This book broke my heart, glued it together, and then smashed it into the cobblestones of my soul until there was nothing but tiny little heart shaped dust fluttering around. It was that intense.
First, I must admit that I went into this book with a predisposition to hate it. I know, I know, how can I say that? Why even bother if I thought I would hate it?
Let me explain. I went into this book having read many reviews of it. Some were bad, but most were good. The problem was that those good ones only ever compared this book to The Fault in Our Stars, a book which I publicly dislike.
So, me being me, went into reading with my mind set that Violet and Finch were the next Hazel and Augustus, and so, everything they did in the beginning was annoying to me. WHile unfair, it was not unfounded. Much like Hazel and Augustus, Violet and Finch are the type of teenagers that deep down are secretly pretentious philosophising English professors that quote random novels as a form of flirting, and sit around around wondering which is the best Bronte sister, while holding unlit cigarette in their mouths (seriously though that last one is a bit of a rip off from TFIOS).
Anyway, after I got past that little annoyance, and really started to get to know them, I really fell in love with these characters, especially Finch. The wonderful, lovely, Theodore Finch. They, unlike Hazel and Augustus, were intelligent and worldly without being pretentious. They were kind and extraordinary without calling attention to themselves. They were real and relatable and heart breaking. Mostly, unlike TFIOS, this shows a more realistic depiction of the illness it is presenting. As my co-blogger, Rosie, many times says, the world is more than butterflies, rainbows and unicorn farts, and this book shows you that.
This is a book about relationships, not just with a boyfriend/girlfriend, but with family and all the people we meet. It is a book about love and acceptance and lost. It is a book about mental illness and how it is stigmatized and judged, and many times goes unnoticed until it is too late.
Violet is a girl whose sister is dead. Finch is a boy obsessed with the idea of dying. The two meet at the ledge of building as they both contemplate what it would be like to jump. From then on a rocky friendship ensues and then something more. From there comes many ups and downs and it is intense, and raw, and real, and beautifully heartbreaking. That is all I can say without spoiling everything.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. There is a lot of talk of mental illness, abuse, and suicide, so be warned if this is something you cannot handle. Aside from that, it is a book I think anyone would love. This book gets all the start!