Jukebooks: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

all the bright placesSometimes Finch just blanks out. He cannot remember the preceding hours, days…or sometimes months. After this last blank-out, he “wakes” to find himself standing on the outer ledge of his school’s bell tower. Had he intended to jump? It’s a very rude awakening. Until something bright and miraculous happens.

Finch is not alone. There is a girl on the other side of the bell tower. Seeing her, Finch lapses into stand-up comic mode to distract the girl as he edges near her. The girl – Violet – is terrified. Finch convinces her to climb back to safety and pretend to then save Finch. After all, Finch is a weirdo, a screw-up, the sort of guy who would hurl himself from the bell tower.

OneRepublic is a successful pop-rock group that has produced three well-received studio albums and played with numerous top level performers. The title of their second studio album was appropriately named Waking Up; the first single, “All the Right Moves,” was released in 2009. In addition to the haunting echo of the title, All the Bright Places, the lyrics to this song could be part of a Finch monologue:

Do you think I’m special, do you think I’m nice
Am I bright enough to shine in your spaces
Between the noise you hear and the sound you like
Are we just sinking in the ocean of faces

The music video does not quite reflect the poignancy of these lyrics, but the dancing is quite lovely.

Diane Colson, currently reading an advance readers copy of The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman.

One thought on “Jukebooks: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven”

  1. This book was incredible. Any time an author can get you caring about characters like this, you know they did their job well.

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