Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) by Samantha Shannon

Firstly, thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for this review copy <3


Release Date: January 27th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Sci-fi/paranormal
My rating: 

This review contains spoilers for The Bone Season but not The Mime Order.

"Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided."


“Hope is the lifeblood of revolution. Without it, we are nothing but ash, waiting for the wind to take us.”

When I turned the last page of The Bone Season last year I knew that I would trust whatever journey Samantha Shannon took us over the course of the next 6 books. Some 500 pages later as I finished The Mime Order, I knew that trust had not been misplaced.

“And words, my walker – well, words are everything. Words give wings to those that have been stamped upon, broken beyond all hope of repair.”

Get ready to deep dive back into the world of Scion and strap yourselves in for a wild ride because Shannon’s gripping sequel holds you from the first page, much like how Paige holds the dreamscapes of those she’s jumped into. You surrender yourself and your surroundings to The Mime Order. You are in Scion.

Paige is back to being mollisher of I4. Well sort of. She’s trying to incite change in the voyant world and warn the Unnatural Assembly of the impending danger of the Rephaim. She’s a changed girl. No longer the mollisher that bows to the White Binder’s every whim, she now questions his actions and those around her. I loved her growth in TMO from TBS. I still remember our girl telling Warden she’d had enough in Sheol 1 when he pushed her, but now? Now she doesn’t give up. Paige manages to get herself in so many dangerous and sticky (slimy, literally) situations but she always thinks ahead. She holds so much potential and the power she harnesses is phenomenal. Because she has sparked a rebellion and she’s the only one strong enough to turn that into a revolution.

“I want you to jump into the aether as if you belonged there. I want you to fly between dreamscapes.”

I loved being able to see the Seven Seals in-depth. Where we got snippets of events and memories from The Bone Season, we see the real thing in The Mime Order. There’s ever kind and caring Nick who’s one of the most genuine and sweet guys I’ve ever read; adorable Zeke who I think is still finding his place; the bitter Nadine who is so loyal to Jaxon and has to step down as temporary mollisher when Paige returns; sweet Eliza who loves the Seven Seals more than anything. And then there is Jaxon Hall. You know how people used to go “talk to the hand” (or still do I don’t know) because they didn’t really care what you had to say and thought themselves better than you? This is Jaxon Hall. And he has every right. He is arrogant, intelligent, cunning, flamboyant, eccentric, a pure genius, fabulous and a dickhead. Ohmygoodness the way he speaks is so lavish and eloquent, Shannon has really done a number on his dialogue to make him stand out. I adored the layers of his character. Does he really care about his Seven Seals? Is it their actual person he cares for? Or what their gifts offer him? Or that they worship him? It was amazing reading and slowly peeling back the layers that were Jaxon Hall only to find more underneath. Mark my words, we haven’t seen them all yet. This man is a piece of work I tell you. I think the White Binder is one of the most intricately developed and memorable characters I’ve read in my entire life.

“I know we have our differences, but we are the Seven Seals. Brought together across oceans and fault lines by the mysterious wiles of the aether. It wasn’t chance. It was fate. And we shall bring about a day of reckoning in London.”

You know what else is memorable? The world building of this Scion London Shannon has created. There was rustic Sheol I in The Bone Season and now we can truly see Paige’s Scion through her eyes as she traverses through the sections. The descriptions of the city are so detailed and enigmatic, enticing yet repulsing. Filled with slums, mazes of streets and buildings above and below ground, it’s almost like the whole of Scion is encased in a sheen of poverty regardless of the riches of the mime-lords and mime-queens. I got the sense that the luxurious furnishings were slightly shabby with time, passed down through the decades from a better era. Buildings decayed by the rain and perpetually dank. Yet this is balanced with the lush, mouth-watering foods the rich do have money to spend on. Wao I’d be willing to live one day in Scion just to taste the amazing foods Shannon described. Fantastic writing is fantastic.

“Shiny buttered peas, steaming in paper ramekins; masses of mashed potato, some fluffy white, some tined with pea-green or rose; sausages spitting in a cast-iron pan.”

