Genres: Young Adult
Published by Random House on January 6th 2015
Format: Hardcover (400 pages) • Source: Library
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Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
Oh lord. How am I ever going to get through this review without crying? That’s the only thing I can think of right now. Usually I write my reviews less than 24 hours after finishing the book, but I just couldn’t do it that quickly for this one. I’m still barely ready to talk about it without tearing up.
Not too much happened in the vast majority of the book, to be honest. I felt like it was slow but engrossing at the same time somehow. I couldn’t stop reading because I was desperate to see where the story went and what was going to happen with my little babies Violet and Finch. They were extremely interesting characters. Violet lost her sister in an accident and was trying to move on and leave for college, while Finch was always consumed by thoughts of death and how he might kill himself. It was really heavy most of the time, but they were pretty adorable as their relationship grew and time went on. Finch was kind of an enigma throughout the book. He had some mental health issues and it wasn’t totally clear what he was going through. I also felt SO BAD for Violet because she went through SO MUCH and she didn’t deserve it. View Spoiler »I kept telling myself there was no way that Finn would die in the end because it would be way too cruel, considering that Violet also lost her sister. I kept thinking NO NO NO PLEASE NO IT’S NOT FAIR. « Hide Spoiler
I don’t know how to say it except that this book completely broke me. I was literally Tobias (below) for the last fifty pages straight. I couldn’t read through my tears and my boyfriend kept bringing me tissues and asking if I was going to be alright. I couldn’t stop reading and needed to see how it was all going to end. View Spoiler »The final part of the book where Finn sends Violet on a scavenger hunt and references everything they went through completely broke me, like the guest book with the Dr. Seuss quotes. Or the church at the end – that seriously messed me up. « Hide Spoiler I am usually a pretty emotional person; it doesn’t take much to make me cry, honestly. I’m not surprised that I broke down so hard for so long at the end of this one. Have you read it? You know what I mean then.
I can definitely see why this book was compared to John Green. (You either love him or hate him; I fall on the love side, but I can see why people don’t like him.) His characters tend to be a little – for lack of a better word – pretentious? They’re very literary and deep when I know for a fact I couldn’t come up with half of the crazy metaphors that those characters come up with. It was the same feel with this book; the characters were serious, smart, and deep. It can hard to get into books like that sometimes because I just don’t feel like it’s realistic. That’s really the only “flaw” I can think of with this book… but it was so beautifully written that it didn’t take any enjoyment away for me. I guess I also kind of wish there was a bit more about Finch and background on him. I don’t know how to explain except I wanted a fuller picture.
Final thoughts? This book broke me. It really did. I sat on the couch starting off into space for a long time, with my boyfriend trying to cheer me up and asking if I was going to be okay. It didn’t help.
I’m still not feeling totally okay. I think it was a really heavy and beautiful book that I would recommend to just about anyone. I remember crying a lot during The Fault in Our Stars and this one was even worse. HOW will I watch a movie adaptation of this??? Good lord.