ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven is a compelling love story with a serious message. Revealed in alternating voices, this young adult novel tells the story of a boy and girl whose lives change course when they meet in a bell tower overlooking their high school. Suicide and mental illness, along with the every-day struggles of adolescence are masterfully explored in this heart-wrenching work of realistic fiction.
Jennifer Niven is famous for her fiction and nonfiction works for adults, however she clearly has a gift for getting inside the minds of young adults. Whether quoting Virginia Woolf or Dr. Seuss, Violet and Finch are written as quirky, smart, and authentic characters. Forming a bond after a shared, near death experience, readers are draw into the lives of these two very different teens who are meant for each other. While Finch is obsessed by the idea death, Violet is just trying to survive in a world that doesn’t make mental healing easy. Through this intense novel, Niven sends a clear message about the need for society to more effectively deal with issues related to mental illness. Don’t miss Niven’s author note and list of resources.
YA love stories come and go, but this is a brilliant work that will stand the test of time. It’s currently at the top of my Printz list for 2015.
Although the book won’t be released until January 6, 2015, the movie rights have already been purchased and the cast selected. For more, go to IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3907584.
Fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell will be lining up for this tear-jerker with a message. Fans of The Fault in Our Stars will be first in line, so get the Kleenex ready. Yes, it’s really that good.
To learn more about the author, go to http://www.jenniferniven.com/.
Edelweiss ARC used for review