Meeting New York Times Best Selling Author Jennifer Niven

Last Sunday, I got the chance to attend the blogger’s forum of NBS with best selling author Jennifer Niven. Jenn is the author of one of the most heartbreaking young adult book last year, All The Bright Places and other fiction and non-fiction books such as Becoming Clementine, Velva Jean Learns to Fly and others. Her upcoming book Holding Up the Universe will be out this October 2016.

During the forum we got the chance to drill Jenn with our questions about her books, writing, and a little about her life as an author. It’s good that Jenn is game and ready for all our questions and fan-girling. She is soft-spoken and all smiles during the Q&A. And when I got the chance to talk to her one on one she’s so sweet and lovely. I get few hugs from her and she’s just so welcoming. For a best-selling author she’s very humble. Sometimes it feels like she’s more thankful that she get the chance to meet us – her readers and followers than the other way around. Her emotional message to her Filipino fans at the end of the forum will tell you how much grateful she is. I just love authors like her.

To know more about the whole Q&A that transpire during the forum check Kai and Dianne‘s recap.

Blogger's Forum with Jennifer Niven
credit to kate for the above photos

Jennifer Niven signing my book

Jenn signing my copy of All The Bright Places


A million thanks to Jenn for visiting us all the way here in the Manila. It’s really a wonderful and memorable experience meeting and talking to you in person. I really hope you got another chance to visit us again someday. We miss you already.

Thank you also to the people of National Book Stores and Penguin Random House for bringing Jennifer here and for organizing the bloggers’ forum.

To know more about Jennifer Niven and her books visit her website, and follow her on instagram and twitter for instant updates.

Book Signing Tour : Jennifer Niven in PH

Poster - Jennifer Niven

National Book Store brings New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Niven to the Philippines for book signing events on May 28, 2016 at 1 p.m. in the Northwing Atrium, SM City Cebu and on May 29, 2016 at 2 p.m. in Second Level Mega Atrium, SM Megamall.

Frequently Asked Questions


When and where are the book signings?
May 28, 1:00 p.m., at the Northwing Atrium, SM City Cebu
May 29 6, 2:00 p.m., at the 2L (2nd Level) Mega Atrium, SM Megamall

Is there a registration fee?
No. There is no registration fee.

When will the registration be?
Registration opens at 10:00 a.m. on May 28 at the Northwing Atrium, SM City Cebu, and 10:00 a.m. on May 29 at the 2L Mega Atrium, SM Megamall. Each guest will be asked to fill out the registration form upon arrival. First come, first served. Guests must present their book to get a numbered Signing Pass. The book must have either of the following as proof of purchase: Price Tag or Official Receipt from National Book Store, National Book Store Express or Powerbooks.

How many books can I have signed? Is there a limit as to how many people can have their books signed?
Each guest is allowed one (1) copy of ‘All the Bright Places’ by Jennifer Niven to be signed. Although National Book Store will take every effort to get as many books signed as possible, depending on the number of attendees, we reserve the right to limit the number of copies per person or limit the number of people in line. First come, first served.

Can I bring old books or other editions of the books?
Yes, as long as the books were purchased from National Book Store, National Book Store Express or Powerbooks. The books must have either the price tag or official receipt.

Do I need to buy on-site?
No. You can buy books before or during the event.

Can I have other items signed?
No. Only books will be allowed to be signed by the author.

Can we have our photo taken with the author?
Yes. There will be an official photographer from NBS who will take your photo with the author. However, we strictly allow only one photo per person.

How much are the books?
All the Bright Places (Hardcover – P649)
All the Bright Places (Trade Paperback – P439)

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

“We are all alone, trapped in these bodies and our own minds, and whatever company we have in this life is only fleeting and superficial.”

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.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Personal Thoughts:

Halfway reading All the Bright Places I’m pretty sure how the story will end or how my review will goes. All the quotes I bookmarked and the few notes I managed to jot down in those little arrow post-its I’m using feels like very useful in my review until the story take the road I’m dreading. If I’m being honest, part of me knows the story will actually take the route the author chose, there are hints along the way but I keep on denying them hoping that Jennifer will actually go for the brighter road. I thought that was the title is telling me so I keep my hopes up, until the last part where it felt like all things shattered into pieces and left my heart in pain and my eyes teary.

That last part changed my feelings and view of the novel, making All the Bright Places more worthy read than just the usual YA contemporary book. It makes the novel more meaningful and profound by highlighting the reality of the character’s situation and condition.

Unlike with the author, I don’t have close experience with people who suffer from severe depression, bipolar disorder or other kinds of labels like those. I won’t understand them in the same level as those who have first hand or close experience. Reading this book though give me a piece of that experience. If anything else, All the Bright Places push me to be more sensitive to other people. To look deeper to my surroundings and people around me. To be more aware and more caring to others.

All the Bright Places somehow changed my view not only of suicide but also of mental illness. Reading the perspectives of both Finch and Violet gives me access to the thoughts and views of victim and survivor of suicide. Things we somehow knew but never really given thought of.

“The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it’s the small things that count.”

If you ask me before I read this book what’s my stand on suicide, you might get a firm answer from me being against it, now, if you will ask me again after reading this book I will still give you the same answer but with lesser conviction like the first, especially if we will factor mental illness in the story.

It’s easy to put blame to those who took their own lives. To view suicide as a cowardice or way-out when in fact we don’t have any idea of what’s really going on in their mind when they do it. When someone died out of cancer, people usually view it as a lost battle. We say, “he lost his battle with cancer” but when someone died due of suicide we put the blame to the victim so easily. But what if the victim is suffering with mental illness, should we still blame him? For what? For putting an end to his suffering? Why can’t we view it as a lost battle too, like those who suffer in cancer. Who knows how much they tried to fight their depression, and in the end lost their battle with it.

‘The fact is, I was sick, but not in an easily explained flu kind of way. It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.’

On the whole, All the Bright Places is an intense novel that delivers raw and exquisitely painful story. It realistically explore the dark and sensitive issue of depression, mental illness and suicide. All the emotions of life, love, and loss bleeds through the pages of this book and they all make it powerful and more beautiful.