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Meet the Author: Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places

Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Teen'Scape,
picture of jennifer niven and book jacket

The LA Teen Author Series returns to Central Library on Saturday, February 14 at 2pm with a panel of authors that includes Susan Adrian (Tunnel Vision), April Lindner (Love, Lucy), Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places), Amy Talkington (Liv, Forever), and Sandra Waugh (Lark Rising). Copies of their books will be available for sale and signing courtesy of the Library Store.

Violet and Finch meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, both thinking about what it would be like to jump. A year after her sister’s death in a car accident, Violet is still paralyzed with grief. And while Finch is volatile, unpredictable, and self-destructive, he’s also funny, charismatic, and understands Violet in a way no one ever has before.

When the two end up working together on a school project to explore the wonders of the state of Indiana (no, really), they become friends, and eventually more. Finch encourages Violet to confront her grief, while Violet makes Finch want to be his best self. Still, they can’t fix each other, and Finch’s struggle with mental illness sends him spiraling just as Violet begins to heal.

Publishers Weekly says of the book, “The journey to, through, and past tragedy is romantic and heartbreaking, as characters and readers confront darkness, joy, and the possibilities — and limits — of love in the face of mental illness.” The friendship and the romance between Violet and Finch are equally heartfelt, and you’ll root for these damaged, lovable characters to find their way. But be warned: All the Bright Places should not be read in public unless you are prepared to cry in front of strangers.

We recently asked Jennifer about the writer from history she’d most like to spend a day with and where we should put her hypothetical star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here’s what she had to say:

What makes you laugh the loudest?

My cats, my best friends, and my colorful southern family.

What is your secret superpower?

From my mom, I learned to make everyone feel special and appreciated and to always, always choose kindness. (Also I know the words to every single ABBA song.)

If you were getting your own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which celebrities would you most like to be near?

Carole Lombard or Charlie Chaplin. But I'd rather have my handprints in cement-- is that an option? (If so, please put me next to Gary Cooper.)

If you could spend the day with one writer from history, who would it be and why?

I would tag along with Truman Capote while he was researching In Cold Blood.


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