The acknowledgments say it all "I wanted to write something edgy". yeah, I could tell. Perhaps this book would have been more successful for me if youThe acknowledgments say it all "I wanted to write something edgy". yeah, I could tell. Perhaps this book would have been more successful for me if you worried less about writing edgy characters and more about writing complete and complex and honest ones.
Ok, time for the longer review.
For those of you who think The Fault in Our Stars romanticizes terminal illness, All the Bright Places romanticizes mental illness. Depression is not cute. Being suicidal is not quirky. Being in a codependent relationship that encourages harmful behaviors as "mysterious and sexy" is not a relationship status anyone should want.
I felt like these characters were personifying text book mental illnesses and that they weren't people on their own. Violet in particular was very flat, and Finch was such a manic pixie dream boy it made my eyes hurt. This book was so full of indie rom-com tropes it was really tiresome to read. I thought my eyes were going to roll right out of my head.
However the biggest complaint I have was the ending. It's a spoiler but suffice it to say I hate when any character's pain, abuse, or death is used as a point of growth for another character. It's dismissive of that character's pain by making it all about the main character. (view spoiler)[ I absolutely hated the way Finch's death was a literal teaching moment for Violet to learn to live life to the fullest. I find it so emotionally manipulative. Finch's pain doesn't matter, the fact that literally every person in his life, including Violet, fucked him over doesn't matter, because Violet learned a life lesson at the end. The "treasure hunt" she goes on at the end is frankly, disgusting. (hide spoiler)]
This book is incredibly misleading about how to help someone with a mental illness who is struggling with suicidal thoughts. This book heavily implies that no one could help Finch and that his death was "tragically beautiful". The thing is, no matter how hopeless it seems you can get help. A suicidal person is never truly alone, if friends and family won't listen there are hotlines and services in place. Someone will help you. Books like this that romanticize mental illness and suicide as a "tragic but beautiful flaw" are incredibly damaging and dangerous.
"The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park" fuck off.
I don't think I've ever read anything like The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. It is amazing, horrifying, and both a work of magical fiction and bI don't think I've ever read anything like The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. It is amazing, horrifying, and both a work of magical fiction and brutal honesty. I felt like for the first time I had found someone who could understand how I feel. I identified on so many levels with this book, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. I appreciate Emilie as an artist so much more now because I realize just how much of herself she puts into everything she does. This is one of a kind, and is well worth every cent I paid and more.
The Asylum is a book, I think above all else, about women's rights. Women's rights to do whatever they want and have freedom over their bodies, minds, and lives. This includes the right to harm their bodies and to even end their life. Emilie is all about fighting like a girl and being a total bad ass, and I love watching Emily-with-a-y grow into a Victorian warrior queen. It's just totally awesome.
I also totally loved Emilie's story as well. I think it was such a perfect blend of fact and fiction that I really couldn't tell what was true and what was bleeding over into Emilie's story. The decent into madness was so slow and subtle that I found myself thinking very odd things were perfectly normal and destructive behaviors were really the only option available. And the ending? Amazing beyond belief.
On a more practical note I loved the overall presentation of this book. It is absolutely beautiful. Every page is glossy and full colored with photos, drawings, and cut outs from journals. It really adds to the story and makes it more than just a book.
I cannot recommend the Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls enough. It has so many fascinating topics. Abuse, mental illness, historical fiction, self mutilation, suicide, friendship, women's empowerment, music, photography, art, and of course muffins, tea time, rats, and leeches. So spread the plague little rats because, as we all know, dead is the new alive!...more
I honestly don't know how to rate this. This is such a sensitive subject and while I think parts of this book would be very helpful for teens thinkingI honestly don't know how to rate this. This is such a sensitive subject and while I think parts of this book would be very helpful for teens thinking about suicide or teens who suspect someone is thinking about suicide, I'm not sure the overall method was effective.