I am writing this tonight because tomorrow I will not have time. I am driving 6 hours tomorrow, to go see Jordan Peterson in Chicago. I.AM.DRIVING.TO.CHICAGO to see Jordan Peterson!!!!! I used that many explanation marks because that is how excited I am about going. I am not excited about driving there of course, but I don’t have to go alone now, and I am happy for that, so I will be okay. I will be okay. It will be another new adventure for me, and I am happy.
Now, on to the hard part, All The Bright Places. Jesus, I am not sure I can really even do this book justice with any kind of review. It took me a week to read this book, and I usually read two books a week. But after I got through the first two chapters, I knew this book was one to savor. It was personal and so relatable. I loved it. Jennifer Niven is an amazing writer.
Violet is the popular girl at school, who ends up on a ledge contemplating suicide. She struggles with the death of her sister, and the guilt that she feels for it. Can’t really tell you more or I will give it all away. She is met on the ledge of a Bell Tower at school by Finch, who is the school freak, and is also on the ledge thinking about jumping. Fitch is obsessed with death, and all the possible ways to die. You know right off there is something off with him. Later, you will find out that his Dad literally beat the shit out of him as a kid; basically used his head as a punching bag. So I am sure that if the author wanted to elaborate on the partial cause of Fitch’s mental illness, some could be attributed to the abuse he suffered as a child, but you find out there are genetic reasons as well.
These kids are two people who would have never even thought to look at each other, that share the same internal struggles and happen to both think there is no other way out of the hell they are fighting inside, other than death. They passed in the halls and never spoke, but then one day they end up on the ledge of a bell tower together and boom, chemistry.
This book just reduced me to nothing, to big ugly faced tears. People need to read this because it’s truthful and realistic. Mental illness is real; it is so real y’all. The stigma around it is just sickening. There is nothing wrong with admitting you are sick, and there is nothing wrong with getting help. I used to be against medicating to change your emotional state, but now I know it’s important to keep that in check, even if you have to take a pill every day to do it.
This story is simply beautiful though, and it brings a light around mental illness in a way that you don’t feel like you are reading out of a damn pamphlet. I'm drained though from reading it, and I know that I won’t read it again. I can't take it. But I do want everyone I know to read it, because it’s worthwhile, relevant, and so lovely.
“It’s so lovely, to be lovely, in private.” GN