Thursday, September 10, 2015
All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven
A rambling and somewhat disjointed look at teen mental illness. It starts off as a quirky romance that is filled with marvelous facts about the State of Indiana -- the kind of cute novel where oddball kids make appealing partners. But somewhere towards the end, Niven decides to take the story into darker territory and have Finch completely unravel. She claims in the Afterword that that was her intent from the beginning, but the story could have gone in many directions and it felt like a detour to me. And because of that shift, I felt like we lost a lot of Violet's story. I get that Finch's illness makes for a more dramatic ending, but it is the less interesting story in the end.
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