If you like…
then you will want to read…
Meet Theodore Finch and Violet Markey in this poignant story about life, death, wanderings, and Post-It notes.
The story begins with Finch talking Violet down from the ledge of the school’s bell tower where she is frozen with fear. The year before Violet lost her sister and best friend in a car crash on an icy road. She has been overcome with the grief and lost her way in the world. By lunchtime everyone thinks Violet talked Finch off the ledge as he is the one who talks about death, is on probation at school, and is known as the school freak.
For a school project they team up to discover the natural wonders of their local area and so begin the “wanderings”. As Violet gets to know Finch her world finally begins to grow again. Whilst Finch feels alive in Violet’s company his own world seems to be diminishing, his mind full of racing and dark thoughts.
This is unique storytelling as it deals with suicide and depression in a sensitive and open way. The book is full of hidden gems which lighten and create humorous moments along the way. Both characters love to read and there are many book references which bring a smile. Finch plays the guitar, loves music, and Split Enz is referenced as a favourite band. The Post-It notes are clever and witty and add another layer to understanding. The wanderings draw Finch and Violet closer and can make for a teary read at times. A small annoyance is the plot centres exclusively round the two main characters with friends and family less developed than expected.
The best thing about All the Bright Places is that the story connects with the heart and lingers there. It’s an insightful book. Near the end Finch sends a heartfelt message to Violet which captures the essence of this read.
You are all the colours in one, at full brightness
P. S. In case you have to wait for All the Bright Places, why not try one of the books suggested in our If You Like… The Fault in Our Stars list?