Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

niven_jenniferLight Spoilers; Trigger Warning: Death & Suicide

Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places is a stereotypical young adult romance novel wherein a troubled boy meets a troubled girl, they embark on an adventure together, and they fall in love. However, instead of being a feel-good, bubbly book, the protagonists of All the Bright Places are both suffering their own personal tragedies. Violet has just lost her best friend and older sister, Eleanor, to a car accident, and her sense of identity is completely lost. Theodore Finch has already tried on so many different identities (80’s Finch, Badass Finch, British Finch) that he can’t figure out who exactly he is. He is a quirky teenager, experiencing the identity-shaping turmoil of adolescence that we all go through, but he also suffers from undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Most of his story is told from a manic perspective wherein he is trying to avoid the “sleep,” or the nearly catatonic lows which send him into a numb, suicidal state. Continue reading “Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven”