Friday, February 27, 2015

the wanderings

I read the book, All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. If you know a teen, you should definitely share this book with them.

The blurb on All The Bright Places is:

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.

But, I don't think that's fair. I loved The Fault In Our Stars and Eleanor and Park, but I think ATBP has the potential to be loved on its own - not in comparison to other books. 

It's a book about mental illness and suicide and post traumatic stress and anguish and beauty and romance and being a teen.
"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places."  - Ernest Hemingway

Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of a bell tower at school - six stories above the ground - it's unclear who saves whom.

I loved this book. There was even a reference to Candy Chang's Before I Die walls - which I have always loved since they began in New Orleans.
"Before I die... it says on what looks like a giant chalkboard. And there below these giant white letters are column after column, line after line, that say Before I die I want to ________________. And the blanks have been filled in with different colors of chalk, smudged and half melted from the rain and snow, in all different handwriting.
We walk along reading. Before I die I want to have kids. Live in London. Own a pet giraffe. Skydive. Divide by zero. Play the piano. Speak French. Write a book. Travel to a different planet. Be a better dad than mine was. Feel good about myself. Go to New York City. Know equality. Love."

This book will inspire many wonderful conversations. If you are a teen, read it with your parents and friends. If you are a parent, read it with your teen. Start a wandering of your own. Read the Author's Note together. Talk about suicide and mental illness. Ask each other about abuse and bullying and ways to help. Talk about beauty and the poetry of Virginia Woolf.

Read All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven before it becomes a movie. You'll be glad you did!
"The thing I realize is that it's not what you take, it's what you leave." - Ultraviolet Remarkey-able

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