Book Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


I never heard of this book before but after opening the few pages of the book, between the lines I was caught up with the story of Violet and Finch. Violet is a popular student in their school who was engaged in a recent accident with her sister where her sister dies. She struggles with longing and she hates herself for not being in her place. And there is this Finch, who saves Violet in an unusual turn of events in their school. Finch is a good guy, probably better than anyone who wanted to live in the world freely but Finch also has his issues. He thinks of suicide every day, he struggles on surviving — it feels like he is dying in inside while trying to live in the present.

“I know life well enough to know you can’t count on things staying around or standing still, no matter how much you want them to. You can’t stop people from dying. You can’t stop them from going away. You can’t stop yourself from going away either. I know myself well enough to know that no one else can keep you awake or keep you from sleeping.”
― Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places

Two broken souls crossed paths and that’s where their story begins. Full of surprises, adventures and lessons to learn on this amazing book. You will feel the struggling of the character, you will feel how things changed between two people when they look at each other’s back and you will understand how important life is. What really amazing about this book is when Violet and Finch do the wandering of places in their home town —  it feels like they want to conquer the world. Travelling can sometimes do much to a person, to unwind, to find yourself or to enjoy living in the moment. And that’s what the two character did, enjoy each other’s company and appreciate the little wonders of nature.

“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.”
― Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places

With the amazing writing style of the author, emphasizing that Jennifer Niven was able to deliver that healing, destruction, love and pain can be combined in a story, in her story, because I believe that this book is a semi-autobiography of her. Continue reading until the acknowledgements and you will know what I am talking about.

“You deserve better. I can’t promise you I’ll stay around, not because I don’t want to. It’s hard to explain. I’m a fuckup. I’m broken, and no one can fix it. I’ve tried. I’m still trying. I can’t love anyone because it’s not fair to anyone who loves me back. I’ll never hurt you, not like I want to hurt Roamer. But I can’t promise I won’t pick you apart, piece by piece, until you’re in a thousand pieces, just like me. You should know what you’re getting into before getting involved.”
― Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places

What I’ve learned from this book is that:

Those who’ve been left by their loved one is more in pain than those who died because their memory, their essence, their love stays in you, whether in your heart or in your mind the pain will always there.

“The thing I realize is, that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”
― Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places

Sometimes the love you receive is not enough for you to stay.

And my favorite quote:

“You saved my life. Why couldn’t I save yours?”
― Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places

Things happened in life. We never know what is currently happening in individual’s head much less what is happening on their life. Finch and Violet may be struggling, fighting, or maybe, somehow, dying in inside but that’s what makes them them, right? Life is so full of darkness as much as lightness it has. The second you smile, the minute you break. The minute you laugh, an hour you’ll feel devastated. People tend to focus on negativity because they believe being pessimistic will set them free – the lesser the happiness, the lesser the chances that their hopes will break. We look into the down side of life that in moments, we fail to see the light – the positivity that it has. The fun we could find, the simplicity of life itself that can enrage its beauty once you knew how to appreciate it. Maybe, we are just afraid, something we’ve been through and don’t want to experience again or something we endure for so long that we are so tired to face it again and hurt all over but that’s life, right? Appreciating the little things, finding the moments you feel where you can be happy and contented on the things, on everything you have. The story of the two characters will make you realize that there is so much more in life.


Book Review: The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

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Excerpt from Chapter 3:

Everyone joins a band in this life.

You are born into your first one. Your mother plays the lead. She shares the stage with your father and siblings. Or perhaps your father is absent, an empty stool under a spotlight. But he is still a founding member, and if he surfaces one day, you will have to make room for him.

As life goes on, you will join other bands, some through friendships, some through romance, some through neighborhoods, schools, an army. Maybe you will all dress the same, or laugh at your own private vocabulary. Maybe you will flop on couches backstage, or share a boardroom table, or crowd around galley inside a ship. But in each band you join, you will play a distinct part, and it will affect you as much as you affect it.

And, as usually the fate with bands, most of them will break up – through distance, differences, divorce or death.

