Monday, February 23, 2015

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

4 Stars
If you are a grown-up and decide to give All the Bright Places a shot, take my advice and go into it as the following kind of grown-up . . .

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Theodore and Violet meet on top of the school’s bell tower. Neither are quite sure if the other really intends on taking the leap and plummeting to the death, but in the end they end up climbing off the ledge together. The two wind up working together on a project to find the “natural wonders” that exist within the state lines of Indiana. I’m assuming their teacher was related to this lady . . .

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It is on those journeys that both Violet and Finch begin to deal with their personal demons . . . but is Violet enough to save Finch from the darkness which sometimes consume him?

I’m sure many will say these teens have “unrealistic voices,” but I’m so f-ing over that being a blanket excuse not to like a book it’s not even funny. You know what isn’t realistic? Riding a dragon. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to read a book where I can pretend to do it!

I could have easily been a judgey butthole and given this book a low rating, but this is a time when I can say I was not the target audience and therefore must let some of the things that annoyed me slide and instead focus on the positive. Like the fact that these kids don’t fall into instalove, but instead develop a friendship/romance over time, and that a real issue was being dealt with instead of just fluff and nonsense. This book might even make you shed a tear or twelve . . .

“You deserve better. I can’t promise you I’ll stay around, not because I don’t want to. It’s hard to explain. I’m a fuckup. I’m broken, and no one can fix it. I’ve tried. I’m still trying. I can’t love anyone because it’s not fair to anyone who loves me back. I’ll never hurt you . . . But I can’t promise I won’t pick you apart, piece by piece, until you’re in a thousand pieces, just like me. You should know what you’re getting into before getting involved.”

If you’re a cyborg like me you need not worry about frying your circuits ‘cause you probably won’t cry . . .

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Most importantly, it serves as a reminder to teens that . . .

"Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away! Your mountain is waiting. So . . . get on your way!"

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If you or someone you know is being abused, please make a call to 1-800-4-A-CHILD or if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call to 1-800-273-TALK. Making a call could literally save a life.

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