Underneath all this worn grandeur are lies upon lies. Conspiracies within conspiracies. Scion. Rephaim. The Unnatural Assembly. There are secrets everywhere. As the story continues, the plot thickens and I had no idea what to make of everything that was happening and who to start pointing fingers at. It’s all so delectably crafted so that you just keep gobbling up the words and then pages trying to see what happens next – the settling in Scion of Part One, the questions beginning to form in Part Two, and then that increasing tension and jaw dropping Part Three which was my personal favourite. THEN, Shannon decides to throw me completely off my feet with the last page. BOOM. And where is Warden you ask? Well you’ll have to read and find out (; I will say one thing – I think I love him.

“My sordid, sacred SciLo, my prison and my home.”

And here we are. Secrets, lies, betrayals and a helluva lot of tension later… there are more secrets, lies and betrayal. Scion, you just keep on giving.

“You’ll have to wait and see how it ends.”

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blog Tour: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Australian Tour Stops
Fiction in Fiction in Fiction > you are here

Happy Australia Day! I'm the final stop on the Australian leg of The Mime Order blog tour. Welcome back to Scion! Look out for my review of The Mime Order later this week - hint, I LOVED it. It comes out tomorrow and I'm telling you, you NEED this book.

Have you been following the blog tour so far? Because you totally should've been - not only do you get a special sneak into The Mime Order but you also have the chance to win something cool! Read on.

Release Date: January 27th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Austrralia
Genre: Science fiction, paranormal

Chapter 2 - Sneak Peak 5

‘You know we can’t take you to a hospital,’ I said, ‘but I want to know you’re going somewhere safe. Do you have a gang that can look after you?’

‘No gang.’ Her voice was a wasted husk. ‘I was . . . a gutterling in Camden. But I can’t go back there.’ 

She shook her head. Camden was the district in II-4 with the largest community of voyants, a busy market town that clustered around a stretch of the Grand Canal.

I placed the lighter on the gleaming table and clasped my hands. Old moons of dirt sat under my fingernails. ‘Is there no one at all you can trust there?’ I said quietly. More than anything I wanted to offer her somewhere to stay, but Jaxon wouldn’t put up with strangers invading his den, especially as I wasn’t intending to go back there with him. None of these voyants would last long on the street.

Her fingers pressed into her arm, stroking and grasping. After a long pause, she said, ‘There’s one person. Agatha. She works at a boutique in the market.’

‘What’s it called?’

‘Just Agatha’s Boutique.’ Blood seeped from her bottom lip. ‘She hasn’t seen me in a while, but she’ll take care of me.’

‘Okay.’ I stood. ‘I’ll send one of the others with you.’
Her sunken eyes were set on the window, far away. The knowledge that her keeper might still be alive made my stomach roil.

The door slid open, and the other five came in. I picked up the lighter and walked across the carpet to meet them. ‘That’s the White Binder,’ someone whispered. ‘From I-4.’ Jaxon stood at the back, grasping his bladed cane. His silence was unnerving, but I had no time for games.

‘How does Paige know him?’ Another, frightened whisper. ‘You don’t think she’s—?’
‘We’re ready, Dreamer,’ Nick said.

That name would confirm their suspicions. I focused on the æther as best I could. Dreamscapes teemed within my radius, like a seething hive of bees. We were right underneath London.

‘Here.’ I tossed Nick the lighter. ‘Do the honours.’ He held it up to the panel and flipped the lid open. Within a few seconds, the fire alarm glowed red.

‘Emergency,’ said the voice of Scarlett Burnish. ‘Fire detected in rear carriage. Sealing doors.’ The doors to the last carriage snapped shut, and there was a low-pitched drone as the train glided to a halt. ‘Please move towards the front of the train and remain seated. A life-preservation team has been dispatched. Do not alight from the train. Do not attempt to open any doors or windows. Please operate the slide mechanism if extra ventilation is required.’

‘You won’t trick it for long,’ Danica stated …

Now you have the chance to win something soooo cool. Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia you can...

*Got a few burning questions you'd like to ask author of The Mime Order and The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon? Well here is your big chance! One lucky reader will win the once in a lifetime opportunity to exclusively chat via Skype with Samantha Shannon for a 15-20 minute period.

To be in the running, simply send through the one most pressing question you'd love to ask Samantha Shannon to

Entries close on midnight Feb 15th.

