I first heard about All the Bright Places when I was flicking through a magazine - it caught my attention as the main theme is mental health. I read a lot so decided to download this onto my Kindle, and got so caught up in it that I managed to finish it in a couple of days. Here is the blurb from the back:
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park, All the Bright Places is a compelling and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
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. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?
You may think that this book sounds depressing and morbid, but actually it portrays mental illness in a positive light and follows Finch and Violet's rather unusual love story. A lot of books follow the story of two broken people helping each other, but this one reflects how that doesn't always happen, and shows what can happen in real life. Finch and Violet are both narrators in this book, so it shows both sides of the story, and they are really easy to relate to and fall in love with. The author, Jennifer Niven, illustrates the depth of mental illness in such an honest way and there were so many parts to it that I could relate to. Her description of feeling low and suffering with depression was spot-on and sometimes made me feel as though I was one of the characters in the book. I don't often get so absorbed in a book that it takes my mind off everything and transports me to another world, but All The Bright Places did. It's beautifully written and so refreshing - definitely pick up a copy if you have the chance, I think it will really help with peoples' understanding of mental health.
Today has been spent in university learning how to break bad news to patients and how to communicate better with those with mental and physical disabilities. We were lucky enough to be able to speak to some stroke patients who had problems with their speech, and I found talking to patients about difficult news really hard. This evening I'm going out with my housemates which should be fun - I hope you all have a great Friday night!
When you're busy creating your own fulfilment, you won't feel the need to seek it from others.
PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!