All the Bright Places May Take You to a Dark Place- But It’s Worth It

*No spoilers*

all the bright placesThis book was hyped- seriously, seriously hyped. So hyped that it was labelled as “the next Eleanor and Park AND Fault In Our Stars”. And considering the fact that I thought both of those were overhyped, I was really reluctant to pick up this book…

And thank goodness I ignored my instincts and went for it anyway. I will say straight off the bat that I was I was impressed with All the Bright Places. It was one of the most raw, real portrayals of depression I’ve seen. I’ve read quite a few other books on the subject, but none have felt as authentic as this one.

post it rawPerhaps that was because unlike so many others in the genre, it didn’t moralise or postulate about the causes of depression- it just stated things as they are. And by doing so, it really allowed the emotional punches to hit home.

And boy when those punches hit, I really felt them. Somehow I managed to hold myself back from ugly crying in public- though I’m not sure how. The whole book was an emotional rollercoaster- pulling and pushing from joy to despair in a matter of minutes.

post it accurateAnd what about the characters? I may have used the term “real” quite a few times in this post, but unfortunately that’s the most applicable term for the characters in this book. To say they “leapt off the page” would be inaccurate as it would imply that I felt like these characters were actually part of a book in the first place- in truth, I felt so sucked into their world, that I felt like I was just there, watching from inside Finch’s cupboard.

All the while, it managed to portray one of my favourite subjects perfectly: the power of words. A significant theme in this book was how words have weight and how a single word can carry so much meaning. I even enjoyed the back and forth with Virginia Woolf quotes- and I am usually not a fan of excessive quoting or Woolf- so consider me impressed again!

post it phenomenalOverall, this was a very satisfying read- I connected a huge deal with the story, the characters and the subject matter. The only downside is that, ironically, it is a little bit too realistic- after I finished I just felt empty and down- which, while to be expected and points to a job well done, was a little disappointing considering the uplifting vein that the book began in. My advice: don’t read this if you want to be in a good mood. Otherwise, reading All the Bright Places is well worth the dark place it takes you to.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

half bananahalf bananahalf bananahalf banana

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Did you think it was as authentic as I did? Let me know in the comments!

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35 thoughts on “All the Bright Places May Take You to a Dark Place- But It’s Worth It

  1. alilovesbooks says:

    I absolutely hate it when books are compared to others. As soon as they say “it’s the next …” I’m usually out.

    I have however had my eye on this book for a while and haven’t been able to make my mind up whether to read. I’m so glad to hear you liked it so much. I think that tips it in the buy, buy, buy direction 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      I know right- I’m especially wary if I’m not a fan of the books it’s compared to- but since I know that when someone says “this is the next…” it’s usually nonsense, I try to give these books the benefit of the doubt.
      I also was debating over this one long and hard- but in the end it was on sale so I read a sample… and I was hooked! Well worth reading in my opinion 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ashleigh says:

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book too! Before reading this, I very rarely read contemporary of ANY form. But I reluctantly picked it up because it was a friend’s favourite, and ended up really enjoying it 😀 I think I rated it the same (if not exactly, then something close). Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rantandraveaboutbooks says:

    I love the use of sticky notes. 🤗 What a good idea. It’s aesthetically pleasing, and of course, your review is awesome. This sounds good but also, like you said, a little depressing. I think I’d be in a slump after reading something this real. It’s on my TBR, but I’ll wait until I’m in the mood. There’s this one book I really want to read that deals with abuse, but I know it will rip my stomach apart, so I’ve been holding off on reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thanks!! I’m so glad you liked that!! Aww thanks!! Yeah it was- it was difficult to pick up and left me feeling pretty glum when I finished it (to say the least) But it was well worth reading. Ahh yes, if I’m honest, I very rarely pick those ones up :/ as you so brilliantly said I have a feeling it will “rip my stomach apart”

      Liked by 1 person

      • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

        Yeah, it’s a great idea. It breaks up the narrative well and makes it very easy to read. I always try to think of ways to break up my reviews, so I usually switch up the format every other book. I’m still working on a new format for the next review. Books like this always put me in massive reading slumps. One day I’ll read it along with the other gut-wrenching books I’m saving for when I’m in the mood.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Donna says:

    All the hype surrounding this book had put it in my “never gonna read it” list, but your review screamed just how wrong I am! I’m off to add it to my wishlist!

    Like

  5. I'm a Zalfie Fanatic says:

    Uh couldn’t agree more – this book is amazing! I must write a review on my blog, but will more than likely contain too much fangirling and too little review! Finch and Violet were my life for a few days. I have Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and We Were Liars by E. Lockheart to read soon too, I don’t know if you’ve read them?? Are they good?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marian says:

    I adored this when I read it. It wasn’t until like halfway or so that it grabbed me and didn’t let me go until the final page. Loved the characters and the portrayal of depression but I kinda wish Finch’s family did more for him.

    Liked by 1 person

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