Ah yes, another total Bookstagram buy (does it count as a buy if you win it though?) which I finished in 3 or 4 days in an attempt to get my May reading list looking a bit less miserable!
The book follows the story of Violet Markey, whose sister died in a car accident while Violet was in the car, and Theodore Finch, a boy who loves to live life to the fullest, but wants to die. As their two lives wind together, Finch shows Violet how to find the remarkable in the everyday, and Violet gives Finch a sense of something to live for.
To be honest, I wasn’t too sure about the book in the beginning, but the characters and themes soon won me over and had me picking up the book every chance I could.
All the Bright Places is a heartfelt story of loss and living, dealing with mental illness and grief in a way other YA books don’t seem to. Niven doesn’t romanticise mental illness, but looks at it in an honest and real light, exploring the thoughts those suffering with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses have, and the fallout from these thoughts.
Niven’s characters are also written so well, I could so clearly see each of the schoolmate side-cast characters in detail and have no doubt characters like them exist in American schools (and universally, too). Finch and Violet are, of course, the stars of the book, and Niven has done a spectacular job of sharing how they feel and think, while also showing us why they behave the way they do and have the thoughts they have (though they may not fully understand it themselves).
I think Violet perfectly sums up the heartbreaking reality of a lot of cases of mental ilness when she says ‘What a terrible feeling to love someone and not be able to help them’.
Rating: I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary YA and/or has an interest in mental health and mental health awareness.
Before I sign off, I wanted to share some of my favourite instagram accounts who love to talk mental health and reduce or remove the stigma around it.
@the_indigo_project (also psychologists specialising in Mental Health & courses if you’re in Sydney!)
The end of the book also has all the lifeline and helpline numbers if you are struggling with mental ilness ♥
To everyone out there please remember: you are not alone, you are not your illness, you are valued, never be afraid to ask for help – it does not make you weak, but makes you and those around you stronger ♥♥♥