

    Is today the day?

    And if not today—when?

    I am asking myself this now as I stand on a narrow ledge six stories above the ground. I'm so high up, I'm practically part of the sky. I look down at the pavement below, and the world tilts. I close my eyes, enjoying the way everything spins. Maybe this time I'll do it—let the air carry me away. It will be like floating in a pool, drifting off until there's nothing.

    I don't remember climbing up here. In fact, I don't remember much of anything before Sunday, at least not anything so far this winter. This happens every time—the blanking out, the waking up. I'm like that old man with the beard, Rip Van Winkle. Now you see me, now you don't. You'd think I'd have gotten used to it, but this last time was the worst yet because I wasn't asleep for a couple days or a week or two—I was asleep for the holidays, meaning Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. I can't tell you what was different this time around, only that when I woke up, I felt deader than usual. Awake, yeah, but completely empty, like someone had been feasting on my blood. This is day six of being awake again, and my first week back at school since November 14.

    I open my eyes, and the ground is still there, hard and permanent. I am in the bell tower of the high school, standing on a ledge about four inches wide. The tower is pretty small, with only a few feet of concrete floor space on all sides of the bell itself, and then this low stone railing, which I've climbed over to get here. Every now and then I knock one of my legs against it to remind myself it's there.

    My arms are outstretched as if I'm conducting a sermon and this entire not-very-big, dull, dull town is my congregation. "Ladies and gentlemen," I shout, "I would like to welcome you to my death!" You might expect me to say "life," having just woken up and all, but it's only when I'm awake that I think about dying.

    I am shouting in an old-school-preacher way, all jerking head and words that twitch at the ends, and I almost lose my balance. I hold on behind me, happy no one seems to have noticed, because, let's face it, it's hard to look fearless when you're clutching the railing like a chicken.

    "I, Theodore Finch, being of unsound mind, do hereby bequeath all my earthly possessions to Charlie Donahue, Brenda Shank-Kravitz, and my sisters. Everyone else can go f—— themselves." In my house, my mom taught us early to spell that word (if we must use it) or, better yet, not spell it, and, sadly, this has stuck.

    Even though the bell has rung, some of my classmates are still milling around on the ground. It's the first week of the second semester of senior year, and already they're acting as if they're almost done and out of here. One of them looks up in my direction, as if he heard me, but the others don't, either because they haven't spotted me or because they know I'm there and Oh well, it's just Theodore Freak.

    Then his head turns away from me and he points at the sky. At first I think he's pointing at me, but it's at that moment I see her, the girl. She stands a few feet away on the other side of the tower, also out on the ledge, dark-blond hair waving in the breeze, the hem of her skirt blowing up like a parachute. Even though it's January...

