Just a heads up: this book and blog post contain content relating to suicide and death by suicide. Please read on if you feel you are in the right place, if not come back when you feel ready.
I first read All The Bright Places in 2018, I’m a sucker for a bright coloured book and the blue caught my eye in the book shop.
At first I thought the book would be a light-hearted teen-romantic comedy, I didn’t look at any reviews and read completely unaware of the mental illness related content within.
I’m very glad I bought this book.
Don’t get me wrong, there are moments that are very similar to stereotypical American style teenage angst. However theres something about this book that hits a deeper level on mental illness and young peoples struggles with their mental health.
“I’m most afraid of the long drop. I’m most afraid of asleep and impending, weightless doom. I’m most afraid of me.”
The book focuses on teenagers Violet and Finch and their relationship development. The book starts with Violet having recently lost her sister and struggling to keep on her ‘everything is fine’ mask for her peers and family.
Finch then appears as her saviour, the ‘strange’ kid in school and encourages her to come out of her shell.
The book really focuses on grief and how Violet really appears to have shut herself off from a world without her sister.
“You are all the colours at once, at full brightness.”
At this point I love how the book turns to focus on Finch’s mental health and how he has his own struggles. Finch appears to have mood swings, with low days and good days. It’s then up to Violet to support Finch with his mental health and together they appear to be trying to save one another.
“What if life could be this way? Only the happy parts, none of the terrible, not even the mildly unpleasant. What if we could just cut out the bad and keep the good?”
Especially after 13 Reasons Why, I think suicide and suicidal topics with young people can be very sensitive. I believe this book touches on the topic well, encouraging young people to talk about how they are feeling and reach out.
I believe overall this book is really good in showing that everyone has their struggles, no matter what mask they wear or how they act in public.
I would say if you are feeling low at the moment, please be cautious reading this book as it does discuss suicide.
Let us know what you think! What are you reading at the moment?