If you’ve never read a book that you started on a whim and then found yourself, by about the second chapter, completely unwilling to release from your knuckle-white grip until your cheeks were all tear-stained and your eyes scanned the final word on the final page…well, then you’ve never read Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places. And you need to. You really, really do.
Niven’s writing is mesmerizing in this groundbreaking tale that handles the complicated issues of love, death, and suicide with grace, humor, and heart. I honestly don’t see how any human being on the planet can read the book without ultimately falling in love with the character Theodore Finch, a young man who consistently plots his own suicide and just as consistently has his attempts derailed by the random acts of goodness that seem to spring up all around him. Please, please, please read this book. As a lover of great literature you owe it to yourself.
While you’re at it, you might as well pick up a copy of Niven’s latest title, Holding Up The Universe. In this novel, Niven unflinchingly follows Libby Strout and Jack Masselin–a girl struggling with body image issues and a boy with a facial recognition defect–as they search for the people who will ultimately see them for who they truly are. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be reading Jennifer Niven‘s work for many years to come, folks. And that gives me a warm feeling inside about the very bright future of young adult literature.
Frankly, I was amazed when Jennifer agreed to read an ARC of my upcoming novel, NO SAD SONGS. I was absolutely floored by the kind words she shared with me a short time later:
“No Sad Songs is lovely and funny and heart-aching and true. I didn’t want it to end. But the big-hearted story and characters— especially the very real, unforgettable Gabe— will stay with me for a long, long time.”
–Jennifer Niven, NY Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places & Holding up the Universe