I fell in love with this novel almost immediately and not once did it lose its tight grip on my heart. Violet and Finch are strangers until they meet at the top of the school Bell Tower, both leaning over the edge prepared to jump. She’s a writer who lost her sister in a car crash, an accident she blames herself for. He’s an eternally troubled soul with a lot to say about everything. It’s clear that his mental state is vulnerable but he still manages to breathe life into Violet. As their stories unfold and their lives entangle it becomes clear that they both have their own mountains to scale. As they begin to explore Indiana for their school project, they learn a lot about their home, a lot about each other and a lot about themselves. They fall in love in the most perfect way and teach each other about all the little things in life that matter. Something that we all need reminding of every now and then.
I have a pull towards these types of novels, especially ones that brace the subject of suicide but in an uplifting way. I didn't get to the end of this book feeling depressed and cheated, instead I felt satisfied, like it had served its purpose. I loved the characters and I thought for a while about whether I identified more with Finch or with Violet. In the end I think there are parts of them both that resonated with me and I devoured this book from cover to cover wanting to know where their journey would take them next.
This novel is a bittersweet story but one that delicately and honestly explores the issues surrounding mental illness. It’s beautiful and heart-breaking and one that you will keep with you for long after you’ve turned the last page.
Have you read All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven? What did you think?