ambsreads's Reviews > All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
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TRIGGER WARNINGS: abuse, depression, in depth descriptions of suicide, suicide, death, anxiety

I went in knowing I'd hate this. I know it romanticises depression and suicide. I know these characters were nothing but their personality but I wanted to personally know. Also, a bunch of people in this Facebook group I'm in kept recommending this and I wanted a leg to stand on when I say "hey this book is actually really problematic, stop recommending it".

I shouldn't have wasted my time. It got to the stage my eyes were moving across the page but words? They weren't there. I took notes while reading but it became tedious at 15% purely because I was taking a note every. single. page. That's right folks, that's how bad this book is.

Because characters who are only the textbook version of their mental illness make sense! What's a personality? No clue, it's surrounded by stupid behaviour and stereotypes. Shove your quirky, mental health stereotype up your ass.

So, I can't comment on everything but for this amount of notes to be taken in such a short snippet of this book? Not good.

A collection of my thoughts while reading it:
- "Is today a good day to die?"
- Honestly what the fuck
- hate at first sentence
- they're so obnoxious kill me
- “Behind the ugly glasses she’s pretty, almost like a china doll.”
- ^ just going to leave that there because i don't think it deserves a sarcastic comment because of how dumb it is
- 3% in and it feels as though it's making comedy out of depression
- like yo i have depression, have had it for as long as i remember so i feel i can comment on the fact this is terrible representation in just the first chapter
- ok it literally say it's started to rain and our the male mc decides to state that again??? that's sloppy
- please stop describing her eyes @ 5%
- "She’s pretty and tall, but not too tall, with long, restless legs and curvy hips, which I like on a girl. Too many high school girls are built like boys.”
- "semihot girls"
- let's comment on girls appearances every other page because i'm a piece of shit
- still @ 5%, even angrier now
- how is this good rep in anyway
- this is complete and utter mockery of good rep
- i want to punch everyone who says this is good rep
- terrible counsellors? wow great let's tell kids that adults aren't here to help
- counsellor lists people who would be upset if he died, Finch is stuck on multiple girlfriends
- what a literal piece of shit
- he's obsessed with Violet after chapter one i'm going to puke
- so much telling rather than showing, it's frustrating
- punishment equals bangs? jesus this book is a mess
- these counsellors are terrible
- Finch is honestly a pompous asshole
- Violet is bearable despite her lack of personality
- i can't stand judgemental characters???
- how many stereotypes are shoved into this book
- the answer?
- all of them
- Finch is honestly a pig, which is an insult to pigs
- "Faggot" is used as an insult
- why is everything sexualised???
- so edgy!! so cool!!! turntables!!! vintage!!! hipster!!! w!!! o!!! a!!! h!!!
- SMOKING SO COOL
- "even though i'm not much into eating" ??????
- these characters are so dumb i want to strangle them
- literally no one this age talks like this
- ahhh, that my friends is the smell of sweet, sweet slut shaming
- there's seriously so much focus on people's eyes, it's weird
- these kids are so ungrateful
- *boy starts facebook page just to talk to you* this is not romantic
- 16% invites himself over to her house late at night & she gives in and just says yes after saying no?????? super romantic!!! WHY IS THIS OKAY?????
- I hate everyone

In short. There are better books out there. A List of Cages. Under Rose Tainted Skies. Eliza and Her Monsters. There are books out there that paint realistic views on mental health. This is definitely not one of them. This book is disgusting. Not only the way it shames women but the way it romanticises suicide and depression.

I've honestly never been so revolted by a book. Truly. If I see people recommending this they're about to be blocked/unfollowed/unfriended/punched because no. I honestly feel dumb after reading this - something that only happened when I read Caraval.

This book is not good. This book is terrible. This book should be banned. Having depression isn't being quirky or different. Having depression also isn't who you are entirely. No one ever knows I have depression, unless I tell them. I know I've recovered, however I still have bad days. This book doesn't paint any of this in a realistic light.

I have experienced almost every trigger warning this book features, and I'm telling you, as a person who struggled through 3/6 of the triggers, this book is a piece of shit.

Not only that, but the end is a complete cop out. Almost every idea is stolen from other books. The Fault In Our Stars. Perks of Being a Wallflower. Looking for Alaska. 13 Reasons Why. All books I hated.