I’ve been a fan of Mitch Albom when I was still in High school, it started when my sister had a reading assignment and our mother chose the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” that my father received on Christmas and god knows, if he even read it and since my sister is not fond of reading, I read the book — everything, cover to cover, and indulge myself into the book. I learned a lot; life, sacrifices, lessons, love and friendship. It wasn’t a book, everything Mitch Albom wrote is a life, full of life, he can make his reader realize what could have been there or what is out there or how people living in a crucial and desperate world and how lucky you are having a good book to read.

I started reading his latest book “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto” early this morning at 12 Midnight of the 6th day of December 2015. I don’t have any expectations on his book, I don’t even read the plot or check the goodreads ratings; if it is Mitch Albom, you automatically buy the book and I am lucky that I found a signed copy. I was looking for a diversion, I wanted to be distracted and I missed reading so much.  I grabbed the book and started reading it and I just couldn’t help it. I was really really really hooked! I can’t even put the book down at 4am! I just need to put down it because I need 8 hours of sleep since I’m going to donate some blood. After I woke up, I grabbed the book again, I was eating – the book was with me, I was going to the hospital – the book was with me. I couldn’t let it go, I couldn’t let it down. I have to read and finish the book. That was how amazing and magical the book was. And now, I am writing this review, 8:19PM, with the same day because I just finished it.

“There are songs that you play that you have to restart, and songs that you play that you never get right. But when a song is complete, there is no more you can do.”

Mitch Albom, again, brings another magical story to his readers. The story of Frankie Presto; his life, his struggles and challenges, his melody and symphonies, his painful past and his peaceful future, his splendid kindness and his wonderful character. Frankie Presto is an orphan, a child whose origin is unknown. Mr. Rubio adopted him when he was found in the river, he was the child of music, a legend that will be known and will be remembered. A child that is born in a war and waged and risk his life into frequencies. El Maestro teach him everything he knew about music and mold Frankie Presto in an excellent musician.

It was magical when you read his novel, feels like a symphony and melody came into life producing a music that never once in your life that you could hear through words. Paragraphs and pages are songs and chapters and characters are lyrics, like a music diving vibrant frequencies in our ears; the love stood shine in the heart of the audience – the readers, those who are broken, those who are in pain and those who are doubtful – they were given the love they need to feel, to receive and to accept. Love is like a music, it is composed of tears and heartache with mixtures of happiness and moving forward, it was a birth of a rising vibration, it was a music produce because the strings are the life. Everyone is a string, we are affected by other or we affect them, we give music, good or bad, we produce songs and when we join in a band with composition of six, we can make a complete music, a music to remember – it doesn’t have to be the music we want because in the process, the music will find us, the music we want to hear and the music we want to make. Sometimes, you just have to strum some strings in order to produce a good music and like people, we just need to strum in order to make a good life. Remember, everyone can affect everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter where you came from, all that matters is you know yourself and you can express your feelings through the art of waves.

It is a form of art. Frankie Presto shows what talent and experience can make a person, he shows what a good people should be. Music shows what can popularity and wealth can bring. As Mitch Albom says on his book: “The secret is not to make your music louder, but to make the world quieter.” Teaching us to understand that there’s more to life and there’s so much to life that can brought you to devastation.

This is an enchanting and elegant novel. You can feel the pain of the characters but it won’t describe their emotions and feelings, you will be suffocated and be drown on your own thoughts when the plot is progressing and it is so much painful than how other authors deliver their painful lines; this one is making me crazy. I will be admitting this: I cried. I was reading through some parts and I felt touched, I felt sad, I felt lonely, I felt everything a person could possibly feel in this book – it was a mixture of life, despair, forgiveness, sacrifice and devotion. It was simply a great book. It is worthy to read. And he have this power that can make you listen to Classical music and I will never ever ever look at Francisco Tarrega’s Lagrima the same way again. It was beautiful and soothing, it can make you look for music with histories and would look up to and listen to them. Making their existence alive and appreciated. Music is really the thing that will never change, in every country, in every religion, in every nation, whatever the music is, we understand it or not, music is what can unite us all.

“Do not cry over losing blood. Not for something you love.”

Rating: 5 stars!