Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Book Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Published Date: January 6th, 2015
Publisher: Random House Children’s
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I was so, so excited for this book. I loved the synopsis and was so confident that this book would be a new favorite of mine. I hate to admit it, but I was wrong. I think I was hit by the hype-monster and unfortunately this book didn’t work for me.

I love well developed and interesting characters, but neither Violet or Finch was very interesting to me. I didn’t care for either of them all that much. They weren’t awful characters necessarily, but they definitely should have been developed more extensively. To me, it didn’t feel like the author took the time to delve into their characters. We know them on one level, but I truly feel like every character could be like an onion and if developed well, the readers can see that as they are reading.

Normally I don’t mind dual POVs, but in this case, they didn’t work for me. I couldn’t differentiate the different characters. Both Violet & Finch’s voices sounded very similar, which really bugged me. To do a dual POV well, the characters voices have to be different and they cannot sound the same or else it doesn’t seem realistic.

Now, I did enjoy the writing. It was very pretty, and the writing was the main reason I even stuck with the book. I don’t know how to describe the writing. Saying it was pretty doesn’t seem like enough. 

 I was hoping the book would improve for me and I’d fall in love with it like everyone else has.It kills me to say that I didn’t enjoy this book, but I didn’t. In a book like this, characters are so important and when they aren’t developed well, that generally ruins a book for me. Unfortunately, I have to give this book 2 stars. It just wasn’t for me. Lots of other people have loved it, so I would still recommend it. Maybe you will love it.