All the Bright Places Summary
Violet Markey is popular, and Theodore Finch is the school freak. These two high school seniors might have never gotten to know each other if it weren't for a crazy coincidence: They almost throw themselves out of a window at exactly the same time.
See, ever since the death of her sister in a car accident, Violet hasn't felt like herself. She doesn't like her old friends, her old hobbies, or her old face—nothing. No one. Most especially herself.
For Finch, suicidal thoughts are a dime a dozen. He thinks about killing himself during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He even writes fun facts about other people's suicides in his journal, Doogie Howser-style.
It's almost funny…except that it's totally not.
We quickly learn that while Finch isn't great at taking care of himself, he's really useful in a crisis. He uses his considerable charm to talk Violet down off the ledge. Then she returns the favor. After that, they embark on a pretty intense romance. (Suicide attempts make you tight like that.) The couple also gets a little nudge from their U.S. Geography teacher, who has instructed pairs of students to go see the sites of Indiana. Guess who Finch chooses as his partner?
Soon enough, Finch and Violet begin to "wander." (That's what they call it, anyway. We think it's not really wandering if you have a plan and a map, but we're not going to be jerks about it.) Together, they see a lot of stuff, including two homemade roller coasters and the highest hill in Indiana. It's all sort of unimpressive, but they're falling in love, so everything seems extra great.
During these outings, Finch acts as a sort of counselor to Violet. He helps her talk about her sister's death (something her parents don't seem capable of), travel by car again (something she's been avoiding for nine months), and write again (same). Just being around him is such an inspiration that Violet decides to start a new web magazine for girls. She's healing, basically.
As Violet improves, Finch's situation gets worse. He has undiagnosed bipolar disorder, so the highs are high…and the lows are low. Like, really, really low. To make things worse, he's got 99 problems (even though Violet ain't one). He's been getting bullied since birth, basically, both by his father (who beats him) and his classmates (who also beat him).
One thing's going great, though, and that's his relationship with Violet. On a warm afternoon, after swimming at the Blue Hole (another "wander"), they end up having sex. Then they accidentally fall asleep…until the next morning. This doesn't exactly endear Finch to Violet's parents. They're totally furious, and they forbid her from seeing Finch.
Now he has 100 problems.
Finch falls into a downward spiral that starts with him moving into his bedroom closet and ends with him getting expelled from school. He still sees Violet—she disobeys her parents and sneaks around—but it's easy to hide his depression from her because they can't hang out that much. Sometimes she wonders if he's just losing interest. She writes it off as normal teenager stuff.
One night Finch takes a bunch of sleeping pills. He changes his mind almost immediately, admitting himself to the ER to get his stomach pumped. Soon after that he attends a suicide support group in a nearby town to try to get help. And who does he run into but Amanda Monk, his high school's resident Mean Girl. Neither of them are all that excited about it.
In an unusual fit of humanity, Amanda tells Violet about Finch's suicide attempt. Now Violet's worried. Eventually, she confronts Finch and they get into a huge fight. She wants to help, but he's not having it.
Violet tries to enlist the help of her parents, but it's too late. Finch runs away from home, but his family doesn't care. No one's looking for him except for Violet, and Finch doesn't want to be found. Secretly, he goes to see the remaining "wanders" for his project with Violet. He even sends her texts about it, but she won't make sense of them until after his death.
Yeah, we figured we might as well go ahead and say it: Finch dies.
Here's how it goes down: One morning, more than a month after he disappears, Finch sends emails to pretty much everyone he knows. They're all some version of goodbye. Panicked, Violet goes through his stuff and figures out he's probably drowned himself at the Blue Hole. She goes there and proves herself right. It's awful.
Life goes on, as it does. Violet decodes Finch's mystery texts, visiting all the places he went by himself in his last days. At the final "wander," she finds a song Finch wrote for her. It helps her feel less guilty about his death, which until now she's pretty much considered her fault.
Violet graduates and continues to work on her magazine even though she's super sad about Finch, her sister, and life in general. It's going to be a while before she feels happy again. Still, by the time the book ends, we have the feeling everything's gonna be all right.
- Meet Finch, who starts each day by asking himself if it's a good day to die. In fact, it's a question that comes up throughout his day.
- At this particular moment Finch is asking himself that question on a high ledge. He's thinking about jumping.
- Finch has been recently "woken up" from what he describes as a long sleep. Sounds like depression.
- Finch gives us his coordinates: He's at his high school, in the bell tower.
- He's shouting down to students on the ground. They aren't paying him much mind. Sounds like this has happened before.
- Suddenly Finch realizes he's not alone. There's a girl on the ledge on the other side of the tower, and presumably she's thinking about jumping, too.
- Finch tells her not to look down. He's trying to keep her calm.
- He realizes the girl is Violet, a cheerleader. He's surprised to see her up here.
- Finch is still talking, inching toward Violet on the ledge.
- The kids on the ground notice that Violet's up there. She's freaking out about it a little.
- Finch shouts (so the crowd can hear) to make it sound as though Violet's there trying to save him…even though she was there to kill herself.
- More quietly, so the crowd can't hear, he tells her to get back over the ledge to safety. His calm words guide her to the ground.
- While he's still on the ledge, Finch contemplates jumping one last time. Now it's Violet's turn to talk him back to safety.
