Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
Violet. Finch. Finch and Violet. Two characters you can’t help but ship together from the very beginning. They are ultimately relatable, quirky, and sincere in this brilliant and heart-wrenching story. Both Violet and Finch are suffering from their own pains and history and I wanted nothing more than to comfort them.
I wanted to put this book down several times – not because it was bad, but because I was so emotionally invested in the characters and their story. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to them. And then there were times where I just wanted to skip to the end and rip the band-aid off, so I could go on without being heartbroken. I didn’t skip to the end; instead, I endured it. I read it all the way through with tears and heartbreak. Their story just felt too real.
Jennifer Niven did something most authors don’t do – talk about our skeletons in our closets, i.e. the mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts a lot people hide behind their walls. It is such an important topic in today’s society, but no one seems to be talking about it. Reach out to those around you, because you never know what they’re going through on the inside or behind closed doors. Don’t let someone fall through the cracks because you’re too scared to talk to them. One person can make a difference, even if it’s a small one.
Yes, this book had me on an emotional roller-coaster from the funny one liners to the quirky personalities of the characters to the dark thoughts and feelings, but in the end the characters inspired me not to just reach out to those who may need it, but to also experience things. Go wander. Explore your home. Most importantly, “it’s not about what you take, it’s about what you leave.” Go out and leave your mark on the world.
Thank you Jennifer Niven for such a beautiful story of love and friendship. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, even if it did leave me emotionally unstable for a day. Up next, I’ve decided to dive into something a little lighter – The D.U.F.F. by Kody Keplinger. Happy reading lovelies!