C.G. Drews's Reviews > All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, best-of-2014, contemporary, read-2014, young-adult, mental-illness

I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO FUNCTION RIGHT NOW. I HAVE JUST READ THE MOST BRILLIANT AND HEART-RIPPING STORY OF THE UNIVERSE. How do I do words?! How do I explain how much I'm feeling right now? I think I could cry and sing all at once, but mostly cry. Just know this very very truthful fact: This is the most incredible book I have read. It's probably my favourite contemporary in the world. I can't....I just...I need a moment.

I love this book. You know how it's compared to Eleanor & Park and The Fault in Our Stars? Usually I hate going into a book with expectations like that, but for ONCE it was exceptionally incredibly totally spot-on. Well, cut out E&P. It's nothing like that. It's everything like John Green's writing. Intelligent and emotional and energetic. I actually say (and trust me, I would not be saying this lightly) this is on par with my favourite John Green books. YEAH. I SAID IT, OKAY? DEAL.

It's about mental illness and being a freak and being alone and having a best friend. Wow. Heavy topics. It gets a million stars for each. It's about a mental illness that I'll put in spoiler tags just here (view spoiler) (not that it IS really a spoiler...but since the book doesn't tell you what exactly it is until the end, I figure you might want to go in blind. I did. I liked that I wasn't 100% sure). It creates this character, Finch, who is so live and real and spontaneous and unprecedented, I just...I just loved him. I felt a huge connection to Finch. It made the book so personal because I know people with mental illnesses and I suffer from some (though not the same as Finch's) myself and ... wow. Can we just give the author all the award of ever for writing it PERFECTLY? I want to cry. GAH! I'm reviewing, okay, okay, I'm reviewing.

It's also about Violet, who's suffering from PTSD after losing her sister. Both Violet and Finch basically want to die, but then they don't want to die. Suicide is a huge theme in the book. I mean, the two meet on a tower were both were considering throwing themselves off. It does make me sad, though, that both kids really hid their feelings from adults/help because they thought nobody understood. That always makes me sad when I read that. IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM THINGS YOU CAN'T CONTROL: IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. AND ASKING FOR HELP IS OKAY. Though this was addressed too. Eventually. Kind of?

The writing is perfection. Violet and Finch take turns narrating and their voices are SO different. Incredible. Finch is like a ball of spontaneous energy but simultaneously crippling depression. Violet is discovering herself without her sister...and what even is the point of life? Their voices are raw. Their thoughts are so relatable.

I only had half an issue with it. I felt the ending dragged a bit. I loved it. I didn't want it to end, but at the same time I just felt like it was procrastinating. Little teeny bit not okay.

BUT WHO EVEN CARES?! *throws flowers of sadness* I LOVED THE BOOK.

But I have to warn you...it also hurts. Not in the "ouch, hate that" in the "I FREAKING CANNOT HANDLE THIS RIGHT NOW. STAHP. STAHP EVERYTHING AND JUST STAAAAAHP." More like that okay? I was nearly number. The characters are just so real, I felt like I was in the book.

Also, I never do this, but I lost track of time. At one point I read for 2 hours straight without even noticing I'd been reading that long. I...I never do that. I have a short attention span.

So I don't know why you're still here. Um? Go. Go preorder or read this book or something.
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Quotes C.G. Liked

Jennifer Niven
“It's my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”
Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

Jennifer Niven
“Listen, I’m the freak. I’m the weirdo. I’m the troublemaker. I start fights. I let people down. Don’t make Finch mad, whatever you do. Oh, there he goes again, in one of his moods. Moody Finch. Angry Finch. Unpredictable Finch. Crazy Finch. But I’m not a compilation of symptoms. Not a casualty of shitty parents and an even shittier chemical makeup. Not a problem. Not a diagnosis. Not an illness. Not something to be rescued. I’m a person.”
Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

Jennifer Niven
“All I know is what I wonder: Which of my feelings are real? Which of the mes is me? There is only one me I’ve ever really liked, and he was good and awake as long as he could be.”
Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

Reading Progress

October 3, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
October 3, 2014 – Shelved
October 6, 2014 – Started Reading
October 6, 2014 –
page 100
26.46% "This is a brilliant book about humans who have personalities. <-- FINALLY."
October 6, 2014 –
page 228
60.32% "I relate so much to Finch it's mildly worrying. Also the quotes in here are FANTASTIC.\n "You have to live your life like you'll never be sorry.""
October 7, 2014 – Shelved as: 5-star
October 7, 2014 – Shelved as: best-of-2014
October 7, 2014 – Shelved as: contemporary
October 7, 2014 – Shelved as: read-2014
October 7, 2014 – Shelved as: young-adult
October 7, 2014 – Finished Reading
May 18, 2015 – Shelved as: mental-illness

Comments Showing 1-50 of 108 (108 new)

C.G. Drews THAT's WHAT I WANT TO HEAR! *whispers* Also...it is so worth it. It is so so worth it. But pain. There is pain.

C.J. Sarcasm & Lemons You had the same reaction I did! I finished it and felt just devastated, crushed, but also completely amazed by how good it was. I'm still feeling book hangover.

Carrie Exactly! I could copy-and-paste your review it is PERFECT. I felt the exact same way. I hope lots of people read it!!! Actually I'm sure they will since it's going to be a movie yaayyyy


Carrie I KNOW!!!!