- Finch's friend Charlie has come up to the bell tower. He tells Finch there's pizza in the caf today.
- Finch shouts his thanks to Violet for "saving" him. Also, he notices his guidance counselor on the ground. Busted.
- Violet tells Finch she wasn't trying to kill herself. He knows better. She thanks him and leaves.
- Finch tells us he's on probation this year. He's been in trouble with the school for destroying property a few times. If he messes up, he'll be expelled.
- He's about to meet with his guidance counselor…who's understandably mad about the whole ledge thing.
- The counselor wants to know if that was a serious suicide attempt. Finch laughs it off. He asks the counselor not to call his mom.
- The counselor tells Finch he has to take a drug test and meet with him twice a week. Also he wants to know why Finch was out of school for more than a month.
- Finch had his "mother" (well, his sister posing as his mother) call in an excuse about flu. He wasn't physically ill, though. He was depressed.
- Finch explains to us (not the counselor) that he doesn't really want to die. He's fighting the urge as best he can.
- Finch leaves the counselor's office with a sense of relief.
- Here's Violet, in the office of another guidance counselor, Mrs. Kresney. She's still a bit shaken from being up on that ledge.
- She's hoping that Mrs. Kresney doesn't know about that whole ledge incident, btw.
- Mrs. K asks about Violet's nightmares. Violet's evasive.
- Mrs. K asks about Violet's college applications—a sensitive subject. All of Violet's schools are super far away, and she's no longer applying to NYU, which used to be her dream school.
- Now the counselor wants to know about Violet's website. It was an online magazine she used to write with her sister Eleanor, who died in a car crash. So that's why she's been having such a hard time.
- She feels responsible for her sister's death, though she won't admit it to Mrs. K. Also, she hasn't been in a car since the accident.
- It sounds like Violet's life has changed a lot since her sister's death. She's not a cheerleader anymore and she quit student council.
- Violet leaves the office when Mrs. K's pep talks becomes too much. As she walks to class, people stop her in the hall for "saving" Finch…even though we know it was the reverse.
- She thinks about Finch, who's known for being the school freak. She wonders why he tries to get everyone's attention.
- In class, she removes her prescription glasses, which were her sister's.
- She gets a note from Ryan, her ex. Well, technically they're on a break. He's asking about Finch.
- When the bell rings, she lingers at her desk so she doesn't have to talk to Ryan. She also talks to the teacher about getting out of writing a paper.
- In the hall, Ryan tells Violet she looks pretty. Finch passes her and gives her a nod.
- Finch is walking behind some people in the hall who are talking Violet's supposed heroics.
- He settles into his seat for U.S. Geography. The teacher's talking about the many wonders of the state of Indiana.
- Someone walks into class late and drops her books, making a commotion. Oh, it's Violet.
- Finch dumps all of his own stuff on the floor to take people's eyes off of Violet. He knows she's embarrassed.
- Teach is assigning a project: The kids are supposed to explore Indiana. Finch immediately volunteers himself as Violet's partner.
- Violet tries to get out of the project. The teacher says no way. He's not coddling her.
- Finch realizes that Violet's sister died the year before. He had forgotten that fact until now.
- After class, some dude named Roamer bullies Finch in the hall. Finch struggles against his instinct to fight back.
- Now Finch is hanging out in the parking lot with his friends Charlie and Brenda. He sees Violet and realizes he has a crush on her.
- Back at home, Finch heads up to his room. He plays guitar a little and writes a sort of journal entry on his computer.
- Finch starts looking up Violet. He finds her on Facebook and sends a friend request. He opens an account just for that purpose.
- He also finds Violet's defunct website and a newspaper article about her sister's death.
- Finch goes downstairs and has dinner with his family. He struggles to make conversation with his mom and sister. He feels like his mom doesn't understand his depression.
- He goes back to his computer. Violet accepted his friend request. They start to chat. She seems irritated that he cornered her into doing the class project with him.
Finch's Rules for Wandering
- Finch has made a list of rules for wandering, which is how he refers to his class project with Violet.
- One of the rules is they can't use their phones. Paper maps only. Another is they alternate choosing places to go.
- The final rule is that they leave something behind to show they were there. Simple enough, right?
- Violet's heading over to her friend Amanda's house. It's supposed to be a girls-only sleepover, but it's actually a huge party. Everyone's drinking beer and being obnoxious.
- Amanda asks Violet about the Finch rescue thing. Violet clearly doesn't want to be at this party.
- Now everyone's questioning Violet about the incident. She lies to cover the truth.
- Violet is really, really, really not enjoying the party. She decides to leave, telling Amanda she doesn't feel well.
- Turns out this is her first party since Eleanor died. The sisters had gone to a party together before the car crash.
- Outside, Violet throws up. Then she runs into Ryan, her ex.
- Ryan tries to kiss her. She turns her head. Ouch.
- Turns out the first time she kissed Ryan was in April…at a party…the night her sister died. That explains a lot about this Ryan situation.
- Ryan tries to convince Violet to go back to the party, but she's not having it. She runs home.
- Violet goes home and tells her parents about the party. She's irritated because she only went for their sake. She goes to her room to read.
- On Facebook, Finch has posted a video of him singing a song. At the end, he asks Violet to confirm that she's alive.
