Let’s talk about: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

51bBbJPlfNLAn eye opener. It really is. Reading this book, you have to have the heart that’s understanding or else you wouldn’t appreciate it as much as it deserves to be appreciated. Some would compare it to The Fault in Our Stars as I have seen on goodreads but for me it’s very different, starting from the personalities that both  authors presented to the plot that they both did so wonderfully.

This book made me understand people more than I had before. It made me laugh and cry. It made me even feel dumb because Jennifer Niven’s characters are just bright and intelligent. It’s a wonderful book. Writing this talk still makes emotional because it really left a mark on my heart. I rarely read the author’s note in the end of books but this time I did and I felt that I understood the characters and the author more. All in all, I think that this book isn’t just about the characters as said in the title but it’s about everyone as well, the people like them and people who surrounds them and what’s their side of the truth.

To introduce the book this is all I’m going to say “The story of a boy called Finch and a girl named Violet.”

I knew that Finch was suicidal, being on the tower and all. And having “asleep” and “awake” modes are (I’m still not sure) big parts of it. I never witnessed him in his asleep mode which I wished I had through Violet’s eyes. I wonder how it felt like or how it was like. He just shut down? How does he eat? Is he still sleeping, like real sleep? And I’m most curious of all is that maybe he just shut down when he dove into the blue hole. Maybe it really was an accident. But like Violet, we couldn’t  find out anymore.

Finch is different not weird. I tried to understand him and up to some point, I did but I never fully will because I think his character is not meant to be understood. Theodore Finch is mystery. You may know his thoughts and see his actions but the reason behind his thoughts and actions are unknown. The reason he cleared his room and lived on his closet and shifted everything. Maybe it’s the bipolar disorder?

He absolutely hates labels. I wouldn’t call Finch bullied because he isn’t. He doesn’t let it come to his mind.He hates it that we have to be labeled other names when all we really are are ourselves. Just Finch. Just Violet. Here’s a quote from him that I love.

“Worthless. Stupid. These are the words I grew up hearing. They’re the words I try to outrun because if I let them in, they might stay there and grow and fill me up and in, until the only thing left of me is worthless stupid worthless stupid worthless stupid freak”

And he never really got friends like real friends to worry about him, to hover and to care. And his parents are there  but not really. I hate his dad, though he cares about him, he hurts him and expects him to behave in a manner that even himself doesn’t show. A freaking hypocrite. And mainly the reason her mother is empty. But i couldn’t blame him for that. It’s her choice to be empty. It made me wonder if Finch just had a concerned mom maybe he would feel like he’s got more to live for.

He’s an extraordinary character that I really came to love just because he’s Finch. I really loved that he’s got many versions of himself. It’s like by imitating the versions of himself so many times, he became original. Does that makes sense?  And there’s really beautiful on how he sees things, how he sees their wanderings and the retorts he make. And the songs! His wall. Theodore Finch could really go to that other world. It’s hard not to be in love with him

Him being a suicidal and then talking Violet out of it is kind of a “really, dude?” moment. It’s very nice that Finch is brutally honest with himself (but not with others) that he never tries to sugar coat anything about his habits or the things he sucked at and the 3 Brianas and all that. And Finch must be really believable because Embryo thought that he really was fatherless.

Yes, he was messy and no one wants to fix him except Violet that isn’t even fixed herself. So yeah, it was kind of E&P. The wanderings they did have are amazing. They go and leave it with a piece of their selves. But every place they go to, it just becomes wonderful and meaningful like it’s not just Indiana but it’s something theirs to keep.

I understand Violet that he saw Finch as freak at first and then like us, she fell for him, hard. Violet is kind of the opposite I thought she’d be. We don’t usually get a blonde and popular kid to be smart and really passionate and traumatized. Getting herself out of things by “not-ready” statement is old. And she knew it. Reading through the book we got to know her sister Eleanor but by what I saw, I’m not impressed by this Eleanor and I don’t what she’s fussing about, but she’s her sister so I really can’t judge.

I didn’t think it was instalove because even the attraction on Violet’s part took a while. It was, I think in the midst of the Wanderings, that they did fell for each other. And then the “someday”. It wasn’t that romantic except for the part that Finch pulled over just because he couldn’t not kiss Violet.

There are a lot of things that are significant in this book that somehow made its impact to me like the Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect, the wall of thoughts, the Facebook chats, the many sides of Finch and the cardinal, the nicknames and the random suicide facts and other random facts. There’s just so many!

I couldn’t believe it when they retrieved the body out of the water. I was just crying my eyes out. Theodore Finch didn’t die that easy but I can’t do anything. He wandered in the deep blue hole. Violet making up for the rest of the trip is a strong Violet. Not as emotional as she was before. The trips and text to her by Finch made sense and it felt bad that she just couldn’t do anything anymore about Finch. It was heart breaking when she’s talking to Finch and herself  on how she hates him and loves him and why isn’t she enough, why he still did it when he knew of Eleanor. I understand her anger and frustration. Though I have said so many things about Finch, I felt that it’s more about Violet and her dealing with all of these for the second time. That those people who commit suicide are not the only one having a hard time but people around them too. That we shouldn’t linger on the death but on the memories those people made and people they left behind. I’ve read a poem from Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav about angels. Here is is.

“One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else–closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel–one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them–even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering–the reason for their presence will become clear in due time.”

Though here is a word of warning–you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn’t to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more.”

This is what I thought of Finch in Violet’s life that he was meant to teach her a lesson on how to live again. I loved the characters Ms. Niven presented. It made me understand how people’s mind work and really, different people have reasons on why they are that way. Reading the author’s experience unraveled why the story and the characters are brilliant. This book made me appreciate people more and All the other Bright Places of my life and appreciate little things. This book will always have a space in my heart for it taught me a lot of things. Maybe this is an ordinary book to you but it makes me so emotional ’cause I’ve only got a glimpse of a mind so brilliant and he decided to commit suicide and I really got attached to the characters more than I thought I would. This, again, opened my eyes. It will always make me emotional because of how pure and true it is.

So there, I was feeling melodramatic. Share your tears and feels.

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