I have just finished reading All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. It was such a beautifully written book. The relationships between the characters were so wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. Niven makes you fall in love with Finch and Violet, wanting them to go wandering forever.
The story follows this journey of discovery, as Finch helps Violet to rediscover her world by journeying through Indiana. You are taken on the journey with the two unlikely friends, sharing their adventures. They make you feel like you want to just go and see new places, just get outside and explore. It’s a really freeing and relaxing read.
As much as I fell in love with this book it took me a little while to warm to Violet, as I couldn’t help but be angry at her for being so rude to Finch in the beginning. But after their friendship began to form I was rooting for them both.
I loved the language that the characters used and how they communicated with each other, using quotes and little post-it notes to create their own stories and songs. I also loved how everything was so possible. What I mean by that is that there was no hesitation in what they did, if you feel like running 6 miles to a flower shop – do it! If you don’t like how your room looks anymore – paint it bare and move into your closet. If you’re not happy with a version of yourself – change, be someone else for a day. I feel that Finch’s main message was it’s okay to be different. Who cares what people think? Be your best self, and if that gets dull, get a new best self.
And of course all this beautiful imagery and storytelling has to come to a heart-crushing end. Niven showed how helpless you can feel if you have to stand by and watch someone who you love fall apart. She showed how people can spiral completely unnoticed, how they can get left behind while someone else flourishes.
All in all this was a beautiful read, but don’t be like me and expect everyone to live happily ever after, because you will be disappointed.