All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places

by

Jennifer Niven

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Theodore Finch Character Analysis

Seventeen-year-old Finch is one of the novel’s protagonists and is Violet’s love interest. He lives with his mom and his sisters Kate and Decca. Finch is tall and handsome—but despite his good looks, other kids at school refer to him as “Theodore Freak.” This is because Finch has known anger issues, behaves erratically, and generally does what he wants—to most people, it’s normal that Finch disappears for days or weeks at a time. But as the novel progresses, it becomes clear that Finch suffers from an undiagnosed mental illness: he cycles through periods of being “Awake” and “Asleep,” and when he’s Asleep he stays in his closet. And though Finch seems to suspect that he has bipolar disorder—and even seems to know that his dad, who’s violent and abusive, has the same illness—he refuses to be diagnosed or to get help. A diagnosis, he believes, will reduce him down to that diagnosis. And though Finch doesn’t know who he is or who he wants to be—he cycles through various identities throughout the novel, such as “Badass Finch” and 80s Finch”—he is nevertheless insistent that he remain himself, whoever that actually is. Finch and his classmate Violet meet when they both find themselves at the top of their school’s belltower, intending to commit suicide by jumping off. Finch talks Violet off the ledge and then allows her to help him off as well. Though Finch insists he was on the ledge to remind himself that he has control of his life and not to kill himself, he is nevertheless taken with the idea of dying by suicide. He regularly researches different methods of killing oneself, ranks them, and has different authors’ suicide notes memorized. As Finch enters into a relationship with Violet, he finds that he finally has something that makes him want to stay alive and Awake. But though Finch tries to fight the Asleep and stay present with Violet, he nevertheless refuses to get help when Violet asks him to. Finch disappears for weeks before sending his friends, family, and Violet cryptic emails. Violet discovers that he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Blue Hole, a favorite swimming spot.

Theodore Finch Quotes in All the Bright Places

The All the Bright Places quotes below are all either spoken by Theodore Finch or refer to Theodore Finch. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mental Health, Stigma, and Suicide Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ember edition of All the Bright Places published in 2016.
1. Finch: I am awake again. Day 6. Quotes

The fact is, I was sick, but not in an easily explains 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 recognizable disease just to make it simple for me and also for them. Anything would be better than the truth: I shut down again. I went blank.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Mr. Embry
Page Number: 15-16
Explanation and Analysis:

The thing I don’t say is: I want to stay alive. The reason I don’t say it is because, given that fat folder in front of [Mr. Embry], he’d never believe it. And here’s something else he’d never believe—I’m fighting to be here in this shitty, messed-up world. Standing on the ledge of the bell tower isn’t about dying. It’s about having control. It’s about never going to sleep again.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Mr. Embry, Finch’s Mom
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
6. Finch: Day 7 of the Awake Quotes

“But that isn’t why. The why is that none of it matters. Not school, not cheerleading, not boyfriends or friends or parties or creative writing programs or…” She waves her arms at the world. “It’s all just time filler until we die.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. Whether it’s filler or not, I’m pretty glad to be here.” If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that you need to make the most of it. “It mattered enough for you not to jump.”

Related Characters: Violet Markey (speaker), Theodore Finch (speaker), Eleanor Markey
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

Worthless. Stupid. These are the words I grew up hearing. They’re the words I try to outrun, because if I let them in, they might stay there and grow and fill me up and in, until the only thing left of me is worthless stupid worthless stupid worthless stupid freak. And then there’s nothing to do but run harder and fill myself with other words: This time will be different. This time, I will stay awake.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Finch’s Dad
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:
8. Finch: Day 8 of the Awake Quotes

Dad asks about the November/December study-away program, and it takes me a minute to realize he’s talking to me. “Uh, it was okay.” Good one, Kate. I make a note to thank her. He doesn’t know about the shutting down or the trouble at school beyond sophomore year because last year, after the guitar-smashing episode, I told Principal Wertz my dad was killed in a hunting accident. He never bothered to check up on it, and now he calls my mother whenever there’s a problem, which means he actually calls Kate because Mom never bothers to check voicemail.

Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
11. Violet: 151 days till graduation Quotes

I look in the direction Brenda pointed and there he is. Theodore Finch leans against an SUV, hands in pockets, like he has all the time in the world and he expects me. I think of the Virginia Woolf lines, the ones from The Waves: “Pale, with dark hair, the one who is coming is melancholy, romantic. And I am arch and fluent and capricious, for he is melancholy, he is romantic. He is here.”

Related Characters: Violet Markey (speaker), Theodore Finch
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
12. Finch: The night of the day my life changed Quotes

Water is peaceful. I am at rest. In the water, I am safe and pulled in where I can’t get out. Everything slows down—the noise and the racing of my thoughts. I wonder if I could sleep like this, here on the bottom of the bathtub, if I wanted to sleep, which I don’t. I let my mind drift. I hear words forming as if I’m sitting at the computer already.

