All the Bright Places

If a book makes me think, encourages me to wish, and reminds me of the unbeatable power of love–I’m hooked. If it forces me to feel emotions I sometimes try too hard to hide, I have a real winner.

Like Finch, I have found myself hoping for external acceptance while struggling to accept myself. Feelings of being largely seen through a lens of assumption and perception were more controlling than they should have been for either of us.

Blindness doesn’t attack the mind the way bipolar disorder does. Still, I can relate to the desire to periodically hide from a world where I sometimes feel out of place.

Finch left behind a manifest. He helped another appreciate the joy of life in ways most of us can’t. More importantly, he shared with Violet the kind of love that is a fantasy to most of us. Those kinds of lessons will spread. The spreading of those lessons will result in manifestation that is hard to beat.

Violet’s willingness to ultimately challenge the assumptions she made about Finch and the perceptions she had of him made her a wonderful example. Maybe her sister’s death made challenging assumptions and perceptions easier. I’m sure Violet’s battle against anger and depression helped her relate to Finch in ways she wouldn’t have been able to before. Still, she did the hard, personal work that’s easily avoided.

This book reminded me that everything–even the stuff that hurt us–has made us who we are. When we learn something about someone that makes us uncomfortable, the challenge for us is to willingly acknowledge our assumptions and perceptions and openly seek to discover their accuracy.

Here’s a link to All the Bright Places on Jennifer Niven’s website.

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