Study Guide

All the Bright Places Change

By Jennifer Niven

Change

But I haven't touched the site since Eleanor died, because what would be the point? It was a site about sisters. Besides, in that instant we went plowing through the guardrail, my words died too. (2.22)

Violet gave up her web magazine after Eleanor's death. Eventually, she starts writing a new one—a sign of positive change in her life.

I think of how many girls would love to receive a note like this from Ryan Cross. The Violet Markey of last spring would have been one of them. (2.54)

Violet had just starting going out with Ryan when her sister died. She tries to go out with him a few times after that, but the magic is gone.

Amanda used to be one of my closest friends, but ever since April, I've drifted away from her. Since I quit cheering, we don't have much in common. I wonder if we ever did. (5.2)

Eventually, Violet and Amanda rekindle their friendship. The second time around, they come to it as different people. Violet has experienced loss, and Amanda has "come out" as bulimic and suicidal.

I take a good long look at her. I know life well enough to know you can't count on things staying around or standing still, no matter how much you want them to. (18.11)

Even when Finch is feeling fine, he knows a change is coming. He tries to make the good moments count.

"This morning, your parents painted a pretty good picture of the you you used to be. That other Violet sounds fun and kind of badass, even if she had horrible taste in music. Now I see someone who's too afraid to get back out there." (16.12)

Violet experiences a lot of shifts in her own personality and behavior after her sister's death. Eventually, these even out, though she's still sad.

"We just weren't sure…we didn't know if we'd ever see you drive again. The accident changed a lot of things and it took a lot of things." (45.4)

Violet's behavior changed pretty dramatically after her sister's death. She wouldn't drive or even ride in a car for nearly a year.

Like that, the smile is gone. "I can't help it. It's what I am. I warned you this would happen." His voice turns cold instead of angry, which is worse because it's like he's stopped feeling. (48.75)

Finch has wild mood swings. Those changes are a symptom of his bipolar disorder, which isn't his fault. Still, he blames himself.

Even when they bring the body up, swollen and bloated and blue, I think: That's not him. That's someone else. This swollen, bloated, blue thing with the dead, dead skin is not anyone I know or recognize. (53.27)

This change in Finch is the hardest one to stomach, both for Violet and for us.

I stand in front of the mirror and study my face. …It is the face of a sad, lonely girl something bad has happened to. I wonder if my face will ever look the same again, or if I'll always see it in my reflection—Finch, Eleanor, loss, heartache, guilt, death. (54.1)

Violet feels fundamentally changed by the deaths of people close to her.

Your hope lies in accepting your life as it now lies before you, forever changed. If you can do that, the peace you seek will follow. Forever changed. I am forever changed. (55.24-55.26)

Violet doesn't feel happy about the changes in her life, or even understand them. She does, however, accept them.