Violet and Finch meet on the ledge of their school's clock tower, both thinking about jumping. For frenetic Finch, who constantly alters his appearance, suicide is often on his mind, and the barrage of bullying he receives, from his classmates and his own father, doesn't help matters. Violet, on the other hand, is in a daze after the untimely death of her sister. They don't jump, but their chance meeting leads to a partnership on a geography project visiting Indiana roadside oddities. Their friendship grows into a sweet romance, and Violet starts feeling engaged with her life and even takes up writing again, something she gave up after her sister died. Despite Finch's desperate desire, their burgeoning love is not enough to solve his wild, emotional ups and downs. Niven's first novel for teens tackles a big topic with sensitivity, and teens will likely swoon over Finch and Violet's doomed oddball romance.

I really wanted to love this novel, but there were a couple things that bothered me about. (1) It took me forever to get into it! I didn't get into the "can't put this book down" phase until I had been reading it for 2 weeks. I would read a chapter here or there, but it just didn't grab me the way other books have. Once I got to the half way point I really started to enjoy it though. (2) Since one of the major themes in the novel is suicide, it is quite depressing. I was pretty bummed by the ending, but it did make sense in the long run. This book isn't one I would recommend to everyone. If you're looking for a lighthearted teen romance I wouldn't read it if I were you. If you do read it then I highly advise reading the author's notes at the end of the book. It explains a lot of things and is very beautifully written. As for me, I did enjoy reading it once I got about half way in. I loved the chemistry between Finch and Violet and how it took her a while to warm up to him and trust him. I loved that the book is full of flawed characters. The parents, kids at school, and main characters were all multi-dimensional without it feeling forced. Many readers have compared it to The Fault in our Stars, but in my opinion Fault in our Stars is way better. All in all, a good read, but now I want to read something a bit up beat :)


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