*Click the banner for more details.

Andddd there's also an awesome offer too!

"Here at Bloomsbury we understand that it may be hard to part with a copy of your favourite book even after you've read it. Books are some of our most prized possessions too, so we're not that keen on lending them out either. So we've come up with an idea that will help you get one of your friends or family hooked on The Bone Season.

Simply buy a copy of The Mime Order and we'll send your friend or family member a copy of The Bone Season, so they can get started too. It doesn't matter where you bought it, online or in a bookshop, simply send us a screenshot or photo of a receipt of purchase, along with the name and address of the person you believe really needs to start reading The Bone Season and we'll ship them a copy, for absolutely nothing.

Hurry, this offer is only valid to the first 100 requests we receive through"

I've supplied buy links up top guys... You know what to do.

I hope you've all enjoyed the sneak peek into The Mime Order c: 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Blogoversary: Fiction in Fiction in Fiction Turns 2

Fiction in Fiction in Fiction is officially 2 years old today! Wao I never expected to make it this far when I officially joined the book blogging community back in 2013. I have to celebrate and give a huge thank you to the publishers and readers (YOU) who have supported and put up with me these 2 years. I didn’t start blogging at the most ideal time lol.This is also celebrating my finishing uni and starting a new blogging chapter where I will hopefully have so much more time to read and review books.

2014 was a great bookish year for me –
  • I SHOOK HANDS WITH ZOEY DEUTCH AND LUCY FRY when I won a competition to meet them and they signed my copy of Vampire Academy and...
  • I went to the red carpet premiere of Vampire Academy (both thanks to PTA)
  • Invited to the Australian premiere of Divergent by Harper Collins Australia
  • Saw Jessica Shirvington again at her Disruption launch and she remembered me and gave me a hug AND asked for a photo *faints from fangirling*
  • I was one of the first people in the world to see TFIOS in cinemas thanks to the Bookworld competition
  • Finally met Eugenia at PTA Live (which was awesome and I saw so many awesome bookish pl)
  • That random moment where I met Kristy at Kino :D
  • I MET LAINI TAYLOR at the Hachette YA Bloggers night
  • My review of These Broken Stars, one of my fav books ever, was blurbed in the sequel This Shattered World. 
Yup, suffice to say 2014 was wonderful!

Fiction in Fiction in Fiction for those of you that don’t know is the line from my favourite song FICTION, by my favourite band – a Korean boy band named B2ST (pronounced Beast). A part of the chorus roughly translates to:

“I will hold on to you (fiction in fiction)
I won’t let you go (fiction in fiction in fiction)
Even today, I’m in the story of you and I that hasn’t ended still, in fiction”

It’s my favourite line of the song and it’s sung by my favourite member *bites lip* and I think it perfectly encompasses all my YA ships/OTPs – Yes/Yes? Hence why I named my blog this! Pixelski is just something I came up with in gaming – pixel and added ski because it sounded cute LEL.

This post will therefore be a fusion of my love of books with my love of B2ST. Yes I am going to sic K-pop on you, links are to YouTube vids with English subs. The overall theme song for this post is THANKS TO.

"You, you, it's you, thank you, for you."

Without further ado, with THANKS TO:

Mariam my habibi for introducing me to the blogosphere. I wouldn’t have found out about this loving and supportive community without you and your encouragement. Thank you for convincing me to go on Twitter and meet Aussie bloggers, for pushing me to use my Goodreads and recommending me YA when I was out of books to read. Wallah can you hurry up and come back already?

Saz without you, my blog wouldn’t have any followers. Simple as that. You helped me get word out about my blog and I will be forever grateful for the tips and kind words you gave me.

Shirley you fabulous person! Where do I begin? From the beginning you had faith in me, gave me great advice when I had doubts about my blog, and you were the one who encouraged me to contact publishers and tell me about book events. You. Are. A. Star.

