Book Talk: All The Bright Places

8:30:00 PM

Oh, you guys. This book filled me with feelings. I love it so much. I cried when I read it, and again when I read the author's note. It's a book that, when you finish it, makes you feel as though you have been fundamentally changed by it. I want everyone to read this book. It is important.

In the same way that John Green's The Fault in Our Stars is not a "cancer book," All The Bright Places is not a "mental illness book." And for that I am grateful. Violet and Finch are an authentic representation of young adults trying to make their way through.

I liked that there was never a point when I had this book figured out. I liked the representation of good and not-so-good parents in this novel. I liked that the "mean girl" was given character development. I liked the portrayal of two teenagers as writers, critical thinkers, intelligent and well spoken while still remaining teenagers. I liked a representation of someone who loves and is loved, and who matters beyond the scope of their illness.

I keep thinking about the students I want to recommend this book to. The students who would love to read a book that is representative of them in a way that few YA books I have read are. The students who told me that their experiences with mental illness are what inspire them to someday help others. The students who have been labeled as other, but who are no less deserving of having their stories shared with the world. I want to go back in time and read this book sooner, so that I could share it with others sooner.

I'm excited to see this book become a movie, doubly so because Jennifer Niven is the one writing the screenplay. I always feel comforted when the person who poured their hearts onto the page is the ones who has creative control over the way it is adapted to film.

This is the second of two books that have made me cry this summer, both of them with important things to say about the negative connotations surrounding illness and suicide. What's up with that? Not that I'm complaining - thanks to some awesome recommendations, I've added some pretty stellar authors to my repertoire, and I couldn't be more excited.

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