- She's mortified, but Finch explains that no one else can see the vid. Whew.
- Somehow Finch invites himself over to Violet's house. She immediately regrets telling him he can come.
- Finch is in his mom's car, speeding like crazy to get over to Violet's. He seems really manic.
- He arrives at Violet's house. She seems nervous that someone will see him; Amanda's party is just a few streets away.
- They're walking together, and Finch is asking questions. He wants to know why she wanted to kill herself.
- Violet admits that it was Eleanor's birthday. Also she thinks life is futile because everyone dies.
- It's Violet's turn to ask questions. She wants to know why Finch is known as "Theodore Freak." He doesn't have a good answer, at least one that he can tell her.
- Finch is flirting, but Violet's ready to go to bed. He asks her one last question: How did she get up to the bell tower when the door was locked? She says she picked it, and he's impressed.
- Finch goes home and decides to go for a run. He's reflecting on how he's always bullied and his fear of sinking into another depression.
- Now Finch is running past the place where Violet and her sister had the car accident. He finds a license plate and takes it with him.
- Violet's sitting at her computer, studying an email about the website she shared with her sister. It's about to expire.
- Violet decides not to renew. What's the point? Eleanor's dead.
- Finch and his sisters are on their way to see their father, who they have dinner with once a week.
- He's not exactly excited about this dinner. It'll be his first time visiting his father at his new home…with his new family.
- The new family consists of Rosemarie, who's super young, and her son, Josh Raymond. Finch wonders if Josh Raymond is secretly his real brother.
- Finch's dad doesn't know anything about his life, including his depression. His sister covered for him.
- Finch is making comments to irritate his father. It's working. Finch isn't enjoying himself at all.
- At dinner, he announces he's a vegetarian. Finch's dad is not amused.
- Back at home, Finch notices that his mom has been drinking. He's extra nice to her.
- In the kitchen, Finch talks with his sister, Kate. She's clearly the caretaker in the family, unlike his mom.
- Finch goes up to his room and types up another journal entry about suicide. It's not about his personal suicide; it's more like fun facts about other people's.
- Finch goes and takes some sleeping pills from the medicine cabinet. He lines them up on his desk just to have them there.
- He sends Violet a message in which he quotes Virginia Woolf's suicide note. She notices the reference and sends him a quote in return.
- Finch is impressed. He scours the Internet for more Woolf quotes and big-time flirts.
- Violet ignores the flirting and talks about their school project. She says they have to take bikes everywhere. No driving.
- Finch flushes his sleeping pills down the toilet. Then he reads every single post on Violet's old website.
- Violet's at school. Her high school evidently has a tabloid and the front-page story is Violet's "rescue" of Finch.
- She's upset, but instead of doing anything about it she cuts class and reads a book in the bell tower instead.
- Finch has decided to give himself a makeover. He's at the Goodwill with his friends Charlie and Brenda.
- Apparently Brenda made out with bro nightmare person Roamer at Amanda's party.
- Brenda wonders what Finch's shopping for. Basically he wants a look that will impress Violet.
- Finch finds a leather jacket he likes. His new look is complete.
- Back at school, Finch is trying on an English accent for size. Oh, Finch.
- He's feeling pretty full of himself until it's time for U.S. Geography, his class with Violet. He feels deflated when he sees Ryan Cross talking to her.
- After class, Finch approaches Violet and tells her it's time they start looking around the state for their project. They decide the first stop will be Hoosier Hill.
- Finch wants to leave right that second, which would mean cutting school. They agree to meet up after school.
- Violet is looking for Finch in the parking lot. He's having a hot James Dean moment lounging by his car.
- Finch tells her he needs to grab his bike at home. She'll follow his car on her own bike.
- The kids go inside to drop off Violet's stuff. Outside, on their bikes, Violet notices that Finch has a huge scar across his stomach. Hmm, interesting.
- Riding with Finch to Hoosier Hill, Violet feels normal for the first time in a long time.
- At Hoosier Hill, Finch talks to the locals in a fake Australian accent. Oh, Finch.
- Finch grabs Violet's hand to help her up the hill and she feels a little jolt. It's official folks: Our girl has a crush.
- She's pretty cranky about it, too. She snatches her hand back and tries to get to work on the project.
- Finch convinces her to be in the moment. The clasp hands again and jump off the hill (for fun, not to kill themselves).
- Finch asks Violet to take some notes for the project. She has had writer's block since her sister's death, but she jots down a few things anyway. Finch marks their next destinations on a map.
- Back at Finch's house, Violet sends him in to get her bag.
- Violet goes home for dinner. Her dad has cooked an elaborate supper.
- Her parents are very interested in this school project, and the boy who is her partner. They seem excited.
- Finch sends Violet a Facebook message. She ignores it, even though she wants to write back.
- Finch is having dinner with his fam. He excitedly reports on his day.
- He offers to do the dishes. He's trying to be kind to his mom because she's sad.
- It's raining, so Finch decides to take a bath instead of going for a run.
- In the bath, he thinks about Virginia Woolf's suicide by drowning and holds his breath for a long time. Yikes.
- Everyone's buzzing about the school tabloid, which has published a list of the top 10 Most Suicidal Students. Charming.
- During U.S. Geography, Ryan slips Violet a note about going on a date. She says maybe.
