All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places

by

Jennifer Niven

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on All the Bright Places can help.
Ryan Cross is the most popular senior boy at Violet and Finch’s school and. Up until a month or so before the novel begins, he was Violet’s boyfriend. Violet describes Ryan as stable, reliable, and all-around perfect, and Finch agrees with this. However, Violet also shares that Ryan isn’t actually perfect: he’s a “kleptomaniac,” compulsively stealing all sorts of items (even things he doesn’t really want). Violet breaks up with him in part because he’s unable to effectively support her in her grief, and Ryan spends much of the novel trying to get back together with her. Though they date briefly while Finch is missing, Violet breaks things off for good after Finch dies. However, the two remain friends, and Ryan joins Violet and a group of classmates on the top of the Purina Tower to honor Finch’s memory.
Get the entire All the Bright Places LitChart as a printable PDF.
All the Bright Places PDF

Ryan Cross Character Timeline in All the Bright Places

The timeline below shows where the character Ryan Cross appears in All the Bright Places. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Finch: I am awake again. Day 6.
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...looks prettier. The girl’s name is Violet, and she’s extremely popular; she dates people like Ryan Cross and hangs out with Amanda Monk, a “queen bee.” She’s not the sort of... (full context)
2. Violet: 154 days till graduation
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
The girl behind Violet passes her a note. It’s from Ryan Cross, the best-looking boy in school who was Violet’s boyfriend until last month. The note... (full context)
3. Finch: Day 6 (still) of being awake
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
When class ends, Roamer—surrounded by Amanda and Ryan—blocks Finch’s way. He accuses Finch of looking at him (they’ve been “sworn enemies” since middle... (full context)
5. Violet: 153 days till graduation
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...all the memories back. As Violet picks herself up from vomiting, she runs right into Ryan. He’s perfect—unlike Violet. Violet wonders what he’d do if he knew Finch saved her, not... (full context)
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...sit with them and talk about it. Violet thinks that her parents are perfect, like Ryan; they’re involved and supportive, but Violet is too upset to humor them. She heads upstairs... (full context)
10. Finch: Day 9
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...Violet’s sister died. At this, Brenda looks thoughtful and suggests that Finch dress more like Ryan Cross, which would mean a trip to Old Navy. Finch decides that his new self... (full context)
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Language, Meaning, and Control Theme Icon
...girlfriend. Walking to class afterwards, Finch almost believes in the story. But when he sees Ryan Cross smiling and talking to Violet in U.S. Geography, Finch comes back down to earth.... (full context)
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...class, Finch comes up right behind Violet. In his new persona, he’s not afraid of Ryan Cross or Roamer. He says in his normal voice that it’s time to start wandering.... (full context)
13. Violet: 148 days till graduation
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...paper, but nobody is paying any attention. To distract herself from the articles, Violet asks Ryan about his Indiana project. Amanda is the only other person in class ignoring her phone,... (full context)
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Fortunately, the bell rings, and Mr. Black calls the class to attention. Ryan slips Violet a note asking her to the drive-in on Saturday as Mr. Black writes... (full context)
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
When class ends, Finch slips out before Violet can talk to him. Ryan walks Violet to Spanish class and jealously asks if the rock is a thank-you for... (full context)
15. Violet: 147-146 days till freedom
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Language, Meaning, and Control Theme Icon
...asks where they’re going wandering tomorrow, but Violet thinks about her invitation to go with Ryan to the drive-in. She says she’s not free tomorrow. After riding for a bit in... (full context)
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...closure since she could save Finch but not Eleanor, Violet hangs up. She’s seething when Ryan shows up. They walk to the drive-in, find Amanda and Roamer, and climb into Roamer’s... (full context)
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...seat. Violet tries not to listen to their slurping sounds. She tries to talk to Ryan, but he tries to put his hand up her shirt. Unwilling to have sex in... (full context)
18. Finch: Day 15 (still)
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
...He tells himself it’s his own fault that he can’t be normal, like Roamer or Ryan. Finch stands on a chair, imagining the Asleep coming. He decides that his room is... (full context)
24. Violet: 135, 134, 133 days to go
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...river, dresses, and starts to tell Violet what they should do next. But then, Roamer, Ryan, and another boy come down the embankment. Ryan says that they came to check on... (full context)
28. Finch: Day 28
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...away, Finch realizes that she’s a virgin. He can’t believe she never had sex with Ryan Cross of all people, and he tells her, “someday.” (full context)
30. Violet: February 2
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...class, Violet writes down an assignment for a five-page paper like everyone else. After class, Ryan walks with Violet and tells her that he asked Suze out. Violet considers telling Ryan... (full context)
32. Finch: The first warm day
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
...of the way. He says he can’t promise Violet perfect days, and he’ll never be Ryan Cross. Violet says she doesn’t want Ryan, kisses Finch again, and then says Ryan is... (full context)
48. Violet: March 21 and beyond
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
Ryan finds Violet in the hallway at school on Monday and asks if she’s heard from... (full context)
51. Violet: April
Individuality and Identity Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Ryan and Suze break up, and Ryan asks Violet out. They go to dinner at a... (full context)
54. Violet: May 3
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
...in town. Violet remembers that Finch wanted to be cremated. Everyone is crying, including Amanda, Ryan, and Roamer. Violet stands next to Brenda and Charlie, and her parents are nearby. Brenda... (full context)
55. Violet: May—weeks 1, 2, and 3
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Language, Meaning, and Control Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
...these days; she cries when she’s not feeling empty, and she breaks things off with Ryan. Nobody wants to be around Violet—they seem to be afraid that she’s contagious. Violet sits... (full context)
57. Violet: Remaining wanderings 3 and 4
Community, Support, and Trust Theme Icon
Language, Meaning, and Control Theme Icon
Grief, Trauma, Purpose, and Survivorship Theme Icon
Later that night, Violet meets Brenda, Charlie, Ryan, and Amanda at the Purina Tower. At the top, they light candles and talk about... (full context)