10 May 2017

Book Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

It's been a while since I've reviewed a book, and in all honesty, it's been a while since I've actually read a book. For a girl who claims to love reading as much as I do, I don't read enough. Because I'm on a creative writing degree we're assigned books to read and half the time I find them very boring. If I'm forced to read a book then you can guarantee that I'll hate every second of it. Is anyone else like this, or is it just me? 

'All The Bright Places' has been on my reading list for over a year. The first time I heard about this book was on Zoella's channel in one of her monthly favourite videos. I remember her raving about it and saying that if you were a fan of 'The Fault In Our Stars' then you'd love this, so naturally, I put it straight down on my reading list. My lovely friend Caroline kindly gifted me the book for Christmas and I have been trying to read it since then, but have only got round to it now. So without further ado, here's my thoughts. 

When I first opened the book, I didn't know what to expect. I got the feeling that it was going to have some form of heartbreak in it, but what that was going to be, I had no idea. I tried not to hype it up to myself because I didn't want it to let me down, being compared to John Green's best-selling book, it had a lot to live up to. All I can say is that it gripped me straight away and from the moment I started reading, I couldn't stop. There wasn't one point in the story where I felt bored or felt like the plot wasn't going anywhere, it was constantly developing and keeping me guessing. Since starting University, I find that I'm more critical towards the books that I read. I'm constantly in writer mode and I can't seem to switch off, so when a book impresses me as much as this one has then it's definitely a good one. 

The story follows two teens, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. They couldn't be more different, Violet is the popular girl who everyone wants to be friends with and Finch is the school freak. They meet at the top of a bell tower, where Finch saves Violet from jumping to her death. Finch is suicidal and Violet is overcome with grief from the death of her older sister, Eleanor.  But when they're paired together for a class project an unlikely friendship blossoms. The relationship that forms between Finch and Violet is a breath of fresh air and is so beautiful to read. 

This is a love story, but nothing like you've ever read before. I became so attached to the characters and found myself staying up till the early hours of the morning just to find out what happened to them. The dual narrative helps the novel to create this effect and it's lovely to see both sides of a story. It's such a beautifully heartbreaking story and the way Jennifer Niven approaches taboo topics is incredible. The characters are both relatable, funny and everything you could want from a YA fiction. I can't express how much I love this story. It's so relevant to modern society and it gave me a massive wake up call, as well as a lot to think about. I think everyone should take the time out to read it. It both inspires you to go and see the places that surround you and not to take advantage of the time you have with people. 

The only criticism that I have is that I found the plot a little bit predictable. There's a big twist at the end which I saw coming, it was inevitably going to happen and I would have liked to have been surprised. I'd really like to see a sequel to this story.

'All The Bright Places' - Jennifer Niven
Recommended: YES! 
Rating: 5 Stars

Lots of Love,
Meg
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