Saturday, December 27, 2014

Random House Children's Books Blog Tour: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Release Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher and ARC: Random House Children's
Hardcover: $13.49 (Amazon, B&N)
Ages: 14+

About the Author:
(From Jennifer's website)By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson ("If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win"), two autobiographies (All About Me My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder's sister entitledBlindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.
In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven't stopped... I've written eight books, and when I'm not working on the ninth, I'm contributing to my web magazine,Germ, thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.Visit her websitehere.
Okay, Christmas is over, so it's time to get back to writing, and I can think of no other book to review than Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places. Whether you're a teen right now or an adult, we've all experienced the rich kid and the freak, the pretty girl and the nerd, the haves and the have-nots. For some, you've been on one side or the other; for others, you've watched it play out like a soap opera in the halls of your high school. For Finch and Violet, they are living it. "Is today a good day to die?" Such an opening to a book guarantees it's going to be an enthralling tale, and so it goes with Niven's novel. Finch, Theodore Finch that is, begins by explaining that he constantly thinks about death and how it would be best to die. And he's thinking about this from the roof of his high school. Leaning over the edge, six stories in the air, Finch is wondering if jumping would be the best way, then suddenly he notices that he's not on the roof alone. Violet is the type of girl that has a "following." She's a cheerleader, she's pretty, she's popular, but there's more to her that meets the eye (I know, cliche, but it works here). The year before Violet is deciding her fate on the rooftop, she lost her sister Eleanor in a car accident that involved her parents. Since her sister's death, Violet has stopped writing for the beauty website she and her sister created, and she has to talk to her guidance counselor on a regular basis. How imperfectly perfect that these two should meet so serendipitously. From the encounter on the rooftop, Violet and Finch go on a journey (literally because of a school project) to discover what each other has lying underneath the surface of suicide statistics and awkward withdrawal.What follows is a tragically romantic dual narrative of Finch struggling with his own suicidal tendencies, and ironically attempting to convince Violet that there's more to life than living in the past. With an epigraph from Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, Nivens chronicles the broken and the broken-hearted.

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