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Thursday, June 22, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven @jenniferniven @LLAudiobooks

AUTHOR: Jennifer Niven
NARRATORS: Kirby Heybourne and Ariadne Meyers
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: January 6, 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 11 hrs and 4 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health/Mental Illness
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.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

This was a sad and tragic read for me. Despite all the hype, I managed to go into this one blind. There is a trigger in it for me, because a very dear friend of mine committed suicide so the book stirred up those memories for me.

The story is told from two points of view, and both are high school seniors: First, we have Theodore Finch, who is a bit of a loner that gets bullied by the other kids. The popular kids refer to him as a “freak” because he’s just so weird. Next, we have Violet Markey, who used to date one of the hottest guys and was one of the Queen Bees, but she’s changed since her sister’s death the previous year. She was with her sister when they were involved in a car accident, and her sister died while she survived. As a result, she is plagued by survivor guilt. Violet and her sister, Eleanor, had a website and they shared their opposing viewpoints on everything from fashion to boys to books. However, since Eleanor’s death, Violet lost her interest in writing. Her dream had actually been to go to NYU and complete their creative writing program, but that died along with Eleanor.

At the outset of the book, Finch is on the ledge of the school’s six-story bell tower. He asks himself if it’s a good day to die. Some of the kids down below point up at the tower, but they aren’t pointing at him. They are pointing to someone on the other side of the tower: Violet. Finch ends up talking Violet down, but he lets everyone think that Violet climbed up there to save him so he lets her be the heroine.

In U.S. Geography, Finch asks Violet to be his partner for the project in which they are to explore and write about the sights to see in Indiana. It’s not really clear why Finch wants to pair up with her. However, when she comes stumbling into class dropping her books, he deflects the attention off of her by pushing his own books off his desk and then falling off his chair to ensure that Violet is forgotten. Does he feel sorry for her? It’s hard to say. Maybe he sees a bit of himself in her, as they both are unhappy. Although Violet agrees to partner up with Finch, she makes things a bit difficult when she tells him that they can only explore on foot or by bike. Since Eleanor’s death, she has not set foot in a car.

What starts off as a mundane school project ends up being so much more! Finch’s and Violet’s time together changes both of them.

This was a tough one for me. On the one hand, I loved how Finch was able to break through Violet’s wall and have an impact on her. She changed because of him, and their project renewed her interest in writing and she began to heal. On the other hand, I hate that Finch


I liked the book, but I have to admit that I thought that it would be better. The book had so much hype, so my expectations were high going in. There is a film adaptation that was released in April 2017, and I will likely watch it but not for a while yet. Even just watching this film trailer was tough to see:



Kirby Heybourne (Finch) and Ariadne Meyers (Violet) narrated this book, and I enjoyed them. There is a lot of angst in these characters, and I thought they both conveyed these emotions. Here is a sample of the narration:


MY RATING:

3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it! Thanks again to Listening Library for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

This book qualifies as:

1 comment:

  1. Yup, I'm wrecked. Your review, plus spoilers, plus trailer did me in SOBS

    ReplyDelete

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