All 3 of these amazing ladies who helped me are not really blogging much these days and I miss them like heaps. I love you guys so much <3

The absolutely fabulous, lovely, hilarious and just plain awesome Aussie publishers who I’ve had the extreme privilege to work with over the years. Thank you for giving me a chance, for putting up with me, for the fangirling moments. Bloomsbury Australia, HarperCollins Australia (Between the Covers), Penguin Teen Australia, Hachette Books Australia (Date a Book), Allen & Unwin, Harlequin Teen Australia, Simon & Schuster Australia, Walker Books Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia, Hardie Grant Egmont and Random House Australia (Penguin Random House?). Special shout out to Sonia (Bloomsbury), Manda (HC) and Floss (PTA) for the fantastic Twitter convos and emails.

There are so many wonderful bloggers I would like to thank but alas I’d be going on forever, just know that you’re in my thoughts and I’m forever grateful to you, my readers. I do, however need to mention a few lovelies.

MEL. WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU AND OUR ICE CREAM DATES? I am so happy I got to meet you when I went to Melbourne this year. You are like one of the coolest and sweetest and bestest bloggers I know and I feel like I’ve known you forever we have so much in common. Thank you for being for there for me when I wasn’t feeling the best emotionally/mentally. Love you 5ever.

Joy you funny gal. I love your sense of humour and our book chats even though our tastes differ a lot lol. It’s so fun going on bookish outings with you, especially watching movie adaptions of books :D the feels are real.

Youdith (Judith) I don’t actually know how I met you only that suddenly you’re in my life (sort of) and I wanted to be Dutch (I still do to be honest). I am so jealous that you live in the Netherlands. You are just plain cool and I love our fangirling moments AND OMG CAN YOU NOT WITH MY CHAOLAENA SHIP? Our best conversations are the ones in caps.

Alexa I can’t believe I only met you late last year. Just in time for Heir of Fire thank god. I am so so so glad we bonded over our love of Throne of Glass. And my gosh do we have so much in common! Not only in our taste in books but music and KINGDOM HEARTS <3 I love all the book recommendations you give me and I trust your opinion very much :D

Ellis you are one of the sweetest people I know - you and Mel’s frenemy Twitter conversations are one of my favourite forms of entertainment. Armber (Amber) I love our talks but you can keep Dorian for yourself, I’ll take Chaol – love you! Vi my JLA buddy :D Aiden St Delphi forever <3 Christiney my k-pop buddy, love our boyband fangirl moments :D And so many other cool people who I’d love to mention but I’d never stop typing.

All the Aussie YA Bloggers – Kristy, Kelly, Laura, Nara, Emily, Eugenia, Shaheen, Jeann, Becca, Gina my Aus TOG buddy <3 The Maas Thirteen including Rachel and Katie. The cool authors I get the honour of talking to frequently. Kat and Amie you guys get a special separate mention because you’re just… Something else. Do not even.


So after all that THERE IS A GIVEAWAY. Because how could there NOT be? My blog turns 2 and I spread the love and give you guys books ;D

The bulk of these books were kindly donated to me by Aussie publishers for my blogoversary! Thank you Allen & Unwin, Bloomsbury, Harper Collins Australia and Penguin Teen Australia! The rest I’m adding in and will go out to buy (shown are my copies lol I haven’t been out since I just got back from 2 holidays). These are books I love and would to love share with you.

Each prize pack has a separate theme, please enter for the one you want, or ENTER THEM ALL.


Prize packs 1, 2 and 3 are AUSTRALIA ONLY. Any international entrants will be disqualified.

Prize pack 4 is INTERNATIONAL NON-AUSTRALIA ONLY. Any Australian entrants will be disqualified. Aussies you have 3 other chances, give the others a go okay? We’re all about a fair go anyway. Omg did I just make a lame Aussie joke? I ain’t even mad. I love you all enough to do this even though the shipping on this is going to make me go broke.

Aussies this applies to you: You can only win ONE of the prize packs. If Rafflecopter picks the same winner for more than one prize, I will redraw for the subsequent prize. But you can enter them all as many times as you like. Sorry I don’t think it’s fair that 1 person wins multiple packs.

NO GIVEAWAY/SPAM ACCOUNTS ALLOWED. I will be checking. Any entrants from non-main accounts WILL be disqualified. This rule applies to the entries that require a Follow. As so many lovely publishers have contributed prizes, it’s only respectful that when you follow for an entry, you follow from an actual account. I shit you not the shipping on this (especially that international one which is >0.5kg) is going to cost me a fortune so at least follow me from a real account?