About the Author-

  • All the Bright Places is Jennifer Niven's first book for young adult readers, but she has written four novels for adults--American Blonde, Becoming Clementine, Velva Jean Learns to Fly, and Velva Jean Learns to Drive--as well as three nonfiction books--The Ice Master, Ada Blackjack, and The Aqua-Net Diaries, a memoir about her high school experiences. Although she grew up in Indiana, she now lives with her fiancé and literary cats in Los Angeles, which remains her favorite place to wander. For more information, visit JenniferNiven.com, GermMagazine.com, or find her on Facebook.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books otter - I don't think I have ever read a more beautiful or heartbreaking book. Jennifer Niven has created incredibly real and moving characters, "UltraViolet Re-Markey-able" and Theodore Finch, stuck in a tiny town in Indiana. They meet on the top of a bell tower at school, each of them not knowing what they were going to do, and somehow, they saved each other. They are paired together for a school project to find the "natural wonders" of Indiana, and Violet, who has recently suffered from her sister's death, slowly learns to stop counting the days and start living. Slowly, or maybe not so slowly, Theodore and and Violet fall in love. Told in alternating points of view, All The Bright Places was so beautifully written.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 3, 2014
    Seniors Theodore Finch and Violet Markey run into each other on their school bell tower, contemplating what it would be like to jump. It’s more dark-cute than meet-cute, which also describes the book. Finch thinks about suicide every day; Violet was happy until her sister died in a car crash. While Finch, aka “Theodore Freak,” is a marginal presence in their high school, he’s smart and handsome—a musician who, readers gradually realize, suffers from undiagnosed manic depression. Violet is equally smart, and as they traverse Indiana for a geography project, looking for “wonders,” they flirt, argue, admit dark secrets, and fall in love. In her YA debut, adult author Niven (Velva Jean Learns to Drive) creates a romance so fresh and funny that it seems like it could save Finch; she also makes something she foreshadows from the first line surprising. The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities—and limits—of love in the face of mental illness. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kerry Sparks, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from October 15, 2014
    Two struggling teens develop an unlikely relationship in a moving exploration of grief, suicide and young love. Violet, a writer and member of the popular crowd, has withdrawn from her friends and from school activities since her sister died in a car accident nine months earlier. Finch, known to his classmates as "Theodore Freak," is famously impulsive and eccentric. Following their meeting in the school bell tower, Finch makes it his mission to re-engage Violet with the world, partially through a school project that sends them to offbeat Indiana landmarks and partially through simple persistence. (Violet and Finch live, fortunately for all involved, in the sort of romantic universe where his throwing rocks at her window in the middle of the night comes off more charming than stalker-esque.) The teens alternate narration chapter by chapter, each in a unique and well-realized voice. Finch's self-destructive streak and suicidal impulses are never far from the surface, and the chapters he narrates are interspersed with facts about suicide methods and quotations from Virginia Woolf and poet Cesare Pavese. When the story inevitably turns tragic, a cast of carefully drawn side characters brings to life both the pain of loss and the possibility of moving forward, though some notes of hope are more believable than others. Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from December 1, 2014

    Gr 10 Up-Violet Markey is on the ledge of her school's bell tower, six stories up, and frozen in terror. Theodore Finch, the Freak, stands on the ledge nearby. Before she can panic, he calms her down and gets her back on solid ground. He even lets everyone think she's the one who talked him out of jumping. Violet, until recently, was a popular cheerleader and Finch has a well-earned reputation for being manic, violent, and unpredictable. But Finch won't let their encounter rest. He's suddenly everywhere Violet goes and even signs her up as his partner on a "Wander the State" school project. As the two drive around Indiana, Violet begins to see the lame tourist attractions through Finch's eyes, and each spot becomes something unique and special. He pushes and challenges the protagonist, and seems to understand the effect her sister's death made on her. But though Violet begins to recover from the devastating grief that has cocooned her for almost a year, Finch's demons refuse to let go. The writing in this heartrending novel is fluid, despite the difficult topics, as Niven relays the complex thought processes of the two teens. Finch and Violet, with their emotional turmoil and insecurities, will ring true to teens. Finch in particular will linger in readers' minds long after the last page is turned. Give this to fans of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park (St. Martin's Pr., 2013), John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012), or Jennifer Hubbard's The Secret Year (Viking, 2010).-Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • New York Times Book Review

    "At the heart -- a big one -- of "All the Bright Places" lies a charming love story about this unlikely and endearing pair of broken teenagers."

  • Entertainment Weekly "...this heartbreaking love story about two funny, fragile, and wildly damaged high school kids named Violet and Finch is worth reading. Niven is a skillful storyteller who never patronizes her characters -- or her audience."
  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably."
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review "In her YA debut, adult author Niven creates a romance so fresh and funny. . . The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities--and limits--of love in the face of mental illness."
  • The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    "The writing in this heartrending novel is fluid, despite the difficult topics... Finch in particular will linger in readers' minds long after the last page is turned."--School Library Journal, starred review

    "Ultimately, the book, with narration that alternates between Finch and Violet, becomes Violet's story of survival and recovery, affirming the value of loving deeply, grieving openly, and carrying your light forward."

  • SELF Magazine "Have The Fault in Our Stars withdrawal? Pick up this heartrending novel about a girl who vows to live with purpose after bonding with a boy who plans to end his own life."

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