- Finch stumbles into class late, making a big scene. He sets a rock on Violet's desk. It says, "Your turn."
- After class, Ryan walks Violet to Spanish. He wants to get back together, in case she hasn't noticed. She's skeptical.
- Back at home, Violet's parents ask about the bell tower incident. A local journalist called the house looking for an interview.
- Violet's mom mentions a family trip to New York for spring break. Violet agrees even though she's not into it.
- After a bad nightmare, Violet signs into Facebook and she and Finch start messaging each other.
- He sends a message about coming over. Violet's not exactly pleased about it.
- Finch is throwing rocks at Violet's window, but she's not acknowledging. He drives back home.
- He makes a list about things he can do to "stay awake"—that is, not become depressed again. It includes running, running, and Violet.
- It's morning. Violet goes outside and finds Finch lying in the yard.
- They ride bikes to school. Finch asks Violet about the accident.
- To avoid talking about it, she asks Finch about his stomach scar. He says a guitarist attacked him during a show.
- When they reach school, Finch takes off in the other direction. Guess he's not going to class today.
- It's the weekend now, and Violet's on the phone with that reporter. It doesn't go well.
- Oh, Ryan's here. Looks like they're going on that date after all.
- They arrive at the drive-in(!) and hop into a car with Amanda and Roamer. Violet's already having a terrible time.
- Ugh, Amanda and Roamer are making out. Violet's vaguely appalled…and thinking about Finch.
- Ryan kisses Violet, and she kisses him back, at least for a minute. Then she flashes back to the time she went to the drive-in with Ryan and his brother and her sister.
- Violet says she has to get home. When Ryan tries to kiss her goodnight, she turns her head.
- It's morning and Finch's at Violet's house again. He's eating breakfast with her parents.
- They set off for their wandering. Finch wants to drive, but Violet's resistant.
- Finch's pushy and finally Violet gets into the car. He drives really slowly.
- Violet tells Finch about the accident, and about Eleanor. She was Violet's best friend.
- They've reached their destination, a place called Bookmobile Park. Appropriately, it's filled with bookmobiles.
- They talk to the couple that runs the bookmobiles. Finch is really impressed. They buy some books and Finch leaves the owner extra money.
- Finch takes off running toward the car. Violet beats him to it.
- In the car, Finch tells Violet to take some notes.
- On the way home, Finch makes an extra stop. It's an abandoned building where people write (in chalk) about what they want to do before they die.
- They each write a bunch of things they want to do. One of Finch's is kissing Violet.
- Violet has a secret: She wants to kiss him, too.
- On the way home, Finch makes another extra stop at some club. They watch a band and Violet seems to have a good time.
- On the way home, Violet and Finch talk about epitaphs. Violet's not sure what hers would be.
- She asks Finch what he did when he skipped school the other day. He says he had a headache.
- At home, Finch checks the family's voicemail. There's a message from his guidance counselor, which he deletes.
- He thinks about hanging himself for a while.
- He thinks about his depressive episodes. Sometimes he can feel them coming on. The signs are headaches and sensitivities to sound and space.
- He's tried to tell people about it before but they thought he was nuts. Now he doesn't really talk about it.
- One time he asked a pal to jump in front of a train with him. That's where the "Theodore Freak" nickname originated.
- All his life Finch has tried to be normal, but it just hasn't been in the cards. He rearranges the furniture in his room to make himself feel better.
- At his meeting with the counselor, Finch talks about Violet. The counselor wants to talk about the tabloid article. Finch acknowledges to himself that it bugged him.
- The counselor wants him to be careful about Violet. Finch resents his comments.
- Change of subject. The counselor brings up the SATs, which Finch scored really well on.
- Meeting's over. They'll talk again Friday.
- The rest of the day at school, Finch walks Violet to every class. They get detention because they're both late. Violet's mad.
- It's 2:00 in the morning and Finch is throwing rocks at Violet's window again. She's still irritated about the whole detention thing.
- She goes outside. Finch wants to take her somewhere, and she reluctantly agrees.
- They're downtown. Finch is taking them to the bookstore where his mom works. He has the keys.
- They eat muffins and read Dr. Seuss books to each other. Seems like they're having a cute moment.
- They leave the bookstore and climb up into the water tower. They leave a Tupperware full of treasures and Finch shouts things off the ledge like a crazy person.
- Finch takes her home. He doesn't kiss Violet goodnight, even though she wishes he would.
- Dinner at Finch's dad's house. Something seems off. Apparently Finch's dad's in a black mood.
- Finch goes downstairs to the basement to tell his dad dinner's ready. His dad seems super angry.
- Finch sasses his dad, who starts to beat him up. Finch escapes up the stairs.
- After dinner, Finch goes home and tries to calm himself. He wants to kill his father, who's abused him and his mother for years.
- As the car idles in the garage, he thinks about killing himself. He doesn't, though.
- He heads for Mudlavia, which is supposed to have a healing spring. It's pretty far. When he gets there, he lies in the spring.
- Back at home, he runs into his sister Kate. She asks him about Violet and tells him to be careful.
- Finch goes to his little sister's room. She's upset about the dinner at their dad's.
- Decca (his sister) is cutting all the mean parts and unpleasant words out of a pile of books. Seems like maybe she's not doing so hot.
- Finch goes to his room and feels like something there is different.