Prize Pack 1 – Across Time and Space featuring books dealing with time and space/physics, or set in a different time | Theme Song – 12:30

"Right now we are like the clock hands at 12:30
We have our backs turned to each other, looking at different places and trying to let go of everything"
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (from Bloomsbury Australia)
  • A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
  • All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
  • Falling into Place by Amy Zhang (from HarperCollins Australia)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize Pack 2 – Written in the Stars featuring books about 2 unlikely people coming together| Theme Song – Lights Go On Again

"When the lights shine on me and it wakes me up once again
It moves my heart again
Lights go on again"
  • The Fault in Our Stars (Australian Limited Edition) by John Green (from Penguin Teen Australia)
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (from Penguin Teen Australia)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize Pack 3 – Stand Tall featuring books with kick-ass female heroines | Theme Song – Unbreakable by BAP

"I won’t ever break
I won’t ever fall down
Even if the storm tries to swallow me
I’m unbreakable"
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (from Bloomsbury Australia)
  • Looking for Alibrandi (Australian Children’s Classics edition) by Melina Marchetta
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (from Bloomsbury Australia)
  • Disruption by Jessica Shirvington
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize Pack 4 – Why Are You So Far Away featuring great Aussie YA | Theme Song – VIU (Very Important You)

"I love you you you you you you you
Beautiful my you you you you you you"
  • Every Breath by Ellie Marney (from Allen & Unwin)
  • Every Word by Ellie Marney (from Allen & Unwin)
  • Additional swag I will throw in
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Ohmygood look at all the bookish awesome...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

December Wrap Up + Book Haul

Hellloooooo how are you all enjoying the new year?

I've been spending the first few days of 2015 re-organising my bookshelf and...

DID YOU GUYS NOTICE THE NEW THEME? I spent 6h making it haha. I used the 'Awesome' green Blogger template and mass tweaked it - I spent a good 2h in Photoshop making the background and re-working until I created a pattern I liked. Then it was choosing a colour scheme (Tiffany's blue yay!), creating banners, widget headers and editing code all over the place until I was satisfied with the final result. I'm really happy with this theme, it's much cleaner and fresh, looks hella more sophisticated. My old blue rose one I was unhappy with it from the beginning when I made it but was too busy to do anything about it until now :D

After my Book Christmas Tree came down, I had to re-organise my shelves (new year and what not) and it took me a good 8h+ over the course of a few days. The final result ladies and gentlemen.

Now onto the actual post..

My December wrap up and book haul are a tad delayed this year because I only just came back from holiday last week and already had a few posts scheduled. I almost didn't do this post but then I realised I have so many people to thank because the bulk of this haul is comprised of lovely Christmas gifts!

I only read three books in December as I was doing a lot of gaming catch up and marathoning Charmed lel

Reviews Posted:
This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - 4.5/5

Other Posts:

I was actually quite a good girl this month and didn't buy too many books myself!

Graphic Novels and Manga


Review Copies

Thank you Bloomsbury Australia and Hachette Australia for these review copies!


I also received a few gifts from lovely friends and Secret Santa!

Alexa from Alexa Loves Books sent me these goodies. As part of the Maas Thirteen, Bloomsbury USA had given each member a signed ARC of Heir of Fire and the beautiful Crown of Midnight tote bag. They couldn't send to Aus so Alexa sent them to me. We also ordered stationery from May Designs which does personalised notebooks and greeting cards and she sent these with the package. SO MUCH AWESOME. Thank you Alexa!

My Aussie YA Secret Santa who was Nemo from The Moonlight Library got me I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I've been wanting to read this for ages so I was really happy to get this, thank you Nemo! It's in the edition I wanted too.

Mel from YA Midnight Reads got me this beautiful gift - infinity symbol earrings and necklace, beautiful card, Unite Me (Shatter Me #1.5 and #2.5) by Tahereh Mafi and Trouble by Non Pratt. So excited to read both of these *hugs Mel*

The lovely Ellis surprised me with Bunheads by Sophie Flack which I have been dying to read. *Hugs Ellis* thank you so much!

