This Friday we discussed All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven during our YA book club. Almost all of us agreed that it’s definitely a tearjerker with lots of quirky details and real life problems. So where do we go from here? We’ll recommend you two books for further reading, one book that will fit right in with the YA-theme and another that is supposedly for grown-ups, but awesome for everyone. At the end we also have some possible discussion questions for anyone talking about this book with their own book club.
This book deals with mental illness, also centering around a disturbed young boy who is planning to kill himself, after he shoots his former best friend.
But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.
This book is definitely a tearjerker, just like All The Bright Places, and tackles important subjects like suicide and bullying.
How could we not pick this book? Violet and Finch quote it all the time, but the book itself gets mentioned maybe once. If you want to get a good insight into depression filled with amazing lines than there is no one better to read than Virginia Woolf.
Set against the vivid backdrop of the sea, six characters grapple with the death of a beloved friend, Percival. The characters are subtly revealed through the accumulation of their reflections on themselves and each other.
Woolf wrote The Waves to deal with the death of her brother and this book is often regarded as her best. Her writing isn’t the easiest the read, but definitely worth it once you give it a try.
Possible Discussion Questions:
– Are you still crying?
– What do you think of the relationship between Violet and Finch? Did you believe their romance and friendship?
– Why does Finch lie to Violet’s parents?
– Could Finch’s death have been prevented?
– Which was your favorite wandering place and why?
So what would you recommend to people who enjoyed All The Bright Places? Let us know in the comments. Make sure to check our review of the book as well!