All the Bright Places
by Jennifer Niven
All the Bright Places is a soberingly beautiful novel. It is told from two different perspectives and I enjoyed the back and forth commentary. I quickly got wrapped up in the love story and was completely shocked by the ending. I’m still processing it. That being said, I thought it was a phenomenal book. All the Bright Places deals with teenage suicide. I think it’s such an important topic to be aware of and to talk about. Especially when depression is something that can be hidden, even from closest friends and relatives. I keep thinking about this book and I highly recommend it.
Fitch and Violet are two teenagers who meet at the top of their school’s bell tower when they are both contemplating suicide. Fitch has been an outcast throughout high school. He has a tough home life (his father left him, his sisters and his mom to be with a new family) and has struggled with depression and wanting to kill himself for years. When he sees Violet on the bell tower, he abandons his plans and helps her down instead. Violet is mourning the untimely death of her older sister. They had a successful online magazine and ever since her sister’s death, Violet hasn’t written and has struggled with wanting to keep going. When Fitch helps her down, their school mates interpret it as Violet saving Fitch and they don’t correct them. Violet and Fitch get paired together for a school project and before long fall in love. Spoilers: Fitch and Violet fall hard for each other and for a while everything is great. Fitch helps Violet come out of her depression and find herself again. She starts writing and forms a new online magazine. Nothing is able to keep Fitch from his dark place though and ultimately he kills himself. Violet is left to carry on without him and struggle with why she wasn’t enough to keep him alive. It is harsh, sobering and difficult. But it’s also a very important topic.
Summing it up: it was hard to read this book at points, but it was very good and very well written and I highly recommend it.
All the best, Abbey