- He takes a shower. Afterwards he doesn't recognize himself in the mirror. These don't seem like particularly good signs, do they?
- Violet's writing up some notes about her wanderings with Finch.
- Inspiration strikes and she uses post-its to make some notes for a future web magazine. Well, look at that: She's writing again.
- She sends Finch a message but he doesn't reply.
- Finch's having trouble concentrating and reading. He decides to paint his room blue.
- His walls are red, so it takes a few days and many, many coats of paint. When he's finished, Finch feels better.
- He messages Violet at the end of three days. He's thinking about her.
- Finch hasn't been at school for a week now. Rumors are spreading like wildfire.
- Violet seeks out Charlie to ask what's up. Charlie says that's just how Finch is.
- The next day he's back at school, sporting a new look.
- A fire alarm goes off when Violet's in calculus. Finch tells her to meet him in the parking lot.
- Together, they run down to the river. Finch wants to show Violet something. Oh cool, it's a hooded crane.
- Finch strips down, having lost a bet with Violet about keeping quiet. He gets into the water naked.
- Violet watches him swim. She admires his skill and then sits on a rock to write.
- She asks Finch where he's been. He says he was remodeling. He gets out of the water and gets dressed.
- Uh-oh, here comes trouble. It's Ryan, Roamer, and some guy named Joe. Ryan says they saw Violet running and came to check up on her.
- Finch and Roamer start to fight. Then they start to fistfight. At first Finch just tries to defend himself, but then he practically drowns Roamer.
- Finch stomps off. He's mad. Violet decides not to go back to school, either. She goes to Finch's place instead.
- Violet goes up to his room, but the door's locked. She decides not to pick the lock.
- Finch watches Violet from the window. Then he takes a shower. He tries to read, but he can't concentrate.
- He thinks about calling the guidance counselor at school, but he doesn't. He doesn't tell his mom because he knows she won't understand.
- He remembers a time when a cardinal fell into the living room window and died. It's not a happy thought.
- Finch goes for a run, then he comes home and paints his bedroom ceiling. Finch is officially not doing so hot.
- Violet's having dinner with her parents. The principal has informed them of her absence from school.
- She tries to tell them about the river, but they don't get it. She stomps off to her room, furious.
- Violet's mother comes to her room. She asks what's going on with Violet's old website. Violet says it's dead.
- She sees Violet's inspiration board, the place where she posted the notes about her new ideas. Together, they sketch out some ideas for a new magazine.
- After about two hours, they stop. Violet's feeling pretty good about the project.
- Violet looks at the calendar and feels a sense of panic about graduation. She takes it down and stuffs it in her closet.
- She goes into Eleanor's room. She puts the glasses down on the dresser. She doesn't plan to wear them anymore.
- The next morning, Finch is having breakfast with her parents. He's clearly won them over even though they were mad about the cutting school thing.
- They spend the rest of breakfast talking about plans for the future and their school project.
- Finch and Violet are wandering again. This time they're visiting some guy who's built two roller coasters in his backyard.
- Finch rides the roller coaster first. He loves it, so he rides it like a million more times.
- Violet's turn. She's having a great time, too.
- As they leave, Violet wonders if it's their last wandering. Finch says no way. They get in the car to go home.
- Suddenly, Finch pulls over at an exit. He parks and then kisses Violet. She kisses him back.
- Now they're in the back seat stripping. Suddenly, Finch realizes that she's a virgin. He decides they should go home. For now.
- Back at home, Finch writes a journal entry and goes running. He seems really manic, but happy.
- Finch is in the gym talking to his pal Charlie. Charlie wants to know if he's "hit that," meaning had sex with Violet. What a charmer.
- Back in the locker room, Roamer confronts Finch. He's still mad about that almost-drowning thing.
- Roamer beats on Finch a lot. Finch doesn't fight back. He doesn't want to get expelled.
- The coach interrupts and marches off with Roamer, who's in trouble.
- Back at his locker, Finch finds his rock—the one he gave to Violet earlier. She picked the lock and left it for him, it seems.
- The chapter concludes as he walks away chatting with Brenda. He's thinking about Violet the whole time.
- Violet's back with her guidance counselor. Violet reports that she's been writing and riding in cars.
- After Russian Lit, Ryan corners Violet for a talk. He wants her to know he's asked out Suze. Violet's fine with it.
- Ryan tells her about Roamer and Finch's fight. Violet's worried.
- In the lunchroom, Violet walks right past her usual table so she can sit with Brenda and some other girls.
- Violet and Finch are still wandering. Also, they're making out quite a bit. Violet's been thinking about having sex with him and also working on her new website.
- On Saturday, when they're driving around, Violet asks him what happened with Roamer. Finch is evasive.
- More and more Violet is thinking about "someday"—meaning the day that she and Finch will have sex.
- On Sunday morning, V's mom says someone left her a package on the doorstep. It's from Finch, of course, and it contains…goggles? Okay.
- She messages Finch to ask what's up with the goggles. He says she'll use them on the first warm day.
- Finch and Violet have been making stops around Indiana for their project. Finally, the first warm day arrives.
- Finch takes her to the Blue Hole, a huge lake that is supposedly bottomless. Lots of myths surround this river.
- Violet strips down to her underwear. After a minute or two they jump in together.