In March of 1941, after three serious breakdowns, Virginia Woolf wrote a note to her husband and walked to a nearby river. She shoved heavy stones into her pocket and dove into the water. “Dearest,” the note began, “I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times…So I am doing what seems the best thing to do.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker)
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:
18. Finch: Day 15 (still) Quotes

I made the mistake of talking about it once. A few years ago, I asked my then good friend Gabe Romero if he could feel sound and see headaches […] and he went home and told his parents, and they told my teacher, who told the principal, who told my parents, who said to me, Is it true, Theodore? Are you telling stories to your friends? The next day it was all over school, and I was officially Theodore Freak. One year later, I grew out of my clothes because, it turns out, growing fourteen inches in a summer is easy. It’s growing out of a label that’s hard.

Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
21. Finch: Day 22 and I’m still here Quotes

In 2013, a man in Pennsylvania committed suicide via carbon monoxide, but when his family tried to rescue him, they were overcome by the fumes and every single one of them died before rescue crews could save them.

I think of my mom and Decca and Kate, and then I hit the opener, and up goes the door, and out I go into the wild blue yonder. For the first mile or so, I feel high and excited, like I just ran into a burning building and saved lives, like I’m some sort of hero.

But then a voice in me says, You’re no hero. You’re a coward. You only saved them from yourself.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Finch’s Mom, Decca Finch, Kate Finch
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

“Why are we doing this, Dec?”

“Because they shouldn’t be in there mixed with the good. They like to trick you.”

And somehow I know what she means. I think of the Bartlett Dirt and all its mean words, not just about me but about every student who’s strange or different. Better to keep the unhappy, mad, bad, unpleasant words separate, where you can watch them and make sure they don’t surprise you when you’re not expecting them.

Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
25. Finch: Day 27 (I am still here) Quotes

I can go downstairs right now and let my mom know how I’m feeling—if she’s even home—but she’ll tell me to help myself to the Advil in her purse and that I need to relax and stop getting myself worked up, because in this house there’s no such thing as being sick unless you can measure it with a thermometer under the tongue. Things fall into categories of black and white—bad mood, bad temper, loses control, feels sad, feels blue.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Finch’s Mom, Finch’s Dad
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:
28. Finch: Day 28 Quotes

For once, I don’t want to be anyone but Theodore Finch, the boy she sees. He understands what it is to be elegant and euphoric and a hundred different people, most of them flawed and stupid, part asshole, part screwup, part freak, a boy who wants to be easy for the folks around him so that he doesn’t worry them and, most of all, easy for himself. A boy who belongs—here in the world, here in his own skin. He is exactly who I want to be and what I want my epitaph to say: The Boy Violet Markey Loves.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Violet Markey
Page Number: 202-03
Explanation and Analysis:
32. Finch: The first warm day Quotes

“What are you most afraid of?”

I think, I’m most afraid of Just be careful. I’m most afraid of the Long Drop. I’m most afraid of Asleep and impending, weightless doom. I’m most afraid of me.

“I’m not.”

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Violet Markey
Page Number: 221
Explanation and Analysis:
42. Finch: Days 65 and 66 Quotes

The thing I know about bipolar disorder is that it’s a label. One you give crazy people. I know this because I’ve taken junior-year psychology and I’ve seen movies and I’ve watched my father in action for almost eighteen years, even though you could never slap a label on him because he would kill you. Labels like bipolar say This is why you are the way you are. This is who you are. They explain people away as illnesses.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Finch’s Dad, Mr. Embry
Page Number: 271-72
Explanation and Analysis:
44. Finch: Days 66 and 67 Quotes

Most people haven’t heard of [the Nest Houses], but one old man tells me, “Sorry you came all this way. I’m afraid they been ate up by the weather and the elements.”

Just like all of us. The Nest Houses have reached their life expectancy. I think of the mud nest we made for the cardinal, all those years ago, and wonder if it’s still there. I imagine his little bones in his little grave, and it is the saddest thought in the world.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Mr. Embry
Related Symbols: The Cardinal
Page Number: 276
Explanation and Analysis:
45. Finch: Day 71 Quotes

I want to get away from these kids who never did anything to anyone except be born with different brains and different wiring […] I want to get away from the stigma they all clearly feel just because they have an illness of the mind as opposed to, say, an illness of the lungs or blood. I want to get away from all the labels.

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker)
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:

“Why do you do that? Don’t you get tired of people talking about you?”

“Including you?”

She goes quiet.

“I do it because it reminds me to be here, that I’m still here and I have a say in the matter.”

She puts one leg in the car and says, “I guess now you know you’re not the only freak.” It’s the nicest thing she’s ever said to me.

