God I love this book.
I’ve read so many contents about various mental illnesses but this is one of those books that caught my heart, my time and my tears as well. The two major characters are so realistic that we can relate them from ourselves or to a person we know.
As this is the first Jennifer Niven novel for me, I was stunned by how she wrote the characters very differently, without getting confused on who’s talking and who’s not. The two main personas, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, have different backgrounds and stereotypes but Niven did not join the bandwagon of cliche and it’s just great.
Violet’s survivor character appeals so much to me because of the way she handles everything despite of her experiences. She struggles with college sign-ups and teenage angst that gets her up on a high place that got her to meet Theodore Finch.
Theodore is hilarious. To be honest, I can’t explain it to people sometimes on how I find books funny but by reading a series of Theodore and Violet snide remarks, I’m laughing with a snort. His character is another representation of a mental illness victim that disables label and intends to fight for actually living his life. His struggles are well penned due to Niven’s knowledge and experience (from other people) of such disorders.
Even though the characters are just riding their bikes around Indiana, it still gives a vibe of wandering that I’m always looking for. Those little places that seems unpopular to the local maps were given meaning, because at the end of the day, it’s history – if we make it a history.
Going back to Violet Markey’s character, we get to see the other side of mental health. Her character is a survivor of many traumatic experiences but still wants to help people, it’s a character that is often pushed away from the spotlight. But by reading, we may learn that indeed EVERYONE and ANYTHING, no matter what circumstances they are, grave or not, will make an impact to a person’s well being. And no matter how often we compare them, they will not be always similar, everyone can conclude different reactions.
I hope you read this book and enjoy it. 🙂