- They dive to the bottom. Violet is impressed with how long Finch can hold his breath.
- They float around in the lake and talk about life. Finch talks about his father a bit.
- Finch dives down into the lake. He keeps going even when his lungs strain for air.
- By the time he goes back to the surface, he really needs air. He makes it. Barely. And Violet's crying on the bank.
- Finch is going into guidance counselor mode, telling her to get it all out. He thinks this is more about her dead sister than him.
- Violet admits that she's angry. She doesn't know what to do with it.
- Finch encourages her to throw rocks at a wall. It seems to help a little.
- They start to kiss, then Finch breaks away. He's afraid he'll let her down.
- Violet chooses this moment to ask about the scar on his stomach. He admits that his dad abused him.
- When Finch tells her he'll never be Ryan Cross, she tells him that Ryan is a kleptomaniac. Interesting.
- They kiss more and Finch says he thinks he loves Violet.
- Finch and Violet head back to his place to warm up. No one's there.
- They go upstairs and shower separately. Then they have sex.
- Violet and Finch are lying in bed. She's thinking about heading home.
- Instead, Finch drives her downtown, where they climb the Purina Tower.
- Finch tells her a story about a famous TV astronomer who played a big April Fool's Day prank on his viewers.
- Violet wakes up. She realizes it's morning and freaks out big time.
- Violet calls her parents, who are also freaking out. Finch drives her home.
- Her parents are not pleased, to say the least. Also, they've had a talk with Finch's parents. They don't like what they've heard. What they've heard includes the bell tower, by the way. They know that Violet "saved" Finch.
- They don't want her to see Finch anymore. Uh-oh.
- From her room, Violet panics about her situation. She doesn't think her parents will ever let her see Finch again.
- Oh no, here's Finch's dad. He bursts into Finch's house and starts to beat him.
- Finch grabs his father's hand and says he can never hit him again. He means business.
- From his room, he messages with Violet. They're not sorry about what happened. Finch says he'll convince her parents to chill.
- The next morning he goes to see them. It doesn't go well. In fact, they won't even let him in the house.
- Back at home, he messages with Violet. He's feeling panicked about not being able to see her.
- Finch has moved into his closet, by which we mean he sleeps there now. Yikes.
- He thinks about quicksand, and how the trick to surviving it is to stay still. He writes a list about surviving his own "quicksand"—that is, his depression.
- Back at school, Violet wonders if everyone will know she slept with Finch. No one notices except for Brenda.
- Violet asks Brenda if she'll be part of her new web magazine. Brenda says yes.
- In U.S. Geography class, V thinks that Finch looks tired. She makes out with him to cheer him up.
- Violet works on her new magazine to cheer herself up. She sends out a mass email asking people to join.
- That weekend, V tells her parents that she's going to a friend's house. Instead she goes to see Finch.
- They have a great time together, but Violet worries that Finch seems different somehow.
- It's spring break, and Violet's in New York with her parents. They're all sad about her going to college someday.
- Back in her hotel room, Violet sends Finch a message. She's been thinking about him a lot, wondering if they'll stay together when she goes to college.
- Also, he hasn't been answering her messages for the last few days. Hmm.
- It's Sunday morning and Finch spends the morning playing outside with his little sister. Neither of them is looking forward to dinner at their father's house later that night.
- At his dad's, Finch passes Josh Raymond's room. For a brief moment he's jealous of all the kid's toys.
- Finch spots a couple of toys that used to be his. He and Josh Raymond bond over them a bit.
- Out in the living room, Finch's dad tells him he should bring Violet by the house. Yeah right.
- Finch leaves, walks home, and gets into his car. Then he drives around randomly for a long time.
- Eventually, he abandons his car and starts running. It seems like he's having some sort of episode.
- He comes upon a greenhouse attached to a farm. He bangs on the door, desperate to pick up some flowers.
- The old couple that owns the greenhouse is super nice. Finch gets his flowers and gets a ride back to his car.
- Finch drives to Violet's to give her the flowers. She loves them.
- He drives home and sits outside his house for a while, thinking of Violet.
- At school, Finch is having a hard time concentrating.
- He makes a mental checklist of everything he has going for him. Somehow it doesn't seem like enough. He's really feeling terrible.
- After class, he goes to his appointment with the guidance counselor. Finch opens up about his bad relationship with his father.
- Whoops, he forgot he had told the counselor his father was dead. Finch tries to cover for himself but it's too late.
- Oh dear, now Finch is reciting the suicide note of a Russian poet. Understandably, the counselor is alarmed.
- The counselor asks if he's feeling suicidal. Finch tries to cover for himself. He doesn't do a great job.
- His counselor mentions bipolar disorder. Finch doesn't like the sound of it. He knows that people with mental illness are stigmatized. The counselor seems super worried about Finch.
- The next day, Finch gets in a fistfight with Roamer. Not good.
- Violet gets a call from Finch. He wants to go on a road trip, even though it's the middle of a school day.
- Violet's resistant, suggesting a closer place instead. Finch gets mad and hangs up on her.
- Violet's miffed. What's going on?
- Finch went by himself on that road trip. His destination was a landmark that's no longer there.
- He goes home and goes to sleep in his closet. He's really worried about the depression that's pressing down on him.
- The next day he checks his voicemail. The counselor left a message for his mom. Finch deletes it.
