Book Review : All The Bright Places

This review was published in The Buzz Magazine

Blurb View: 

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. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?


Did you know somebody committed suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world?

In most cases, they don’t leave any clue that could lead to a reason for their actions. It may be love, it may not be; it may be failure, and extreme ones at that; it may be Monophobia (that’s an easy one – just seclude ‘mono’, pun intended). We are yet to judge if suicide is right or wrong, since it is relative. But the grief it leaves the loved ones with is irreplaceable. Now don’t let this deter you from reading further, we are indeed talking about a love story, though it’s much more than just that.

Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet under ‘extenuating circumstances,’ on the ledge of their sixth storey school bell tower. We’ll keep the ‘who-saved-whom’ for later, for you to read the book yourself. It just so happens that both of them meet at a time when their own lives were shrouded by the cloud of ‘extenuating circumstances.’ Violet had lost her sister to an accident, and Finch (as even I began to fondly refer him) was going through a lot of trauma. They met, and gradually started to peel the layers off each other. They embarked on a journey together, and their pit stops are beautifully designed to be etched in memory forever.

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Sister Of My Heart

This post is written for the Soul sisters contest by Women’s Web and Zivame – (

I hadn’t heard about soul sisters until I actually found one. I had best friend(s) till then, and some of them still retain that status. They came from various walks of life and burst onto mine with something unique to offer. I was contented with best friends and I did not differentiate them by gender. Then came the inevitable part of growing up, too much of it actually. I had completed a quarter century of years on this planet, was not too happy about it, didn’t know much how to arrange the shelves of my messed up life, when – I met this girl on the Internet.

No, it was not as shady as a chat room ‘Hi, ASL?’ introduction. We had gone past the era of ASLs and entered the era of swatiscrapbooks. My best friend was working in India at that time and I was a student in a foreign university. Distance mattered and we were rarely connected. I had made new friends in a new country, but there was something still missing. After a few months, one of my new friends decided to introduce me to his best friend. He felt that two girls who were quite alike each other must be acquainted and took up the task. Thus, I met Swati. Over scrapbook conversations. Since that was very much a public domain, we exchanged mail ids and started talking. She’s barely older to me by a year or two and had just started working in Calcutta. I don’t know what clicked us instantly, probably the fact that both of us were loners. We chatted for hours, the timezone difference not being a hindrance as she worked on her projects at night while I would be in lab. I guess sore hearts connect easily to each other for mutual healing and the same happened to us. Both of us were going through very rough patches in life, badly bruised by friends and other people, probably seeking solace in better friendship.

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