My tip for you if you love this piece of shit book:

Find a better novel to promote as your mental health awareness book.
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Reading Progress

March 19, 2017 – Shelved
March 19, 2017 – Shelved as: would-rather-drink-bleach
June 15, 2017 – Started Reading
June 15, 2017 –
5.0% "turns out i hate myself and really want to bring down this average rating"
June 15, 2017 –
10.0% "you all best believe a rant is coming your way because I am so mad at this book"
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: annoying-female-leads
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: annoying-male-leads
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: not-for-me
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: literal-trash
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: mental-health
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: savage-review
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: ugly-covers
June 17, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 54 (54 new)


message 1: by Elise (new) - added it

Elise (TheBookishActress) okay honestly this is the one book I'd ever consider hatereading


message 2: by Bailey (new) - added it

Bailey Hull This was honestly the best review I've ever read lol.


ambsreads @Elise if you do i'm pumped for you review but also don't waste your time because WOAH this was actual trash

@Bailey hahahaha thank you!


Ayesha A woah we have really different opinions on this, bc i loved ATBP but I do understand where you're coming from and i think this review was really eye-opening!


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] This review gave me SO MUCH LIFE. I fucking HATED this book and just... this review needs to be printed out and taped to the YA shelves of literally every bookstore and library that carries this shitstorm


message 6: by Ayla (last edited Jun 15, 2017 09:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ayla When I read this book, I loved it. I wasn't aware at all of the problematic elements. Now that I've read your review, I really want to reread the book and take a closer look at those elements. I also have "Rose Tainted Skies" on my shelf, so I'll finish that first before reading ATBP again. I really want to educate myself more on the topic of depression, so if you have any more recommendations for books that paint realistic views on depression (or mental health in general), I'd love to hear them! And thanks for this review, it was very eye-opening to me!


ambsreads Ayesha wrote: "woah we have really different opinions on this, bc i loved ATBP but I do understand where you're coming from and i think this review was really eye-opening!"

Thank you for being understanding! I am glad you did enjoy this book!


ambsreads Destiny wrote: "This review gave me SO MUCH LIFE. I fucking HATED this book and just... this review needs to be printed out and taped to the YA shelves of literally every bookstore and library that carries this sh..."

THANK YOU
Honestly so good to find other people who hate books you did tbh
I just feel there so many better books to read for mental health rep???


ambsreads Ayla wrote: "When I read this book, I loved it. I wasn't aware at all of the problematic elements. Now that I've read your review, I really want to reread the book and take a closer look at those elements. I al..."

Thank you so much, I'm glad my review could be eye opening!
I definitely recommend A List of Cages and Eliza and Her Monsters, I found two to be absolutely amazing in their representation. This Song Will Save Your Life is a good option as well! For other health recommendations Queens of Geek was a great representation of anxiety and Finding Audrey! I know there's so many more that aim missing but it's so great that you're looking at learning more on mental health :)

I highly recommend checking out emmmabooks on YouTube because she posts about mental health books quite frequently!
I suggest these two videos to start with:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cxQ0_1w...
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n778aZV...


✨    jamieson   ✨ I literally hate this book so fucking much I'm gonna make my sister read this review because she's always like "why do you whine so much about ATBP it's good" I fucking hate Zoella for promoting this book and making it cool


ambsreads ✨ jamieson ✨ wrote: "I literally hate this book so fucking much I'm gonna make my sister read this review because she's always like "why do you whine so much about ATBP it's good" I fucking hate Zoella for promoting th..."

bloody hell, it was Zoella? i think i hate this book even more now because she's a twit. but seriously how is anything about this good?? the rep is absolutely terrible and Finch is not attractive or great in anyway. He's basically a stalker??? like wtf even is this trash


message 12: by Hayli (new)

Hayli I've heard some not so great things about this book but wow. I still definitely want to read this book though so I kind of know and learn a bit more on how to recognize when these types of things are being romanticized or portrayed poorly? If that made any sense?


message 13: by Hayli (new)

Hayli ✨ jamieson ✨ wrote: "I literally hate this book so fucking much I'm gonna make my sister read this review because she's always like "why do you whine so much about ATBP it's good" I fucking hate Zoella for promoting th..."