- After dinner, he takes a bunch of his mom's sleeping pills. After a while he tries to make himself throw up, but it doesn't really work.
- He runs to the hospital even though the pills are starting to kick in. He tells them about the pills.
- He blacks out at the hospital. When he wakes up, everything seems to be fine. He leaves and walks home.
- Finch has traveled to a nearby town. He's attending a support group meeting for kids who feel suicidal.
- He's been avoiding Violet, by the way. He doesn't want her to know.
- Finch is feeling pretty down about the meeting. He wishes he hadn't come.
- As they go around the circle introducing themselves, a latecomer walks into the meeting. Wait a second—it's Amanda, Violet's old friend. The one who's always so mean to Finch.
- Amanda is using an alias: Rachel. She's not too excited to see Finch, by the way.
- Amanda says she's bulimic and has tried to kill herself twice. Wow.
- The meeting is super depressing. Finch thinks all the other kids are letting themselves be defined by their mental illnesses.
- In the parking lot, Finch tells Amanda her secret is safe with him.
- Violet hasn't heard from Finch in three days. She borrows her mom's car—a big deal, because of her no-driving thing—and goes to his place to check in.
- Finch's mom answers the door. It's clear she has no idea that Finch has been expelled.
- Finch answers his bedroom door in his pajamas. Violet's alarmed to see that his room has been stripped of all Finch's stuff. What's going on with him?
- So Finch is doing this thing where he puts post-its with positive messages on the wall and negative messages in a pile on the floor.
- They do this message thing for some time—first with regular words, then with sexy stuff. Annnnd now they're having sex.
- Oh lord, Finch is telling that story about the dead bird again. That's when his depression started, apparently.
- Violet suddenly realizes that Finch is living in his closet. She becomes concerned.
- Over dinner with her parents, Violet wonders what they'd think if they knew she had sex with a boy who lives in a closet. Well, when you put it that way…
- Update: Finch is not doing well. More on this story as it develops.
- At school, Amanda tells Violet about seeing Finch at the suicide support group. She felt like Violet should know.
- She goes to Finch's right after school, but no one answers the door.
- At home, she messages him. Finch tells her that tomorrow's his birthday and invites her over for dinner.
- Violet's knocking on Finch's bedroom door. He answers it in a suit(!).
- Finch has really done up his closet home for this occasion. He painted the walls and ceiling to make it look like outer space.
- He's also brought in Chinese food. This is pretty good for a closet party.
- Violet's having an amazing time, but she also feels oppressed by all the things that she and Finch aren't saying to each other.
- Violet starts to cry. She's so worried about Finch. She tells him what Amanda said about seeing him at suicide group.
- They begin to fight. Finch is resentful that Violet's life is so easy, and Violet is resentful that he thinks her life is easy.
- Violet storms out of the closet, furious.
- At home, she tells her parents about everything, including her suicidal thoughts and her relationship with Finch. She wants them to find a way to help Finch even though she knows this info will get her in trouble.
- Her parents jump into action, leaving a voicemail for Finch's mom and calling a psychiatrist friend. They want to help even though they're disappointed in Violet.
- Violet goes to her room. Eventually, she falls into an uneasy sleep. She dreams that Finch is throwing rocks at her window…or is it a dream? She's not sure.
- Over the next few days, Violet obsesses over Finch, who doesn't contact her. She also works on her new magazine and school stuff.
- At school, Ryan asks Violet about college. He also asks her to go to a party.
- In U.S. Geography, the teacher asks Violet how her project's going. Violet tries to text Finch again.
- A few days later, she goes to Finch's house. His little sister answers the door. Finch isn't home. Violet's more worried than ever.
- Finch is feeling melancholy and thinking about Violet. It's almost as though he's thinking about his life in the past tense. That can't be good, right?
- Violet's been getting mysterious texts from Finch. He still won't say where he is.
- Her parents have been in touch with Finch's mom, who has been talking to Finch once a week. She doesn't seem too worried about him, to be honest.
- Meanwhile, Violet's been working on her magazine and getting word from the colleges she applied to. UCLA is a yes.
- Violet's getting mad at Finch, who texts her sometimes but is generally unresponsive. Eventually she stops hearing from him altogether.
- On the one-year anniversary of Eleanor's death, Violet and her parents go to the site of the accident. Violet sees that someone has planted a little garden there, and she knows that it must have been Finch.
- Back at home, Violet thinks about her magazine. She thinks of a slogan for it: You start here.
- She still hasn't heard from Finch. By now, Violet's furious. She's also trying to move on.
- Still, she has to finish their class project. Violet sets off to wander on her own.
- Later in the month, Ryan asks her on a date. Violet agrees, but only if they go as friends.
- Despite what she said, Violet kisses Ryan at the end of the night. Then, on Saturday, she hangs out with Amanda. Is she becoming her old self again?
- She's also becoming closer with Brenda. They're working on the magazine together. Sounds like it's coming together.
- Kate shows up on Violet's doorstop wanting to know if she's seen Finch. Violet hasn't.
- Bad news: Finch missed his weekly check-in. Kate is super worried.
- Adding to her worry: Kate received a weird email from Finch. It sounds like a goodbye.
- After Kate leaves, Violet checks her Facebook. There's a message from Finch. It sort of sounds like a goodbye, too.
