While I was checking out some young adult novels to read, this one kept popping up all the time. Finally, I looked it up and in its introduction was written, "'The Fault in our Stars' meets 'Eleanor and Park''. That one sentence made me read this outstanding novel. The fact that it's not just a work of fiction but a real story with real places and real people makes it more interesting. I'd call it more like 'Eleanor and Park' meets 'Paper Towns'. This love story of two young people travels across the boundaries of Indiana, enhances the meaning of literature and spreads the importance of loving special people. It's a heart warming story where the girl who has seen death meets the boy who wants to experience death. It's a depressingly beautiful story that will make you wander. It's in so many ways more intense and deeper that it might even be better written than 'The Fault in our Stars'.
This love story is of Violet Markey and Theodore Finch. Violet is the girl who survives a fatal car accident which takes away her sister's life. She's lost as she tries to contemplate life but finds no sense in it until Finch comes along bringing her out of her shell and into the real world. Finch is a troubled teenager with bipolar disorder who has no particular passion about anything. When he almost decides to kill himself, Violet comes in his life and gives him a purpose to stay. Among other characters, I liked how the typical college friends were set up. Amanda Monk was quite a surprise. It was a good change to see the famous girl being unsure about herself instead of being narrow minded. Violet's and Finch's parents were at extremes. Violet's were overprotective whereas Finch's were not at all bothered. All the characters stuck perfectly on the pages of a remarkey-able story.
The story starts when Finch and Violet are on their school's bell tower thinking more or less about death. Their friendship starts with quoting Virginia Woolf to each other. Soon they are partners in the 'Wander Indiana' project. In this, they wander many beautiful and adventurous places. All the bright places. It felt like I was travelling with them and exploring those great 11-12 places. I loved the idea of post-its. Think about anything random, write it on a post-it and stick it on the wall and cut the bad words into pieces. Then make a song by mixing all those words. That was something very intuitive. The story was then followed by a twist when Finch swallows many pills but then drags himself to a hospital. It all happens so unexpected and quick that you can't think enough and then you just read further into the story. As the story progresses, the couple is parted by Violet's parents but nonetheless they meet . Their love story is something that was simply brought together by their wanderings. Finally, on Finch's birthday, he plans a special night for Violet. He changes the entire look of his bedroom into a solar system sort of a way. He brings the feeling of Jovian Plutonian gravitational effect in the room. I loved how he lived in his man-cave or fort. It was something that wasn't symbolic of his disorder but only his existence. On that day, they fight and Finch takes off and disappears. The mystery of his whereabouts is solved by Violet which leads to his dead body at the Blue Hole. The suicide was termed as an accident when in reality, I think; all he wanted was to find the bottom of the bottomless Blue Hole. There isn't only one answer to the mystery of his but this is what I think. After his death, Violet wanders to the remaining five places alone. She finds clues that prove Theodore was there and at the last wandering she finds a letter from him which marks the end of the story.
All the bright places covered in this book are simply astounding. However, they can't be a part of the review. So, here's the places.
'All the Bright Places' by Jennifer Niven is a simple story with a deep meaning. It brings out the beauty of Indiana. It doesn't focus on the famous attractions but those which are lesser known yet wonderful. This gives it a more natural and intricate purpose. Another message conveyed is about how to treat people with disorders. In the book, Finch has bipolar disorder which makes him very different and suicidal. There might be many people you know who might be having some problems but you may never know. Such disorders are difficult to diagnose in this stressed out life but it's vital to observe and talk. Overall, it's a greatly written story. I've given this book 4 stars on Goodreads. In my opinion, it's an underrated novel. It deserves the highest readership. Go grab this book and let me know your views in the comments below.