All The Bright things about All The Bright Places
By: Maia Jraisat
1.It opens up a whole new world of discussions for mental illness. For most kids, mental illness is somewhat of a taboo subject. Guarded by judgement and fear, no one really likes opening up about these things. But in All The Bright Places, an undiagnosed disorder is addressed, and while it may not end well, Violet trying to help Finch is what should have benefited him. His overwhelming fear of being labeled can relate back to lots of today's teenagers, but Finch’s utterly tragic ending gets the point across very well. That if you know you need help, you need to get it. Which is a sensitive topic heavily disregarded or tiptoed around most of the time in novels.
2. The love story aspect is not cliche or unrealistic. The love shared between Violet and Finch isn't behind their age or beyond the realms of possibility. Finch doesn't use some grand gesture that wins her over, and they don't end up happily ever after. They just further the point that love is never planned, and you can find it in somebody you never would have expected to. It explores the intensity of being in love with somebody for the first time, and captures it in a way that doesn't make me cringe. The realistic nature of them is a huge plus as a reader, but makes the loss of Finch even more heartbreaking.
3. It highlights the very real impact mental abuse can bring. Finch spends his whole life not feeling good enough for his father, his peers or his teachers. With Violet, he feels enough, she makes him whole again. But when you're giving up pieces of yourself to fill someone else, you aren't really helping them. Finch has months of amazing experiences with Violet, but after one bad visit with his father, none of it matters anymore.
These are only three of the many amazing characteristics that All The Bright Places carries. The depressing plot twists, while sad, open up a new door of conversation for readers everywhere. The discussion of mental illness and impact of abuse is brought into a new light, and the book still manages not to romanticize any of it.