Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 350
All the Bright Places, written by Jennifer Niven, is a 2015 young adult novel. This story is about two suicidal teenagers named Violet Markey and Theodore Finch.
Violet and Theodore are both high school seniors living in a small town in Indiana. Violet and Theodore are also extremely different. Violet is a very popular girl and a cheerleader, while Theodore is labeled a freak by his classmates and is obsessed with death. The two meet when they both, by chance, climb the same bell tower at the same time, planning on jumping off. While up on the tower, Theodore learns that Violet's sister died in a car accident and Violet has serious survivor's remorse. She is no long interested in anything and has quit many of her activities. Theodore convinces Violet not to jump, and she does the same for him.
Theodore is suicidal for his own reasons, mostly that he is depressed. He also keeps a notebook with information about other suicides.
The two are paired together for a school project and are required to drive around the state looking at important sites. During their travels, Violet and Theodore begin a romantic relationship. This relationship is healing for Violet, as Theodore helps her process her sister's death and encourages her to continue doing the things she did before the car accident. This relationship has the opposite effect for Theodore, as his depression gets worse.
One night, the two stay out all night, which causes Violet's parents to forbid her from seeing Theodore. Of course, this adds to his depression. He decides to commit suicide and takes a bunch of sleeping pills. Theodore immediately regrets his decision and goes to the hospital.
Violet and Theodore get into a fight about this event, and Theodore eventually runs away from home. He sends Violet text messages while he is away.
One night, Theodore sends a mass email telling everyone goodbye. He kills himself by drowning. Violet realizes that his death is not her fault, and she continues living her life, knowing that things will happen for her as they are supposed to happen.
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