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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Emily Hontiveros, senior staff writer

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It is difficult for an author to properly captivate a realistic story about the struggles of teenagers and mental health. In Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places (2015), she tells a story about two teens struggling with death, family, society, and star-crossed love.

Violet Markey and Theodore Finch are two seniors from different backgrounds struggling to finish high school. Violet doesn’t see life the same way after surviving a car accident; unlike her inseparable sister. Finch, growing up in an unstable home, has never understood his purpose in life. As they cross paths for a school project, they form a strong bond and go on a journey to discover each other’s minds.

Unlike other popular, young adult-fiction novels, this one was very unpredictable. The author does a good job of making the readers think that they know what is going to happen, but she then throws a complete curveball. In fact, the author does an amazing job at making her readers think about how you really don’t know what a person is going through and to always pay attention to a person’s cry for help.

While this novel is very light-hearted in the way the characters interact with each other, it takes on very serious topics. The significance of suicide and mental illness are topics that we should be more aware of and this novel definitely leaves the reader thinking. Niven is currently in the process of turning this novel into a major motion picture, so I can’t wait to see how this story will be interpreted and the publicity it will attract.


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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven