Challenge Criteria: A YA bestseller
Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. Violet Markey is devastated by her sister’s death. They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. It’s only together they can be themselves.
But, as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?
What I liked:
I loved the spin Violet and Finch put on their school project together – they had to visit some of the unknown places in Indiana (where this book is set), and take photographs of their travels. Finch decides to leave some items of theirs in each place to leave their mark on the area – nothing littering-like, just a little reminder of their time in the place.
I also loved Violet’s grieving process. Anyone who reads it saying “oh, her sister was gone nine months by this stage, she should well be over it” has never lost someone they love; Jennifer Niven wrote Violet’s mourning perfectly and with such realism.
Sometimes when reading split narrative books I start resenting a character, but this never happened here. Each time I was hooked in the updates of their lives.
What I didn’t like:
I’m not a fan of cliché relationships in books, and this one had scores of them – an abusive relationship, a forbidden romance, controlling parents. You name it, it appeared. I felt it took away from my enjoyment of the book a little, because I kept rolling my eyes at the characters.
Out of 5:
I would give this one a three. I liked it, but there were a few moments that I didn’t really like in the book. I would definitely recommend it though, as it is still a great read.