Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Sun is Shining Somewhere (All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23357458-all-the-bright-places
3/5 Stars

"The thing I realize is that it's not what you take, it's what you leave." - Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

I feel like I'm the only person in the world who found this book underwhelming.  

There were a few things I liked: Finch's voice and his dislike of labels (not specifically on the mental health front, but I've had people try to slap labels on me before and it's just distressing), the relationships between Finch and his sisters, and the fact that Violet was counting down to something from the beginning. I also thought the author's note at the end was extremely poignant. However I found both characters pretentious at times (I hate pretension) and I didn't particuarly like how the romance was handled.  

Part of it was probably the sheer number of Virginia Woolf quotes. I hate Virginia Woolf.  

For me, there was no spark. At first Violet has no interest in Finch, and some of Finch's early actions come off as creepy. Like taking the number plate. I kept waiting for that to come back and bite him, but it never did. Once they did start kissing, the book became obsessed with their first time. When would it happen? Maybe I'm naive, but I'd like to think there was more to relationships than that. I didn't feel like I was reading a book about teenagers and mental health so much as one about teenagers and sex. 

I think part of the reason I'm disappointed is the hype. It's died down now, but not long after I joined Goodreads this was the book everyone was talking about. I'm not usually someone who reads hyped books simply because they're hyped, but I genuinely don't think this is the type of book I'd have picked up otherwise. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

Did you enjoy this one?