Thursday, 8 January 2015
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
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.
Why this book didn't quite hot the spot for me
This book was hugely hyped up in the prerelease buzz as being the next big thing but for me I don't feel like it did it enough for me to equal the high praise it was sold to me with. The press release for this book had the following quotes on it "The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park" and "Perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham" which set the bar high to say the least. Compared to five massive authors from the outset? I know why this is done thinking cynically. I do get it. At the end of the day it a marketing tool. It must help to improve sales because it gives the potential reader a hook into a book they've heard nothing about but it is right? Had this book come to me without such comparisons would I have enjoyed it more? I'm inclined to think sometimes maybe it sets me up as a reader to expect certain things and when I don't get them I'm left disappointed. Whereas I sometimes think had I not had the comparsion maybe I would have just taken the title for what it was and been much happier at the end of it. It's hard to give a real answer to that question really but it is often one I think about for any title that is compared in such a way.
This book is particular I didn't dislike but I spent a lot of time wanting more, expecting more and I didn't know what it was that I felt was missing or even what I wanted from it but I very much was left at the end feeling a little underwhelmed. The characters were OK. Their story was OK if not a little forced but it was really only just OK for me.
All in all the hype definitely ruined this book for me sadly.