Goodreads Choice Award · Reviews

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

I walk into my closet and shut the door. Inside, I try not to take up too much space or make any noise, because if I do, I may wake up the darkness, and I want the darkness to sleep. I’m careful when I breathe so as not to breathe too loudly. If I breathe too loudly, there’s no telling what the darkness will do to me or to Violet or to anyone I love.

I think that quote pretty much says it all, but for some reason I am still adding a little something of my own. I wrote somewhere, while I was still far from finishing this book, that it didn’t ask for anything. While some stories almost beg your full and undivided attention, this one felt different.

It was just there, just there waiting to exist if only you ever bothered to peek in.

That’s all it takes for you to completely surrender to it. A smile. That’s it. Suddenly you find yourself thinking about all your places, all the places that you have come across and all the ones that have come across you. And there’s a new light to them. Suddenly you are reminded of their extra-ordinarity.

There’s a reason why you keep coming back, why something, someone, somewhere, has become a routine.

And you stop and you look around and you realize it’s not always the same place. You are changing at every breath and with it everything changes too. And suddenly you are facing all these bright new places without even having to reach for a map.

You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.

What does this have to do with Finch and Violet? Everything and nothing. As they tell you their story you end up writing your own. And at the end, after immense oceans of tears that might remain as unshed as the unsaid words that keep biting your tongue, you’re just… here. And you might start forgiving yourself for that just. After all, it’s just a matter of angle and they are infinite.



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