All the Bright Places

Jennifer Niven. Knopf, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-385-75588-7
Seniors Theodore Finch and Violet Markey run into each other on their school bell tower, contemplating what it would be like to jump. It’s more dark-cute than meet-cute, which also describes the book. Finch thinks about suicide every day; Violet was happy until her sister died in a car crash. While Finch, aka “Theodore Freak,” is a marginal presence in their high school, he’s smart and handsome—a musician who, readers gradually realize, suffers from undiagnosed manic depression. Violet is equally smart, and as they traverse Indiana for a geography project, looking for “wonders,” they flirt, argue, admit dark secrets, and fall in love. In her YA debut, adult author Niven (Velva Jean Learns to Drive) creates a romance so fresh and funny that it seems like it could save Finch; she also makes something she foreshadows from the first line surprising. The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities—and limits—of love in the face of mental illness. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kerry Sparks, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/2014
Release date: 01/06/2015
Compact Disc - 9 pages - 978-0-553-55221-8
Library Binding - 400 pages - 978-0-385-75589-4
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-9737-8
Compact Disc - 978-0-553-55219-5
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-0-14-135703-4
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