All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is the author’s first novel in the young adult (YA) fiction. The author draws inspiration from her personal life in which she was in love with a boy who had bipolar disorder. It is a contemporary romance novel which focuses on issues like mental illness, death, and love. Theodore Finch suffers from an undiagnosed bipolar disorder. He has a fascination for death and explores ways through which he can die. However, he manages to find something to keep him alive. Violet Markey lost her sister in a car crash and since then she has forgotten what life means and has not lived with passion. She lives for the future and counts days to her graduation after which she can escape the small town of Indiana.
Violet and Finch are completely different. Violet is popular in the school and has a bright future ahead of her. Finch is more a freak and rebel and not very popular in the school. The two teenagers meet on the ledge of the school bell tower. Each of them was contemplating suicide but end up saving each other. Little do they realize that together they will explore so many reasons to live and enjoy life. The two of them pair together on a school geography project to explore natural wonders of their state. Both of them wander to different locations in Indiana and explore the natural wonders. During their wanderings, they learn about life, death, love, and each other.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven adopts a simple yet descriptive language. The writing is conversational, which engages the readers. The author develops and details the characters beautifully. The life journey and emotional waves which Violet and Finch's experience are detailed with grace and reality. The author creates adorable characters which the reader cheers for. The message that love transcends death.
Niven raises and discusses issues like mental illness, depression, love, and death in the novel. She does not provide any ready-made answers to these but lets the reader develop their own opinions on these subjects. The novel explores the intricacies of young adult life and is well written and a memorable read.