*SPOILER WARNING* (in the second half, anyway)
The Playlist (to be read in the X Factor announcer voice, with maximum drama)
First, the playlist, because I don’t think I’m physically capable of reviewing this book without spoilers, and this way you can listen to the playlist even if you haven’t already read the book (which you should 100% do asap, by the way).
Some of the songs I’ve picked are to do with specific aspects of the plot, and some are just general reflections of the book. You can listen to it on Spotify here.
All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
- Choices – To Kill A King
- King – Lauren Aquilina
- Unsteady – X Ambassadors
- Weight Of Living Pt. II – Bastille
- Adventure Of A Lifetime – Coldplay
- Alone Too – Ella Eyre
- I’m Yours – Alessia Cara
- American Beauty/American Psycho – Fall Out Boy
- Ain’t Nobody – Jasmine Thompson
- Addicted To You – Avicii
- Runaway (U&I) – Galantis
- Oblivion – Bastille
- Keeping Your Head Up – Birdy
- Bloodsport – Raleigh Ritchie
- Runaway – Ed Sheeran
- Gravity – DJ Fresh ft. Ella Eyre
- Eyes Shut – Years & Years
- Hold Me Up – Conrad Sewell
- Worry – Jack Garratt
- Even If – Ella Eyre
- Sorry – Justin Bieber
- Afire Love – Ed Sheeran
The Review (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT)
Oh my God. Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. If ever there were a book deserving of the abbreviation OMG, this is it. This is the kind of book that keeps you up until nearly 2am, makes you text multiple friend like I JUST READ A BOOK AND CRIED WHAT DO I DO NOW HELP, makes you want to immediately write about all your (many) feels (probs not a good idea at 2am) and kicks you in the feels REALLY HARD but in a good way as well as a HELP ME I’M CRYING way.
I don’t know if I was just being incredibly stupid (very possible, I accidentally ate a bit of coffee today because I thought it was Ben & Jerrys. Don’t try it. Eugh) but I didn’t really expect the ending, as in I didn’t think FINCH WAS GOING TO DIE (I am so not over that). Maybe I was being mega naive, but I kinda thought yay this is going to be a happy love story with sunshine and flowers and people overcoming the urge to commit suicide and new web magazines yay. So yeah, that’s the bit that made me cry. And just to be clear: I have a heart of stone when it comes to books. The Fault In Our Stars made me cry, and Wonder *nearly* did, but that’s about it.
Talking of web magazines, OMG VIOLA HAD A WEB MAG. THAT’S SO COOL. THAT’S KINDA LIKE BLOGGER GOALS FOR ME. That immediately made me think, yes I like this book. Also, the Post-it songs. I love them. And the cute quoting Virginia Woolf. I’m a sucker for quotes, so YES. And the name Ultraviolet Remarkey-able. And the quote, “It’s not a lie if it’s how you feel”. SO MUCH RELATABILITY. SO MUCH CUTENESS. SO MUCH GENERAL YESSSS.
And all the wanderings! I love it! The Blue Flash and Blue Too, the books in trailers, the Purina Tower, all of it, even the places that Viola goes to at the end – the shoe trees and the drive-in and the church. It all just felt so original yet 100% realistic and awesome and WHY CAN’T THERE BE PLACES LIKE THAT IN ENGLAND?! (except maybe there are but I don’t know about them). The Blue Hole I kinda liked but I was slightly less keen on, mainly because of all the temptation for suicide (though let’s be honest, Theodore finds temptation for suicide everywhere) and, *ahem*, the ending. Let’s not go there…
But talking of the ending, omg the song. So sweet. I mean, an explanation might be nice, but as a suicide note it was very poetic. I wonder if with all this memorisation of other people’s suicide notes, Finch was just trying to get inspiration for his. When he takes the sleeping pills, he wants to end on a high, in an almost honourable way, like whoever – was it the Cesare poet guy? – said. But that didn’t happen, so he wanted something different. Maybe he was trying to figure out how to leave a suicide note out of the ordinary, something to remember him by, like an epitaph.
Another thing: EVERYTHING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH STIGMAS. About how you get less flowers for a suicide, about Finch’s parents calling it an accident, everything. It’s a kinda scary reflection of modern society, and it opened my eyes to it more than ever.
OK I’m gonna stop now before I ramble on for *too* long. Have you read ATBP? What did you think of it? What songs do you associate with it?