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.
First let me start by saying that though I try to do spoiler free reviews I don’t know if I can do that with this one, so read this review at your own risk. People may not like my review of this book, and that’s okay. To be honest I don’t really like my review of this book, but it’s how I feel and I can’t change that. I desperately wanted to love these characters, but I didn’t. So, lets start with what I did like…
I loved the premise of the story. I loved the feels that the circumstances the characters dealt with gave me. But that’s about it…
For me, the characters were flat. They didn’t show enough emotion given the situations that they dealt with in their lives. Violet doesn’t show much emotion around the death of her sister, the death of Finch, the way her family doesn’t talk about Elenore, the way her friends treat her or Finch. Finch is just as bad, he doesn’t show much emotion over the demise of his family, or the way his dad treats him, and not about the fact that his mom is just a shell who drinks wine and doesn’t care about her children. They bottle it up and that leaves the reader with nothing to relate to, or feel. Feelings your characters have is a way for you to reach out to your reader and pull them in. Make them want more. Essentially, you’re their feels dealer and you must give them the first hit to pull them in and keep them coming back for more. In order for you to do that you have to have some emotion for the reader.
There is so much going on with these characters and I don’t feel like the author even touches it. I understand that teen suicide is the main focus of the story, but there is more to it than that. The bipolar disorder, and anxiety, depression, they are just mentioned almost as a way to explain how the characters may have gotten to that point. The book just kind of ends and there is no epilogue to tie up how the characters are doing. Finches parents, where did Violet go to school, did her online magazine take off. There was so much I was left wondering.
I was told by several people that this book was a must read and that I would love it. I guess my over-all thoughts were that for me this book was lacking. I expected and wanted so much more from this book and these characters, and at the end of the day it just didn’t do it for me. So, I’m giving this a 3 star rating. This is a subject that should be read about and should more prevalent. There needs to be an awareness amongst teens about suicide. They need to be told about the signs and what to do if you think someone you know is contemplating suicide.
Most importantly remember if you’re ever in crisis and you need someone to talk to just text 741741 which is the number for the Crisis Text Line. You will be able to speak with a trained Crisis Counselor.