If You Love Rainbow Rowell & John Green, Then This is a Must Read Book

Emery Jovel, Features Editor

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Jennifer Niven is a bestselling author who wrote a haunting, brilliant, truthful novel, All The Bright Places, in January of the year 2015, where she shows readers two perspectives on how one person could learn so much to love life and how the other plans on ending it.  

The novel is about two teenagers, one boy and one girl, who both meet for the first time on the ledge of their school bell tower. Violet Markey and Theodore Finch both have their own problems to deal with. Violet has suffered the loss of her older sister, Eleanor Markey, due to a car accident on a bridge. Theodore, or commonly known as Finch, is ‘asleep’ and is trying to stay awake and present. When their worlds collide for the first time, they’ll both learn about love, life, experiences, and what it really means to stay awake.

The inspiration behind this masterpiece was a personal story that happened to Jennifer Niven when she was younger. “Years ago, I knew and loved a boy, and that boy was bipolar. And I saw his daily struggle with the world and with himself.” Jennifer Niven decided to write about that painful experience about loving and losing that special someone. Finch, is the more dominant voice in the book and was the one who would have the fancier words to begin with. Violet on the other hand, was born as a writer, but since the tragedy struck with the death of her sister, Violet’s words went from vibrant and lively, to dried up and more like a matter-of-fact speech.

Jennifer Niven decided to take a leap into Young Adult Fiction, also known as YA, in 2013. She decided to take this step because she wanted to write something new and different. Some of the book’s accomplishments include winning the GoodReads Choice Award for best young adult fiction of 2015 and also winning the Children’s Choice Book Award teen book of the year.

When I asked Ms. Kremenetsky, 7th grade STEAM ELA teacher what her thoughts were when it comes to books that are about mental illness, she stated, “It’s so important for us to learn about those topics so that we can understand or try to understand what people are going through and help them through their struggles.” Even though the book is mainly about mental illness, it also is about coping with loss, meeting new and different people, and also enjoying life as it is. This book shows how we should help those who need it because, “We don’t always see it outside on the surface, but we don’t know what people are battling on the inside,” Ms. Kremenetsky added.

This book, which once published became a masterpiece and helped many different people to understand the problems of depression and how it can impact all of our lives. Violet Markey and Theodore Finch are well-written characters that will continue to shape lives long after the last page has been turned.