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All the Bright Places
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All the Bright Places
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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.Soon to be a major motion picture...
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.Soon to be a major motion picture...
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Description-

  • The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

    Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!

    Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

    Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

    When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the "natural wonders" of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

    This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.
    Includes a PDF Help Line Resource Guide and a Note Read by the Author.
 

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Excerpts-

  • From the cover Finch

    I am awake again. Day 6.

    Is today a good day to die?

    This is something I ask myself in the morning when I wake up. In third period when I'm trying to keep my eyes open while Mr. Schroeder drones on and on. At the supper table as I'm passing the green beans. At night when I'm lying awake because my brain won't shut off due to all there is to think about.

    Is today the day?

    And if not today—when?

    I am asking myself this now as I stand on a narrow ledge six stories above the ground. I'm so high up, I'm practically part of the sky. I look down at the pavement below, and the world tilts. I close my eyes, enjoying the way everything spins. Maybe this time I'll do it—let the air carry me away. It will be like floating in a pool, drifting off until there's nothing.

    I don't remember climbing up here. In fact, I don't remember much of anything before Sunday, at least not anything so far this winter. This happens every time—the blanking out, the waking up. I'm like that old man with the beard, Rip Van Winkle. Now you see me, now you don't. You'd think I'd have gotten used to it, but this last time was the worst yet because I wasn't asleep for a couple days or a week or two—I was asleep for the holidays, meaning Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. I can't tell you what was different this time around, only that when I woke up, I felt deader than usual. Awake, yeah, but completely empty, like someone had been feasting on my blood. This is day six of being awake again, and my first week back at school since November 14.

    I open my eyes, and the ground is still there, hard and permanent. I am in the bell tower of the high school, standing on a ledge about four inches wide. The tower is pretty small, with only a few feet of concrete floor space on all sides of the bell itself, and then this low stone railing, which I've climbed over to get here. Every now and then I knock one of my legs against it to remind myself it's there.

    My arms are outstretched as if I'm conducting a sermon and this entire not-very-big, dull, dull town is my congregation. "Ladies and gentlemen," I shout, "I would like to welcome you to my death!" You might expect me to say "life," having just woken up and all, but it's only when I'm awake that I think about dying.

    I am shouting in an old-school-preacher way, all jerking head and words that twitch at the ends, and I almost lose my balance. I hold on behind me, happy no one seems to have noticed, because, let's face it, it's hard to look fearless when you're clutching the railing like a chicken.

    "I, Theodore Finch, being of unsound mind, do hereby bequeath all my earthly possessions to Charlie Donahue, Brenda Shank-Kravitz, and my sisters. Everyone else can go f—— themselves." In my house, my mom taught us early to spell that word (if we must use it) or, better yet, not spell it, and, sadly, this has stuck.

    Even though the bell has rung, some of my classmates are still milling around on the ground. It's the first week of the second semester of senior year, and already they're acting as if they're almost done and out of here. One of them looks up in my direction, as if he heard me, but the others don't, either because they haven't spotted me or because they know I'm there and Oh well, it's just Theodore Freak.

    Then his head turns away from me and he points at the sky. At first I think he's pointing at me, but it's at that moment I see her, the girl. She stands a few feet away on the other side of the tower, also out on the ledge, dark-blond hair waving in the breeze, the hem of her skirt blowing up like a parachute. Even though it's January...

About the Author-

  • All the Bright Places is Jennifer Niven's first book for young adult readers, but she has written four novels for adults--American Blonde, Becoming Clementine, Velva Jean Learns to Fly, and Velva Jean Learns to Drive--as well as three nonfiction books--The Ice Master, Ada Blackjack, and The Aqua-Net Diaries, a memoir about her high school experiences. Although she grew up in Indiana, she now lives with her fiancé and literary cats in Los Angeles, which remains her favorite place to wander. For more information, visit JenniferNiven.com, GermMagazine.com, or find her on Facebook.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Violet, a popular girl who is still reeling from the death of her older sister in a car accident that she survived, and Finch, a "freak" who is struggling to cope with bipolar disorder, met on the ledge of the school's bell tower. Who saved whom? Kirby Heyborne is outstanding as Finch, using pacing and tone to make the young man believable as he navigates his mania and depression, dreaming up ways to die, then finding reasons to embrace life. Ariadne Meyers projects the voice of a well-loved but damaged teenager who is afraid to re-enter life but is drawn to this new friend who needs her as much as she needs him. The story--dark and sad yet clever and funny--shines a light on the timely and important issue of teen mental illness. N.E.M. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 23, 2015
    Voice actors Heyborne and Meyers team up for the audio edition of Niven’s teen love story. Last spring, Violet survived the car accident that killed her sister. She has been barely getting by, and now, on the first day of the new term, she has climbed the bell tower at school and is thinking of throwing herself off. It is here that Violet encounters Theodore Finch, better known as “Freak” around school, who manages to talk her down. Saving Violet seems to have given Finch a new lease on life. He woos her, gets assigned to be her partner for a class project, and slowly brings Violet back to life. Both Violet and Finch take turns telling their story. Heyborne makes Finch sound warm, relatable, and sympathetic. When Finch turns manic, Heyborne picks up the pace, and his voice becomes frantic, harried, and ragged. For Violet, Meyers’s voice is sharp and tight, almost pinched at times. She only sounds loose and comfortable when she’s with Finch. When bad things happen and Violet’s voice is cracking and near tears, listeners will become misty-eyed as well. Still, the story is not without humor, and the narrators nail the comedic notes, lightening the mood. This is an emotional book, and Meyers and Heyborne do an outstanding job infusing their performances with sentiment and warmth. Ages 14–up. A Knopf hardcover.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 3, 2014
    Seniors Theodore Finch and Violet Markey run into each other on their school bell tower, contemplating what it would be like to jump. It’s more dark-cute than meet-cute, which also describes the book. Finch thinks about suicide every day; Violet was happy until her sister died in a car crash. While Finch, aka “Theodore Freak,” is a marginal presence in their high school, he’s smart and handsome—a musician who, readers gradually realize, suffers from undiagnosed manic depression. Violet is equally smart, and as they traverse Indiana for a geography project, looking for “wonders,” they flirt, argue, admit dark secrets, and fall in love. In her YA debut, adult author Niven (Velva Jean Learns to Drive) creates a romance so fresh and funny that it seems like it could save Finch; she also makes something she foreshadows from the first line surprising. The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities—and limits—of love in the face of mental illness. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kerry Sparks, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review
    "Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably."
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review
    "In her YA debut, adult author Niven creates a romance so fresh and funny. . . The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities--and limits--of love in the face of mental illness."
  • School Library Journal, starred review "The writing in this heartrending novel is fluid, despite the difficult topics... Finch in particular will linger in readers' minds long after the last page is turned."

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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