And finally I received this lovely package from my The Broke and the Bookish Secret Santa, Cassie from Cassie the Weird. A cute Mickey Mouse plushie, coloured pens, an awesome procrastination list, A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Such a perfect gift and I have been hearing raving reviews about Ready Player One so YESSS. Thanks Cassie :D

Wao thank you everyone for all the lovely gifts

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! What better way to start off the new year than with an upcoming release that absolutely blew me away?

Firstly, thanks to Penguin Teen Australia for this review copy <3

Release Date: January 7th 2015
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Contemporary
My rating: 

"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."



“This is our project. We started it together, and we end it together.”

I’m sort of speechless as I sit here in front of my computer, trying to figure out how to word this review with tear tracks on my cheeks. I didn’t know what to expect when I got sent this book from Penguin Teen Australia. It crept up on me and when I read the blurb and saw it compared to TFIOS I was sceptical. A lot of books have drawn comparisons to popular YA titles lately. It’s not the same. No two books are. But TFIOS and All the Bright Places are the same in the way they made me go on an epic feels trip. One that had me laughing, wondering, speculating, sobbing and then in the end, “forever changed”.

Suicide and mental illness are extremely touchy subjects and I try to stay away from these kinds of books because I’m a sensitive person and I get affected by things really easily. They’re also not often portrayed as much in YA. But I couldn’t resist the pull of All the Bright Places and I’m so glad I read it because I think Niven got everything right. I could tell she’d done her research in every aspect and oh how I could relate.

“I shut down. I went blank… Think a long, dark sleep where you don’t dream at all.”

We meet Violet Markey through the eyes of Theodore Finch as both are standing on the ledge of their school’s bell tower, both contemplating suicide but Finch somehow knows that Violet doesn’t really want to be up there. They meet again in US Geography and are paired together to find unique places in their state of Indiana. What ensues is a journey of discovering quaint places, seeing beauty in the world around us, and finding love.

“The thing, is there are good days and bad days.”

I don’t know how I feel about Violet for the majority of the book. I could definitely relate to her though. She had extricated herself from the world after her sister’s death and trying to cope with everything. I liked the way she came out of her shell as the book progressed but I felt she was very passive for most of it and didn’t really play a role until the end. That ending though. Everything she felt, everything she thought, I completely understood, and by the last page I loved how she’d grown and changed as a person.

“Just because they’re dead, they don’t have to be. And neither do we.”

For me this book was all about Finch. He’s the one with restless thoughts that will not cease, the kind that distract and will not give peace of mind. He’s constantly wandering, needing to be on the move, incessantly needing to do things; he’s filled with random facts and it’s people like him, who are the on the outside looking in who see the most – who manage to observe the important things in life and see that bigger picture. I could relate to Finch in so many ways. Thoughts like his I’ve harboured at some point (but on a smaller scale) and through Niven’s skill and finesse, I was able to feel everything else on Finch’s scale and it broke me. I love Theodore Finch.

“No more worrying about where we’re going or what’s to become of us or if we’ll ever disappoint another person again.”

One of the most realistic features of this story are the secondary characters. They’re secondary for a reason, adding substance, making the main characters shine brighter. I loved how nobody fit into one mould. So many American YA books set in high school have these stereotypes and that was NOT what it was like for me at school and I doubt it was like that for many others. High school for me was not like in the movies. In All the Bright Places, the popular girl isn’t a total bitch. Just because Violet isn’t hanging out with the popular group anymore, doesn’t make the popular group hate her or anything. The popular guy isn’t a dumb jock who cheats. I thought Ryan was actually a decent guy. All the characters were decent people, each with their own flaws but with their own good qualities too. That’s what high school was like for me.

At the end of the day All the Bright Places deals with issues of bullying, suicide, labelling, mental illness and coping with loss. Despite these sad themes Niven has artfully woven these ideas into a book that’s almost like a road-trip, filled with amazing real places in Indiana that are of significance to someone, somewhere. Her writing is eloquent and flows: hesitant for Violet, harried yet poetic for Finch. Niven has quoted bits of literature throughout that really accentuate the meaning of the story. All the Bright Places draws you into Violet and Finch’s world of discovery, marks you with their words and leaves you forever changed as you realise we all leave a piece of us wherever we go.

“I will always be here, in the offerings and people I left behind.”