- She calls Brenda. Brenda has also received a weird goodbye message. So did Charlie.
- Violet goes over to Finch's house. His whole family is there.
- Violet fills Kate in on the goodbye emails that she and Brenda and Charlie received.
- Violet goes upstairs to check out Finch's room. She finds a clue: some Post-its she hadn't noticed before.
- She tells Finch's mom that she thinks Finch went to one of the places where they wandered for their school project. A place with water.
- Finch's mom doesn't want to go look for him. She asks Violet to go.
- Violet's on her way to wherever she thinks Finch is. An eerie sense of calm has come over her.
- She thinks he'll be at the place where they went swimming together, and she's right. Look, there's Finch's car.
- At the water, she sees his clothes stacked on the bank. Not a good sign.
- Violet dives in to search for Finch. After a while, she realizes he must be gone. She keeps looking.
- When she's too tired to look anymore, she crawls out and calls the sheriff's department.
- Now four men are diving to look for the body. Eventually they find it. Finch is really dead.
- Violet calls his mom. It's awful.
- Violet's getting ready for the funeral. She looks at herself in the mirror and wonders if people know how sad she feels.
- Her parents have been worried about her. Fair enough.
- At the funeral, Violet notices how everyone is crying. Even people like Amanda. Their hypocrisy makes Violet angry.
- Violet's angry about a lot of things, actually. No one is acknowledging that Finch's death was a suicide. She's also mad at Finch for leaving her behind.
- At dinner that night, Violet's parents talk about how much they dislike Finch's parents. They're to blame.
- Violet goes up to her room and thinks about Finch. She feels guilty about his death.
- Back at school, everyone's making a big stink about Finch's death. This angers Violet, but mostly she just feels empty inside.
- Violet's required to meet with a counselor. She chooses Mr. Embry, who was Finch's counselor. She wonders if he'll blame her as much as she blames herself.
- News flash: Mr. Embry doesn't blame Violet. He feels responsible, but he knows it wasn't his fault. Maybe Violet feels the same way.
- He tells her she's going to have to work to survive what happened. Mr. Embry acknowledges it was suicide, by the way.
- At home, Violet reads a pamphlet the counselor gave her. It says she's forever changed. This resonates with Violet.
- Violet's having another strained dinner with her parents. They're talking about college.
- Another day, at school, the students are shown a film about teens and drugs at a school assembly. Violet leaves and throws up in a trashcan outside the auditorium.
- Amanda is sitting nearby. Violet asks her about suicide. Amanda tries to explain the thoughts that lead up to it.
- Violet's in U.S. Geography, where class projects will soon be due. After class, the teacher tells her not to worry about turning hers in. Violet says she'll do it anyway.
- That night, she reads through all her old Facebook messages with Finch.
- She writes a sort of letter to Finch asking why she couldn't save him. It's sad. Then she gets out their "wandering" map and decides to go to the last few stops.
- Violet's on a wandering. She's at a landmark where people throw shoes over tree branches. Yes, you read that correctly.
- Violet has brought two pairs of shoes. One is hers; the other was Eleanor's.
- On her way back to the car she spots a pair of Finch's shoes. He was here, then.
- She goes back to the mysterious text messages he sent her before he died. There was one about trees. A-ha! Now she wants to decode his other messages.
- Next stop: the world's biggest ball of paint. Violet wants to see if Finch has left her a message.
- He hasn't. Apparently the ball is painted over each time someone visits.
- On her way out, the…paint ball keeper?...asks Violet to sign his guest book. She sees that Finch signed it with a Dr. Seuss quote. She adds one of her own.
- Back at home, Violet confronts her parents. She's tired of the silence that surrounds all the death in her life. She wants them to speak of it more openly.
- The three of them hug and cry. It's super sad.
- Violet's wandering again. Next stop: an old drive-in movie theater. Violet walks around the old screen and sees graffiti that Finch wrote when he was alive. It says I was here.
- Violet adds her own graffiti to say that she was here, too. She takes a photo to remember the moment.
- Now Violet's visiting a monastery. She's there to look at the shrines, which are these little manmade caves.
- In one of them Violet finds the rock that she and Finch used to exchange. She takes it and leaves one of Eleanor's rings in its place.
- That night, Violet meets Brenda and Charlie and a few other friends at Purina Tower. It's like a little memorial service. They play music and remember Finch.
- Back at home, Violet consults her map. Just one more wandering to go.
- Violet feels heavy and sad driving to the last wandering. She's not exactly sure what she's looking for. She walks around downtown looking for someone to consult.
- Finally, she stops at a gas station, then a dollar store. Eventually someone directs her to a lake that corresponds with one of Finch's mysterious texts.
- Violet finds what she's looking for. Turns out it's a prayer chapel created as a sanctuary for weary travelers. Violet can relate to that.
- She finds a note from Finch tucked in a Bible. She expects to find an angry note that accuses her of never being there for him.
- Instead, she finds a note. Well, it's a song, actually—a song about how much he loves Violet. She sits down and has a long cry.
- Back at home, she takes the sheet music and plays it on her flute. It comforts her.
- Violet's at the Blue Hole—the place where she went swimming with Finch (and the place where he died).
- She swims, thinking of Finch. She also thinks about her own future. She feels its possibility.