Saturday, May 23, 2015
I don’t want to give too much away, but the moment I finished reading All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, I posted a quick message to my teacher friends alerting them to tell all their book-craving students to put this title at the top of their summer reading lists. The unlikely relationship between Theodore Finch and Violet Markey begins when they meet atop their Indiana high school’s bell tower. In that instant they become “lifesavers” for one another – bouying each other through mean cliques, exaspering teachers, family issues, the wounds of the past and the uncertainty of the future.
I fell in love with this book! I devoured it. It made me laugh and cry. If I were still teaching I would be buying copies as end of the year gifts for my favorite students. Of course Niven’s story is not entirely unique. Of course the movie version, reported to star Elle Fanning as Violet, will be a hit. Because the prose is smart and literary, the characters are flawed and real, and the theme strikes a chord with teens that still resonates in adults, All the Bright Places will become the next essential YA novel.