zelle (fragilemyths)'s Reviews > All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
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it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-own, contemporary

I AM SO UPSET. BUT IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE. WHERE DO I EVEN START?! HOW DO I WORDS??!

I don't think that this book should be compared to TFIOS or Eleanor & Park , especially not E&P, (which I didn't enjoy at all) because it stands on its own.

I am not a crier. Call me heartless, but I didn't turn on the waterworks when I read TFIOS.

But this. THIS. destroyed. me.

I fell in love with Finch from the very first page. He embraced his nerdiness in a way I admired, a way I never could claim my own outside of my blogging/bookstagram life. He's quirky, sarcastic, different. His voice was powerfully eye-opening, and I fell so hard for his quotable words. I understood why he felt the need to be Awake, and to have someone or something to keep him Awake.

Finch finds Violet while both their lives are teetering over the ledge- quite literally, in the sense that they meet at the top of the school bell tower, both contemplating death from falling from a great height.

But for Violet, the height isn't just physical. She struggles with falling out of touch with herself after the accident that took her sister Eleanor. She falls from social grace when she stays around Theodore "Freak," after their initial meeting. But let me just say, her character development is ASTOUNDING! I loved watching how slowly, but surely, she pieced herself back together, with Finch's help.

The only problem I had with the book was the fact that the adults seemed so flimsy and paper cut. They didn't feel realistic enough. They were just there for the sake of being there because teenagers obviously need parents.

I've noticed that the primary reason behind the negative reviews is that the author is accused of portraying mental illness as some kind of cute quirk. But it's not. I agree, mental illnesses should never be shown as 'cute,' but in this case, I think Finch's quirkiness came from his innate personality rather than his mental illness. His struggle with bipolar disorder and depression doesn't define him as a person, and it certainly doesn't create the way he thinks. Rather, his illness controls how intensely he feels, as seen with his self-contained anger at Roamer, then the release of that anger packed into a hostile punch in Roamer's face that led to Finch's own expulsion. But for all the deep, why-don't-you-just-think-on-this-for-a-moment-ultraviolet-remarkey-able quotes, his mental illness was not speaking for him. He expressed himself through his personality, NOT his depression and disorder.

And that, my friends, is EXACTLY what he meant by not being defined by his diagnosis.

"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.”

(view spoiler)

This book is tough on the heart, but delicate with the subject. It sums itself up easily:

“Sometimes there’s beauty in the tough words—it’s all in how you read them.”



- this review may also be found on my blog: https://fragilemyths.com



initial thoughts:
4.5 stars. MY HEART IS BROKEN. UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, TOTALLY BROKEN, DESTROYED, TORN IN PIECES, STOMPED ON WITH WICKED SHARP STILETTOS.
I've been reduced to a blubbering mess of emotions and ugly crying, full review to come after I've pieced myself back together again...*sniff*
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Reading Progress

August 26, 2016 – Started Reading
August 26, 2016 – Shelved
August 26, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
August 26, 2016 – Shelved as: books-i-own
October 5, 2016 –
page 32
8.47%
October 11, 2016 –
page 151
39.95%
October 12, 2016 – Finished Reading
November 23, 2016 – Shelved as: contemporary

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