Books Like All The Bright Places (3 Heartbreaking Book Recommendations)

Young love is something we all wish for and something that we all love reading, watching, and listening to. All The Bright Places is everything a young adult romance should be.

Books Like All The Bright Places (3 Heartbreaking Book Recommendations)

Author Jennifer Niven uses the power of romance as an underlying theme while dealing with intense topics of mental health, suicide, and friendship.

If you are looking for a book that will have you on the edge of your seat, crying your heart out, and like you are there, then All The Bright Places is an absolute must-read.

However, if you have already gone through the heartbreak of reading this novel and are ready for more, then we have books that are like All The Bright Places. Filled with hope, romance, and tragedy, you will have to prepare yourself.

While these books are categorized as ‘young adult’, they can certainly be related to anyone. Making them perfect as gifts or as a treat for yourself. Are you ready to be fully enthralled in the world of teenage romance? Let’s get into it!

Do you love the heartbreaking tale of All The Bright Places? Then you are sure to love The Sky Is Everywhere, Imagine Me Gone, and The Last Time We Say Goodbye. Check out these 3 books similar to All The Bright Places.

All The Bright Places By Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven was released in 2015 and since has captured the hearts of thousands of young adults. Based on Niven’s personal story, this book is one of the truest captures of real life as a teenager.

Read as Theodore and Violet fight to escape the harshness of their small town while being from opposite ends of the popularity spectrum.

As they begin their journey, it becomes clear that they both are struggling with their issues and even find a friend in an unlikely acquaintance. As their friendship turns to love, you are led to feel safe. Then, Niven brings you one tragedy after another.

You are left heartbroken and lost for words as you continue to indulge in the tale of All The Bright Places.  Since its extremely successful release in 2015, the novel has since been made into a movie adaptation.

Released in 2020, Netflix gave the words on the page pictures to match and its audience has only been growing since.

Themes In All The Bright Places

Themes In All The Bright Places

Niven has shared her personal experiences through this novel and with it, a lot of triggering themes:

Mental Health

One of the biggest themes of All The Bright Places is the exploration of mental health. From anxiety to suicide, Niven showcases how different people deal with their struggles differently.

Some of us can put on a brave face while others seem to fall apart in front of us. However, you choose to deal with it, you will find it showcased in this book.


All The Bright Places is first and foremost, an intensely gripping tale of young love. As these two teenagers discover more about themselves, and each other they fall in love.

Niven has captured a wonderful love story while dealing with dark themes. These two characters meet in an unusual circumstance at an unusual time in their lives just when they need each other most.

Books Like All The Bright Places

As All The Bright Places continue to be a success in the world of literature, you can only read it so many times. Below are books that explore similar themes to All The Bright Places and are sure to leave you gasping for more.

The Sky Is Everywhere By Jandy Nelson

The Sky Is Everywhere

Who doesn’t want to be stuck in a love triangle when you are a teenager? After the loss of her sister, Lennie is stuck choosing between the boy who shares her grief, or the new boy in town.

As Lennie drowns in the noise of everyone else’s thoughts and opinions, mistakes are made, hearts are broken and she starts to find her voice. This coming-of-age novel is deeply emotional with a little humor thrown into the mix.

Nelson takes you on a journey that you could only dream of going on yourself. Without having to leave your bedroom. This book will have you laughing on one page and sobbing the next, perfect if you are in the mood for a truly unforgettable book.

The Sky is Everywhere explores both uplifting and dark themes. Nelson covers romance, as the protagonist is stuck between her grieving late sister’s boyfriend and the new boy in town, Lennie is bombarded with love like no other. Who will she choose?

There are also notes of comedy, as the characters make some disastrous mistakes, and you are taken on a journey of growth and learning for the young adult. Finally, there are themes of grief.

After the loss of her sister, Lennie is forced to decide what she wants in life. All the while mourning the loss of her sister.


  • Deals with issues that all young adults can relate to throughout their lives.
  • Readers can release their own emotions through the tale of Lennie.


  •  Deals with extreme themes that some readers may not enjoy.

Themes: Romance, Comedy, Grief, Coming-Of-Age.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye By Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

A breathtaking, heartbreaking tale of love and death by New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand has received praise from ALA Booklist who termed it “both shatteringly painful and bright with life and hope.”

The Last Time We Say Goodbye follows Lex, who is trying her hardest to not accept the whirlwind of emotions that comes along with losing a loved one.

Haunted by a secret she can’t tell anyone, you must read to discover if the relationships around her are strong enough to last. With so many secrets The Last Time We Say Goodbye is invigorating and gripping.

With so many themes to explore including loss and relationships. For instance, after losing her brother, Tyler, Lex is forced to put her life back together alone. All the while ignoring the intense heartbreak she feels at losing her sibling.

In addition, everyone rallies to support the sibling of the late Tyler. As Lex struggles to let them in it is up to her to restore those relationships. Finally, we have the theme of deceit.

Once Lex gets her life back on track, she is left to deal with the secrets she has brought upon herself. Will revealing her secret cause her life to crumble?


  • Focus on platonic relationships over romantic ones.
  • The author adds a sense of mystery to bring excitement to the plot.


  • Themes may be distressing for younger readers.

Themes: Suicide, Loss, Grief, Mystery, Betrayal, Relationships, Family Ties, Growth.

Imagine Me Gone By Adam Haslett

Imagine Me Gone

Are you looking for something to grip your heart from the very beginning? Then Imagine Me Gone is a must-read. Adam Haslett has given us something exceptional: a book that can alter the way we view the people who matter to us most in our lives.

This is possible because of his startling emotional clarity and vivid, imaginative language. Imagine Me Gone deals with intricate and deeply emotional themes. Such as the relationship between a mother and child.

With her husband gone and left with 3 children, you can see just how deep a mother’s love can run. The notion of pain and strife is also prevalent. As her husband dies, the family is left with a gaping hole of pain in his place.

Finally, we have the theme of familial tiles and sibling relationships. As the 3 siblings begin to deal with the pain of losing their father, they also deal with the disappointment of their ambitious older brother.


  • Tells the story from each family member’s point of view.
  • Imitates real life with uplifting and upsetting themes.


  • Younger readers may not be suited to the mature themes of Imagine Me Gone.

Themes: Pain, Grief, Siblings, Mother and Child, Abandonment, Humor, Mental Illness.

Final Thoughts

All The Bright Places is an intense, heart-wrenching tale of grief, depression, and love. Amongst all the bad things in life, there is little good that we have to hold onto to keep us going.

Once you can move on from the gripping tale of All The Bright Places, we have 3 books that will take you on your next emotional rollercoaster. Each book has its journey where the characters are forced to deal with their emotions in their way.

Whether they bottle them up, fall in love, or become the black sheep of the family, you are taken on a journey like never before.

Young adults or fully grown adults can relate to each tale in their way, meaning you have to add these novels to your must-read list. All you have to do is turn the page!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Mental Illness Is In All The Bright Places?

Theodore Finch, the primary character, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to his history of manic and depressive episodes. Second, the researcher discovered that because of the issues in his family, All the Bright Places highlighted the causes of bipolar disorder.

Is There A Sequel To All The Bright Places?

Yes. All The Bright Places has recently been turned into a 3-part series.

YouTube video
Noah Burton