The time it was about All the Bright Places

Posted January 2, 2015 by Stacee in Giveaways, Interviews | 49 Comments

If you follow me on Twitter or if you read my end of the year survey, you will have seen all of my flails for All the Bright Places. I’ll be completely honest: it’s not normally a book I would have picked up.  Not only am I amazing picky about my contemps, but I try to stay away from anything with mega heartbreak or angsty times.

However, I am sooooo glad I read it.  I am obsessed with this book.  Seriously. Obsessed.  I fangirled all over and begged asked Jennifer if she would be willing to do an interview.  Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book.

18460392The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

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.

Sounds good, right? {OMG IT IS SO GOOD}


1. Where did the idea for All the Bright Places come from? 

Years ago, I knew and loved a boy, and that boy was bipolar. I witnessed up-close the highs and lows, the Awake and the Asleep, and I saw his daily struggle with the world and with himself. The experience was life-changing for me. I’d always wanted to write about it—I just wasn’t convinced I would ever be able to. But in the summer of 2013, I thought again about this boy and that experience, and I knew in my heart that it was the story I wanted to write.

2. Why do you love Finch and Violet and why should we root for them? 

I love them because he’s a little inspired by the boy I knew and loved and she’s a little inspired by me. But beyond that I love them because they are themselves—two flawed, scarred people who, through each other, discover how bright the world can be. Why should we root for them? Because we’re all like Finch and Violet to some degree. We all need love, understanding, and bright places. One early reader wrote to tell me that as soon as she read the book, she ran downstairs and hugged her mother. Another reader wrote, “I found after reading this that I wanted to do so much more with my life than just live. This has kick started the bucket list for me.” We all need to be reminded now and then to look deeper at the people and places around us, as well as to know that help is out there, that it gets better, that high school isn’t forever, and that life is long and vast and full of possibility.

3. For you, what makes a good villain?

To me, the best villains are complicated, complex, multi-dimensional, and human.

4. Without spoilers, were there any scenes you had to cut that you wish you could have kept?

In each of my previous books, I could name a scene or scenes I wish I could have kept but had to cut—killing your darlings, we writers call it. Strangely that didn’t happen with this one!

5. Describe All the Bright Places in 5 words. 

Hopeful. Heartbreaking. Honest. Real. Lovely.

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes. 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! (*much screaming, followed by spastic running around, followed by mad dancing, followed by more screaming, followed by collapsing into a faint*)

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

My fiancé and three cats (who are more like two cats because one of them is quite small).

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Swimming Lessons by my mom, Penelope Niven. It’s a memoir she wrote that includes a great deal of wisdom as well as all my favorite stories about my family and me. She died suddenly in August, and that book is almost like spending time with her again.

4. Who are your favorite swoony boys/girls?

Jared Padalecki. I’ve always been a bit boy-crazy, so there are others, oh there are others (Norman Reedus, Chris Hemsworth, Taylor Kitsch, and yes, Harry Styles). But Jared will always be King of the Swoony Boys for me.


5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

Going into it, I knew a lot about publishing because my mom was an author, so growing up I saw firsthand the good, the bad, the sometimes ugly. But I wish I’d known how fun and wonderful and truly awesome kids’ publishing is. I would have gotten here much sooner.


45592By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson (“If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win”), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.

In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven’t stopped… I’ve written eight books (two of those are forthcoming), and when I’m not working on the ninth, I’m contributing to my web magazine, Germ (, thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.


Huge thanks to Jennifer for not filing a restraining order taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, and adding her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

Now.  I can’t express how badly you need to read this.  If my flails aren’t enough, maybe the fact that I’ve only cried at two books in MY ENTIRE LIFE and this is one of them.  So, of course, I have a copy of All the Bright Things up for grabs.  Book will be coming from TBD and contest is international. Additional giveaway rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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49 responses to “The time it was about All the Bright Places

  1. Runaway Bunny

    Gosh, this is a toughy because I cry for almost every book I read, probs because I’m just that emotional. But the last book I remember I was like fully sobbing, drool down the face, shaking uncontrollably, was Champion by Marie Lu. That book was a heart ache for me. ; )

  2. The last book I cried at was “The Last Leaves Falling” by Sarah Benwell, another diverse book (yay diversity!), and one that broke my heart into a million tiny pieces. I rarely ever cry while reading too, which, if you ask me, says something about the book ;) Definitely recommend it!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. dianadimovska1

    I cried while I was reading The Martian by Andy Weir. I practically cry on every single book I read. I’m a mess. :D

  4. I got a little teary reading a CERTAIN PART in ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. For hardcore crying, Katherine Applegate’s Ivan books caused some big tears. I’m hearing very good (and guaranteed-tearing) things about this book; thanks for the giveaway!

  5. To be honest, I have read this wonderful book in e-ARC format. But I’m hoping to receive the physical copy of this book as my own precious collection.

    Thanks for posting this interview of Jennifer and thanks again for hosting the giveaway.

    Happy new year and best wishes to you and your family!

  6. It’s The Blood Promise in Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I cried because of the sacrifices Rose made for Dimitri. She’s willing to stay with him even though he’s a Strigoi and he fed on her blood. And I’m so happy to see that Dimitri was able to be transformed back into his old self.

  7. tamaradwalsh

    P.S. I really want this book. I literally entered the giveaway in every way I could. haha. :) Fingers crossed and thanks for the great post on it! So glad I found your blog!!

  8. Last book I cried at was Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi, but that was just a brief moment. The last book I cried at because the whole thing was just sad was Falling into Place by Amy Zhang.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    – Barbara @ My Bibliophile Mind

  9. Christina R.

    Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

    But I love how Jennifer based her novel on her own experiences.

    Lovely interview!!

    thank you so very much :)

  10. Kristia

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!
    The last book I cried over was Glimmer of Hope by Sarah M.Eden! I even cried the second time I’ve read it. Thank you for the giveaway :)

  11. Stephanie Alexander

    The last book that made me cry was My True Love Gave To Me, the holiday anthology by all the YA authors. I read an e-arc of All the Bright Places… It is so gorgeous and heartbreaking and incredibly honest and one of my favorite reads ever. And it’s going to be a movie!!!!!

  12. Ashley C

    The Fault in Our Stars lol And I RARELY cry over a book. I was shocked at myself!

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love that this book is kind of based on her experience in life!

  13. An Untamed State, for sure

    I can’t wait to read this one! I loved TFIOS AND Eleanor and Park so I am sure I would love to read this one. Great giveaway!

  14. The last book that made me tear up was My Heart and Other Black Holes. I’m not usually a crier when I read books (movies and TV shows are another story), but some stories do cause a few tears to appear. Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. So I balled like a little bitch during Code Name verity but if you did’nt im convinced you have no soul. ps – i visit this post like 5xs daily to stare at Jared <3 Be still my beating heart!
    <3 Britt

  16. I teared up in a couple of places reading Ensnared, but I full on snot cried near the end of Gates of Thread and Stone when Lori M. Lee punched me in the head with the story. Thanks for another fab giveaway!

  17. January

    Allegiant made me bawl like a baby! I was a wreck for a few days after reading it actually. Still, books that make you feel are the best type. Thanks for the opportunity!

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