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- BookTok is a corner of TikTok where users share and discuss their favorite books.
- Recently, the 2015 young adult romance book "All the Bright Places" has soared in popularity.
- I've read it and it's worth the hype: It's heartbreakingly beautiful while addressing heavy topics.
If you've ever been on social media, you've probably seen a BookTok clip at one point. Centered around a shared love for literature, this booming corner of TikTok is my go-to source for book recommendations, book reviews, and bookish humor. I love the aesthetically pleasing videos (complete with color-coded bookshelves and fairy lights) that round up "emotionally destructive books," poke fun at romance book tropes, and share chaotic reviews. It's one of the best sides of the internet.
Being shared within a subcommunity with 23.9 billion collective views means that whenever a book trends on BookTok, it flies off of bookstore shelves and takes over bestseller lists. So when "All the Bright Places," a 2015 young adult romance book by Jennifer Niven went viral, I thought it was about time it stole the spotlight.
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I actually read "All the Bright Places" years before its renewed popularity: After browsing the YA section of the library as a high school freshman and stumbling across the simple sticky-note cover, I ended up devouring the novel in one night. Even after three years, it remains one of my favorite young adult books.
If you keep seeing "All the Bright Places" on your ForYou page, here are 3 reasons why this book is a reigning BookTok bestseller:
main characters are incredibly fleshed out and impossible not to care about.
Told through multiple POVs, "All the Bright Places" centers around Violet Markey and Theodore Finch — aka two of the best fictional characters in the young adult world. Violet and Finch are both teenagers struggling for escape; Violet, whose sister died in a car crash that Violet survived, grapples with grief and guilt while Finch is abused by his father and is ostracized at school because of his obsession with death.
For me, reading "All the Bright Places" was like stepping into Violet and Finch's small Indiana town: It's one of the rarest, most valuable examples of great character-building in realistic fiction. Violet and Finch each narrate their stories in a crushingly honest way, from Finch's spiraling thoughts and infectious spontaneous energy to Violet's hope and self-discovery.
They're also written so genuinely that they seem like completely real people. I've never read a book with such flawed, vulnerable, and captivating characters, and by the end of the story, I was deeply, emotionally attached to both of them.
2. Despite being a YA book, it doesn't shy away from heavy topics — in fact, it addresses them head-on.
Mental health, suicide, and morality are difficult to talk about, but even more difficult to write about for an audience of adolescent readers. I've read plenty of YA books with such serious themes, but "All the Bright Places" doesn't just gloss over them: It explores them in-depth.
Finch's depression and bipolar disorder and Violet's intense grief are at the forefront of the novel, which is a refreshingly necessary break from books that focus solely on the romantic, girl-meets-boy side of teendom. For readers dealing with mental illnesses or bullying, this book might help them feel less isolated, and for those who aren't, this book can create empathy and understanding in a society where mental health is already so stigmatized.
"All the Bright Places" is a perfect example of how to handle sensitive subjects with care and without glamorizing or sugarcoating the painful sides.
3. It makes readers experience a wide spectrum of emotions, especially at the end.
"All the Bright Places" is usually the first book that BookTokers recommend to destroy a reader — and for good reason. It's one of the books that have had the greatest impact on me, and not only because of the ending (no spoilers!) but also all the growth and progress Violet and Finch had to go through to get there.
Without giving too much away, it was haunting to see Finch show Violet small but meaningful reasons to live, even as he struggles to find his own reasons. Every time I reread "All the Bright Places" — or just see it in another BookTok roundup — I'm reminded of just how complex, heartbreaking, and beautiful it is.
Source : https://www.businessinsider.com/all-the-bright-places-book-review1494