Review: All The Bright Places - Jennifer Niven
Following our live debate about teen depression, Eileen Gbagbo reviews the latest big Young Adult fiction book.
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Recently I had the pleasure to attend an interview with Jennifer Niven by W!ZARD Radio Station. It was so interesting to hear how Jennifer came about writing this book. In addition, I also got a signed copy of the book!
All The Bright Places is a book about two suicidal students – Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. They are both depressed, however Finch’s depression is possibly an illness which stemmed from his violent relationship with his father, and Violet’s is more of a side effect of the loss of her sister in a car accident. The catchphrase of the book is “the story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die”. I find this particularly interesting as many people have compared this book to things such a The Fault in our Stars and My Sister’s Keeper. However, I find that although there are similarities, this book unlike the others is #veryrealisticYA.
Niven manages to write about teenagers who are facing difficulties very well, and like a good book does, she helps us feel like we’ve known these characters for a long time.
Even the subplots within the book, which I won’t spoil, merge into the book really well, creating a very intricate story. As young adults, depression, suicide and other mental illnesses is very common, with 3 people in every classroom suffering from one. However, there is a stigma surrounding this.
We tend to label and victimise those, who through no fault of their own, have this illness and ultimately push them to the brink, especially as sometimes counsellors and parents may not help.
Jennifer Nivern is a very talented writer as this book would by the end have you crying as well as wishing you knew Theodore Finch. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone interested in Young Adult fiction.
Live Audience Panel Discussion
DJ James Gilmore hosts a live audience and panel discussion about the book All The Bright Places by Jennifer Nivern and the wider contextual topics of of depression and suicide. Joining him is George Prior-Palmer from the campaign CALM, who focus on male suicide and depression, and the author of a NY Times Bestseller Jennifer Niven. This event was presented by W!ZARD Radio Station, Penguin Random House and the London Marriott County Hall.