Review: All the Bright Places

A review on the book and movie, “All the Bright Places”


An image from the Netflix movie (left) and the book cover (right).

“The story of a boy called Finch and a girl named Violet…” 

“All the Bright Places” is a novel highlighting struggles within teenagers and mental health, written by Jennifer Niven. This book was published on January 6, 2015. Overall, I would rate All the Bright Places as a 9/10. 


Violet Markey and Theodore Finch are the two main characters in All the Bright Places. The novel begins with Finch finding Violet standing on the top of a bell tower at their school, at a high enough point where she would die if she jumped. After talking to her, Finch is able to understand why she is standing on the ledge, and saves her life by helping her down. Violet and her sister Eleanor were best friends, before a tragic car accident ending Eleanor’s life. This event flung Violet into a dark depression, and was the main reason why she was standing on the ledge. 

After the bell tower incident, Violet and Finch become partners for the “wandering project” where they must wander around the state of Indiana and find hidden gems. Throughout the project, the two become best friends, and eventually fall in love. Finch is able to help Violet conquer her fear of driving that she has had ever since that accident. 

After disappearing for a few days, Finch is nowhere to be found and won’t answer his phone.  Violet looked everywhere they had previously wandered, checked their favorite spots, and asked everyone close to Finch. Anyone interested in the book or the film will have to watch or read to figure out what happens and how the story ends. 

My Review:

This was one of my favorite books to read, and I think that Niven did a wonderful job of making the reader want to keep reading to see what happens next. Even though this wasn’t an action book, it kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. While it is one of my favorites, it is also at the top of my list for most depressing. Although events throughout the book were somber, it created a beautiful message within how characters reacted, and I was able to see the strength they had to overcome all of these terrible events. 

Comparison to the Movie:

Brett Haley did an amazing job directing and transforming this novel into a film. Along with the help of author, Jennifer Niven, leading actors, Elle Fanning and Justice Smith, All the Bright Places was made available for audiences digitally. I think they did a great job keeping the plot true to the book, and there were several quotes and fine details that were kept the exact same. The actors had a much different appearance than I pictured in my head, which is expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed how they portrayed the characters and their emotions. If someone was interested in this story, I would for sure tell them to read the book before watching the film. By doing so, it is easier to understand the plot before watching the movie, so then the focus can be more on the smaller details. It is also enjoyable to point out all the similarities and differences between the words on paper and how the actors bring it to life. I would recommend this movie to everyone, but viewers need to be prepared to have their emotions played with.