I can't believe Zoella was promoting this book so much?? I feel like it's almost kind of irresponsible how she would do that to all of her fans without realizing how bad the rep actually is. And possibly having other people reading it and thinking that's how it is or how it is "normally" portrayed.


Caitlin I fucking told you it's fucked up


message 15: by Bibi (new) - added it

Bibi Excellent review, Amber!


drmglw Such a great review!! Finally someone !!!! Bless u!!


message 17: by Ayla (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ayla Amber wrote: "Ayla wrote: "When I read this book, I loved it. I wasn't aware at all of the problematic elements. Now that I've read your review, I really want to reread the book and take a closer look at those e..."

Thank you for your recommendations!! I'll definitely try them soon :)
And I know Emmmabooks, she's a great booktuber! I think I haven't watched those videos yet, so I'll take a look
Again, thank you!


Prabh⚔ okay so I read this last year and since then my reading tastes have definitely changed. After seeing your review, I am thinking of rereading it just so to know my opinion. I rated it 5 stars then but I am shocked at how I didn't see all those problematic elements.
Anyway hope you don't unfriend/block me lol
And Eliza was amazing and I loved it so much :)


message 19: by Ayla (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ayla Prabhleen⚔ wrote: "okay so I read this last year and since then my reading tastes have definitely changed. After seeing your review, I am thinking of rereading it just so to know my opinion. I rated it 5 stars then b..."

Hey maybe we can do a buddy-read for ATBP, since we're in the exact same situation... I rated it 5 stars as well, but I really want to reread to take a closer look at those problematic elements.
Let me know if you're interested! :)


ambsreads Hayli wrote: "I've heard some not so great things about this book but wow. I still definitely want to read this book though so I kind of know and learn a bit more on how to recognize when these types of things a..."

I totally understand! I was already aware going in so I could pinpoint what I knew. I also wanted to read it to be able to know for sure, not just others opinions. So, I can definitely understand you!


ambsreads Hayli wrote: "✨ jamieson ✨ wrote: "I literally hate this book so fucking much I'm gonna make my sister read this review because she's always like "why do you whine so much about ATBP it's good" I fucking hate Zo..."

I love this comment!!!


ambsreads Caitlin wrote: "I fucking told you it's fucked up"

I know, I fucked up


ambsreads Bibi wrote: "Excellent review, Amber!"

Thank you, Bibi!


ambsreads teavious wrote: "Such a great review!! Finally someone !!!! Bless u!!"

Thank you!!


ambsreads Ayla wrote: "Amber wrote: "Ayla wrote: "When I read this book, I loved it. I wasn't aware at all of the problematic elements. Now that I've read your review, I really want to reread the book and take a closer l..."

I hope you enjoy them!


ambsreads Prabhleen⚔ wrote: "okay so I read this last year and since then my reading tastes have definitely changed. After seeing your review, I am thinking of rereading it just so to know my opinion. I rated it 5 stars then b..."

hahahah, sometimes we can be blinded! i know some of the books I rated highly are definitely not good, and two years ago i would have loved this!
I think it's just because I knew before going in this wasn't going to be a good book!


julia i read this book maybe 2 summers ago and was shocked & tbh kind of horrified bc it almost ... glorified depression and suicide ?? so thank you for this review...it's so good to know someone else thought it wasn't rly an accurate representation


message 28: by Hayli (new)

Hayli julia wrote: "i read this book maybe 2 summers ago and was shocked & tbh kind of horrified bc it almost ... glorified depression and suicide ?? so thank you for this review...it's so good to know someone else th..."

Isn't it kind of crazy how well it's rated here too?? I don't know if people just aren't realizing that it's bad rep or are focusing on other aspects but I was pretty surprised to see that it's currently rated at a 4.2 stars. (Especially since whenever I see a review of this book it's almost always pointing out the flaws like this one.)


♔ Dark Lordette Jennymort ♔ I give this review 5 stars.


PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps But how did you really feel about the book? 😂😂😂


Milena I want to give this review 10 STARS BECAUSE HOLY SHIT, YOU SAID IT. This book is crap.


message 32: by Nat (last edited Jun 16, 2017 09:29AM) (new)

Nat Oh my god, this book has been on my tbr list for years. But oh my god. and what the heck is WRONG WITH A BODY THAT IS BUILT LIKE A BOYS'???? this phrase makes it seem bad, but what the hell?????? all bodies are perfect the way they're shaped !1!1!!!!!!11

seriously, ugh!!!!!!!!!!! but thanks for this review I will now put it down for a couple of more centuries.


ambsreads julia wrote: "i read this book maybe 2 summers ago and was shocked & tbh kind of horrified bc it almost ... glorified depression and suicide ?? so thank you for this review...it's so good to know someone else th..."

thank you so much & I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw the problematic themes!


ambsreads Jennymort *The Crimson Dark Lord, Scribe, House of Slytheread* wrote: "I give this review 5 stars."

I give you 5 stars


ambsreads Amy's Book Reviews wrote: "But how did you really feel about the book? 😂😂😂"

Not sure I made it clear 😂😂😂


ambsreads Milena wrote: "I want to give this review 10 STARS BECAUSE HOLY SHIT, YOU SAID IT. This book is crap."

THANK YOU SO MUCH. I keep seeing this book more since this review and I want to punch a wall tbh


message 37: by Skye (HailHydra) (new)

Skye (HailHydra) Fantastic review Amber! Just removed this from my tbr...


ambsreads Thank you so much! Glad I could help clean the TBR!


message 39: by Skye (HailHydra) (new)

Skye (HailHydra) No problem :) Hahaa well I definitely do need help there, I'm well over 1000 books!


message 40: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate What Facebook group are you in that people are recommending this so much?


ambsreads @Kate just one called "Bookclub". A few people had asked for good mental health recs, sad book recs and just overall book recs and at least three people always comment this book.


Jonah hey dumbass guys comment on girls appearances all the time and you're just mad about them making it realistic on how guys think and what they say i do agree they shouldn't glorify depression


message 43: by Jonah (last edited Jan 12, 2018 06:44AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jonah sorry for calling you dumbass but I feel like you're a triggered feminist being mad at the thoughts and words that men say in real life like a dick saying ¨faggot¨ or a guy calling a girl ugly


message 44: by Jonah (last edited Jan 12, 2018 06:44AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jonah also you went into the book hating it so i mean of course you're gonna hate the book


Jonah Natty wrote: "Oh my god, this book has been on my tbr list for years. But oh my god. and what the heck is WRONG WITH A BODY THAT IS BUILT LIKE A BOYS'???? this phrase makes it seem bad, but what the hell??????..."
well from guys perspective i think aton of muscles on girls is ugly


Jonah Natty wrote: "Oh my god, this book has been on my tbr list for years. But oh my god. and what the heck is WRONG WITH A BODY THAT IS BUILT LIKE A BOYS'???? this phrase makes it seem bad, but what the hell??????..."
you say all bodies are perfect but i bet you wouldnt date some fat ass ugly guy


ambsreads Everything you just said is hypocritical, Jonah.


Caitlin I respect your opinion, but I will say that, as someone who has suffered from major depression for as long as I can remember, this is the first book that made me feel identified with. I shared it with a close friend of mine who also suffers major depression and she, too, was able to relate to this book.

I'm sorry you didn't like it and that it upset/hurt you.


ambsreads Caitlin, I’m glad it helped you. But, as someone who also suffers from major depression, it was a very poorly represented issue in this book. I’m not sure when you read this book but I’ve read so many incredible books that represent depression well in the main characters in recent years. All The Bright Places was just another in the line up despite the fact I knew it’s flaws and the nature of this review, I did try to see how it could help someone in my position. I really struggled with that but I think it’s simply because I know so many books better than this one. Again, I’m glad this book identified with you and a friend, and I hope you’re both doing well!


Caitlin Thank you. I definitely understand your perspective on that: I've read a few books that I felt were horrible representations of mental illnesses that I suffer from, but others have found extremely beneficial.

It's one of the interesting/difficult things with mental illness: Everyone's is different.

I do intend to pick up a few of the books you recommended above as well, though. Hopefully they will be equally as meaningful to me as they were to you.


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