Violet and Finch meet on a bell tower, both of them contemplating jumping. Love happens. Yes, that is the entire plot.
Well, this one was certainly disappointing.
Let me indulge you, dear reader, in just a few of the overwhelmingly unique things you will find upon reading All the Bright Places.
- sick teenagers
- dead teenagers
- the sheltered, naïve good girl
- the mysterious, guitar strumming bad boy
- his mysterious blue eyes
That may seem all nice and good, but who could forget about the terrible messages this book is riddled with? I’ll list just a few.
- it’s okay to lie to your parents
- it’s okay to sneak out of the house behind your parents’ backs
- if you skip school, you’ll win the affection of a beautiful, misunderstood, brooding boy
Dear reader, in this specific case, the statement above really means “Never skip school”.
Reading through All the Bright Places, I couldn’t help but wonder how somebody might think it a good idea to write this book. I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’ve come up with a reasonable hypothesis.
All the Bright Places was, in fact, a mistake.
You see, I do believe that Niven must have read too much John Green in one sitting and spewed it all over her notebook. The result was sloppy and disjointed but, hey, it’ll appeal to teens… right?
Violet was never fleshed out as a character. To me, it seemed as if the only story being told was Finch’s… until the author changed her mind more than halfway through the story. That’s when Violet was thrown into the spotlight. Somehow, even then, it still felt as if it was Finch’s story.
In other words, the book was atrocious.
It bothered me how obvious it was that Finch was troubled and that he needed help, but nobody ever bothered to acknowledge that fact. No, he was constantly mocked for his illness instead. I was sick to my stomach for the entirety of the book. It’s great that All the Bright Places addresses mental illness, but it goes about it in the worst possible ways.
I’m sure that in a mere few weeks, I won’t be able to tell this book apart from the many contemporaries I’ve read before. You see, dear reader, there’s a small portion of my brain dedicated to depressingly vile books. There are a bunch of recycled plots swimming around in there and All the Bright Places will soon join the Legion of the Painfully Clichéd.
You must be wondering right about now, dear reader, “Why did you keep reading this book if it was so bad, ignoramus?”
The dialogue. The dialogue in this book killed me. I was oh so ready to put All the Bright Places down and pick up another book, but then Finch started talking and Violet began answering. I didn’t like either character, I didn’t like their romance (if you can even call it that), but somehow, I inexplicably adored the dialogue. When that ship sailed, I only finished the book to write a review on how God-awful it is.
Don’t let the dialogue fool you, dear reader.
Don’t let the overwhelming amount of five-star reviews fool you, either.