Hello lovely readers, and welcome to the first in a series of alphabetical posts concerned with books I’ve read and what I thought of them.
I’ve got a couple of weeks off and not much planned, so am hoping to get lots of reading done as well as lots of blog posts. I wonder how long it’ll take me to get to Z (or to abandon this whole idea)?!
So today I’m discussing All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
The John Green crowd love this book. It contains all the issues that were in vogue a few years ago – suicide, mental illness, grief – all told through the eyes of two angsty teenagers in insta-love.
The book’s premise is promising: Finch is readying to kill himself, though with a somewhat flippant, irritating air, and his chosen method is to throw himself off of the ledge of the school bell tower. (I love how American schools have bell towers.) While up there, he suddenly realises he has company: Violet, one of the popular girls, driven to suicide after losing her sister in a car crash. He talks her out of it, and from then on, pursues her. She makes a show of pretending not to be interested but it’s pretty obvious she’s intrigued, though not for any reason that was clear to me.
I won’t go any further as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but if you’ve read these kinds of books before, you’ll probably guess the ending after the first couple of chapters. Instead, I’ll mention my personal pros and cons:
- Violet was likeable, though (at times) self-centred and not memorable, and certainly not “remarkey-able”.
- The writing was generally good, though the dialogue was unrealistic. It was at least good enough to make me download the whole book after reading the sample.
- The cover’s pretty.
I did try to do more pros, honestly I did. I mean, I didn’t hate this book. The writing was good-ish.
- Finch was honestly one of the most annoying love interests I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve encountered a lot of annoying love interests. (Looking at you, Peeta Mellark.)
- It was so, so predictable, and gave me real deja-vu of The Fault in Our Stars. And I wasn’t even that impressed with TFioS the first time.
- It also gave me deja-vu of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, just for the image of the two sisters writing together. At first I was like, I’d rather read a book about Violet and her sister (whose name I can’t for the life of me remember) and then I was like, ‘Oh, I could just re-read Fangirl.’
- I don’t suffer from depression so had never really thought about the way it’s represented in this book, but I stumbled upon this review while trying to google Violet’s sister’s name (no luck, obviously) and found I agreed with every word: it demonises anti-depressive drugs, and is more worried about the people left behind than the people committing suicide.
So all in all, I was not impressed. However, if you did like this, I can think of some similar books you might like as well:
All worth a read, though I wasn’t blown away by any of them.
Thanks for stopping by!