“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”
“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”
“You saved my life, why couldn’t I save yours?”
After reading How to Love by Katie Cotugno, which I haven’t created a review yet oops haha, I was scrolling on my ebook library and I was trying my best to find a new read that would spark my interest as I stumble upon All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I certainly raised my guard up because I know it was about depression. I’ve read a couple of books about suicide, depression, anxiety and it can certainly trigger my own. But to my surprise it did not (but in some parts, it did)! It is well written and I cannot say it is a must-read but it is a good read! (Please, don’t hate me for wanting to read ebooks.)
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
It is about Finch who was depressed and anxious most of the time. He spent his time at the rooftop of their school not to commit suicide but to unwind, when he saw Violet, standing on its edge, ready to jump, he did his best to save her and to let people know that it is the other way around, that Finch wanted to kill himself and Violet was there to stop him. It spread through out the campus into the school’s paper and everyone heard about how Violet is a hero.
He didn’t care about what others think of him, like he’s a freak and he didn’t deserve to be rescued, but what he cares about is the reason why Violet was there. That is when he tried to reach out for her and that bloomed to a beautiful friendship turned into love.
How every wander helped the both of them conquer their depression and helped each other uplift their spirits in their lowest points, at least that’s what Violet thinks that time. Not until Finch left and finished their projects alone. Not until she found him on the Blue Hole.
She found their map on Finch’s things and saw their last destinations, she thought he didn’t finished it but she went anyway, to only found out that he was there weeks ago, that she was reliving his steps. That they both started it and finished it both as well, not at the same time but the same places.
My Rating: ★★★ (3/5)
The whole novel revolves around how Finch and Violet developed together. It is interesting to read 2 perspectives and to know the personal history of each character as they gone through depression in different phase of their lives. It shows a realistic point of view on how depressions feels like, and how some relationships could end up, unlike other novels who’s idealistic in a way.
I like how the two protagonists develop their friendship and love in the course of trying to help each other get through depression. Just like how it began with Finch helping her overcome her fears and sadness over the death of her sister, Eleanor, and then he end up being the one who needs help for he was being eaten by his own depression. He kept it because he doesn’t want her to worry. Because he was busy saving her.
He just wanted to wander.
But the only but in this novel is it is about depression and suicide.
It is a very sensitive topic and I wouldn’t recommend this to those who are suffering from depression, and anxiety because Finch killed himself. That being said, could trigger your own. Also because what you need is not written representation of how you feel but hope. We need to feel better about ourselves, that we are better, we can get better.
This novel is well-crafted, I must say. However, this book doesn’t show light to the darkness most teens with depression is undergoing but just a reflection of how dark it is, how shallow ones feel. If you have depression, read something with more hope and light.
Nonetheless, it is a good novel.