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Niven, Jennifer.
New York : Knopf, 2014

ISBN 0385755880

(4 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

When Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are spotted near the ledge of the school’s bell tower, everyone assumes that he was planning to jump and she was trying to stop him. After all, it’s common knowledge that Finch (known as Freak to most of the school) is obsessed with death. And Violet has everything to live for: friends, college, her parents, and her writing. Plus, she is finally starting to recover from the death of her beloved older sister. Only the two of them know the truth about that day: it was Violet who wanted to jump, and Finch who saved her. Now Finch is set on getting to know this beautiful, troubled girl better. They are paired up for a “Wander Indiana” assignment that involves visiting some of the state’s unique attractions (a backyard roller coaster and the world’s largest ball of paint, to name a few). As Violet begins to embrace life again, and to fall for Finch, his quirky behavior turns strange and alarming. Can Violet’s love save him, or is the pull of his dark side too strong? This moving, realistic read is a perfect choice for fans of mismatched love stories like Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, or heart-stopping romance like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. You will swoon, laugh, cry, and fall in love when you read All the Bright Places!    (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Booktalk #2

Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places follows two teens who are wondering, “Should I stay or should I go?” Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet when they are on the bell tower at school, each contemplating suicide. Finch is constantly bullied by other students and his father, and Violet is reeling from the untimely death of her sister. After saving each other’s lives, they pair up for a social studies project where they have to discover the Natural Wonders of Indiana.  

Although from different social strata, Violet is a popular cheerleader and Finch is a manic outsider, they find that it’s only with each other that they can be themselves. Their sweet romance helps Violet begin the healing process, but Finch’s bi-polar issues are a more challenging issue. In alternating chapters they tell their love story, revealing the complex thought processes of two engaging teens.

All the Bright Places, soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning, will appeal to fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell or anyone looking for a quirky love story.  (Booktalk by Sharon Nehls.

Booktalk #3

On a windy, winter day, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet while standing on the ledge of the school bell tower, both contemplating jumping.  Finch, an outsider, is obsessed with his own death and thinks it might be a good day to die.  Violet, a popular girl, is struggling with the overwhelming grief of losing her sister.  The two are paired up for a class assignment in which they must visit and report on a few of Indiana’s natural wonders.  As they wander the state, their relationship grows.  As Violet begins to heal, Finch is struggling to keep the depression away.  Can Violet save him as he has saved her?  (Oklahoma Sequoyah Award, 2017)

Booktalk #4

Jennifer Niven tackles a difficult subject, in a wonderful way. When you meet the two characters, Finch and Violet – you immediately fall in love. You begin to cheer for their story, their personalities and most importantly, their lives. Jennifer Niven keeps you hanging on throughout the novel, through every “natural wonder” of their state, every failed relationship that they struggle with and every emotion they process. The ending may leave you tears in your eyes, but your heart will swell with emotion for these likeable and relatable characters. (Prepared By: Emma Ball, Liberty Hill Academy,, South Carolina Young Adult Book nominee 2017)

SUBJECTS:     Emotional problems -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Indiana -- Fiction.
                        Suicide -- Fiction.

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