Rosie I finished this last night and yes, your review sums up my thoughts exactly. The only bit I would say is like E&P is the aching feeling your left with after the end - I read E&P a year ago and I don't think I'm over the end yet.



message 10: by Sophia (new) - added it

Sophia Bam. Just like that. This book appeared on my TBR. (It might have been slightly correlated to me reading your review.)

message 11: by Shanti (new) - added it

Shanti I just got this audio book from the library and I am going to read it and It seems so beautiful. Thanks for the review, Cait!
*prepares self for feels*

Carrie Yes that IS what you need upon reading this book! A swimming pool of chocolate! Lol

Carrie Yes that IS what you need upon reading this book! A swimming pool of chocolate! Lol

Carly dead on

message 15: by Aj (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aj Yes I cannot function right now either.... Like I just finished reading the book and I can't....

Corinna Agreed that this is the most incredible novel I have ever read. I couldn't function either!! When Violet walked into Theo's room and he wasn't there I cried so hard omg ! And it's so adorable how they do that quote thingy, and Finch made the whole "wandering" thing so fun. Like if Violet was with Ryan they'd do these gay stupid things. I also loved how Violet finished the wandering a after theo(spoilers lolo) BUT I WAS MAD WHEN VIOLET KISSED RYANsa DIMPLS. LIKE WHAT R U FOING OMG Ugh AND WHEN SHE WENT ON A DATE WITH HIM

Corinna I WAS LIKE :WHAT?!?! BUT IT WAS SO SAD THAT VIOLET WAS THE ONE TO FIND _________ IN THE BLUE HOLE OMG :( BUT VIOLET KISSING RYANS DIMPLE AND GOING ON A DATE WITH HIM OMG. -the shoes in a tree wandering = so qt- ~I also loved the paint ball that we will never know what finch wrote~

Rachelle This is SPOT ON.

McKay Jones So… was it just me or did you guys completely ball your eyes out too?

Susan Ohh Hank... :)

message 21: by Gabriella (new)

Gabriella Ramirez Hahahahahahahaha this review is too cute

message 22: by Non (new) - rated it 5 stars

Non :D So true. I finished it a few weeks back and it's still very much on my mind. It's so beautiful and affecting. We actually had the author, Jennifer, on my podcast. She's so wonderful! http://www.joysandwich.com/episodes/p... Hope you can check it out :D

message 23: by Beryl (new) - added it

Beryl Rosenberg Just one question... What age is it for??

message 24: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Cara: Teenagers and up?

message 25: by Non (new) - rated it 5 stars

Non Yup!

Christine This review is spot on!! #ImStillRecoveringAfterTheBook


Lissa Joy I totally feel you!! I literally wandered around my house aimlessly after finishing like "What is life??" I had to wrote my review the day after (today) because I just couldn't. Usually, I can pull through, but no. It was beautiful, heartbreaking, unique and perfect. Your review says everything.

message 29: by Ella (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ella Your review is so accurate it's unreal - my feelings exactly. Love the review :)

message 30: by Maya (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maya Marouf I agree with every word you said. EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER. I'm unable to review this book yet because I'm still not over it. I'm afraid I'll drown my Tab in tears.
Good review. well done :)

message 31: by S (new) - rated it 5 stars

S This book broke my black heart, I cried my eyes out. Hit so close to home.

message 32: by S (new) - rated it 5 stars

S This book broke my black heart, I cried my eyes out. Hit so close to home.

Olivia-Savannah I read this one and really enjoyed it too! The beginning was hard for me to get into but it was such a touching story and handled the topic of depression so well. The quotes were beautiful and Finch <3

Angel (huge fan of all things Totoro) I freaking cried at the end... I have experience with bipolar and I have never read a book that's done the topic justice. I'm so glad someone else knows how AWESOME this book is.

message 35: by Barira (new) - added it

Barira I REALLY REALLY liked, LOVED Elanor and park SO MUCH! Not too much a fan of TFIOS tho. I thought it was okay. but I'm REALLLY looking forward to reading this!!! :D HOPE IT'LL BE GOOD!

Ingrid This review made me want to read this righT NOW.

Meredith really truly well explained

Skyler I can't wait to read it!

message 39: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Skye: I hope you enjoy it. ;D


India So glad other people know how this book shreds your heart! Great review Cait!

R_egotxxi I also feel you .. Like OMG I've never been soo hurt in My entire existence ( thats a little bit exaggerated anyway ) I still cant get over with this book .. I still cant stop thinking to soo many "what if " and I really love Finch

Mishti This book... Oh my god... Oh my god...

Mishti I'm in love with Theodore Finch.

message 45: by Kate (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate Awesome review! Great job! I've finished reading the book today myself. It's such a brilliant story.

Ashely Diaz when i was reading the end ive have never wanted wanted to not be right about my prediction. the ending rips my heart out and the rest of the book is undiscribeable thank you to Jennifer Niven (sorry if i messed up the last name i dobt have the book with me right now i lent it to a friend).im so happy to hear thats its getting turned intoa movie

message 48: by Marie (new)

Marie  Me I cannot cry enough

Delia Bruno I cried!

Lauren I absolutely love this review/rant/masterpiece. I share the same feelings for this book and 100% agree on everything you said. I think I cried for hours .

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