Related Characters: Amanda Monk (speaker), Theodore Finch (speaker), Demetrius
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:
48. Violet: March 21 and beyond Quotes

“Listen, I’m the freak. I’m the weirdo. I’m the troublemaker. I start fights. I let people down. Don’t make Finch mad, whatever you do. Oh, there he goes again, in one of his moods. Moody Finch. Angry Finch. Unpredictable Finch. Crazy Finch. But I’m not a compilation of symptoms. Not a casualty of shitty parents and an even shittier chemical makeup. Not a problem. Not a diagnosis. Not an illness. Not something to be rescued. I’m a person.”

Page Number: 307
Explanation and Analysis:
49. Finch: Day 80 (a muthaf#@*ing world record) Quotes

All I know is what I wonder: Which of my feelings are real? Which of the mes is me? There is only one me I’ve ever really liked, and he was good and awake as long as he could be.

I couldn’t stop the cardinal’s death, and this made me feel responsible. In a way, I was—we were, my family and I—because it was our house that was built where his tree used to be, the one he was trying to get back to. But maybe no one could have stopped it.

“You have been in every way all that anyone could be…If anybody could have saved me it would have been you.”

Related Characters: Theodore Finch (speaker), Violet Markey
Related Symbols: The Cardinal
Page Number: 314
Explanation and Analysis:
54. Violet: May 3 Quotes

In all his words, the preacher doesn’t mention suicide. The family is calling his death an accident because they didn’t find a proper note […]. I stand, thinking how it wasn’t an accident at all and how “suicide victim” is an interesting term. The victim part of it implies they had no choice. And maybe Finch didn’t feel like he had a choice, or maybe he wasn’t trying to kill himself at all but just going in search of the bottom.

Related Characters: Violet Markey (speaker), Theodore Finch, Finch’s Mom, Finch’s Dad
Page Number: 341
Explanation and Analysis:
55. Violet: May—weeks 1, 2, and 3 Quotes

Then he adds, “I feel responsible.”

I want to send his computer and books crashing to the floor. You can’t feel responsible. I’m responsible. Don’t try to take that from me.

He continues, “But I’m not. I did what I felt I could do. Could I have done more? Possibly. Yes. We can always do more. It’s a tough question to answer, and, ultimately, a pointless one to ask. You might be feeling some of the same emotions and having some of these same thoughts.”

Related Characters: Mr. Embry (speaker), Violet Markey (speaker), Theodore Finch
Page Number: 347
Explanation and Analysis:

She looks at me. “In those moments, none of it matters. It’s like that stuff is happening to someone else because all you feel is dark inside, and that darkness just kind of takes over. You don’t even really think about what might happen to the people you leave behind, because all you can think about is yourself.”

Related Characters: Amanda Monk (speaker), Violet Markey, Theodore Finch
Page Number: 351
Explanation and Analysis:
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All the Bright Places PDF

Theodore Finch Character Timeline in All the Bright Places

The timeline below shows where the character Theodore Finch 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.
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Finch is standing six stories up, wondering if today is a good day to die. He... (full context)
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Finch puts his arms out and shouts, welcoming everyone to his death. He acknowledges that one... (full context)
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One kid looks up and points, but not at Finch. Finch looks over and sees a girl standing on the ledge on the other side... (full context)
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Finch introduces himself and chats to distract Violet. He notes that it’s starting to rain—which means... (full context)
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Finch shouts for Violet to stop trying to save him and then, quietly, he coaxes her... (full context)
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From below, Finch hears Gabe Romero—Roamer—tell Finch to “get it over with.” In response, Finch shouts a thanks... (full context)
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Then, Charlie asks Finch why he’s doing this. Finch replies that they all have to die someday, but this... (full context)
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Finch has been on probation this year because last year, he got in trouble: he threw... (full context)
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This settled, Mr. Embry asks about Finch’s illness at the end of last semester, supposedly with the flu. Finch was sick—but not... (full context)
2. Violet: 154 days till graduation
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As Violet walks to class, lots of people tell her she was brave for saving Finch from killing himself. Privately, Violet thinks Finch was the worst person she could’ve saved. People... (full context)
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...school who was Violet’s boyfriend until last month. The note asks if she really saved Finch, and Violet writes back that she was just there at the right time. When a... (full context)
3. Finch: Day 6 (still) of being awake
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By lunchtime, everyone knows that Violet saved Finch from jumping off the belltower. Finch heads for class and follows a group of girls... (full context)
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Mr. Black finally calls on Finch, and Finch suggests they take a field trip to see Hoosier Hill before they graduate.... (full context)
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...to these places and explain why these sites make them “proud to be a Hoosier.” Finch raises his hand again and asks if they get to choose their partners—he wants to... (full context)
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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 school).... (full context)
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Later, out in the parking lot, Finch and his friend Brenda listen to Charlie talk about sex. Charlie spent his winter break... (full context)
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When Finch get home, Finch’s mom is defrosting a casserole while she talks on the phone. Finch’s... (full context)
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Finch puts his guitar down and opens up his computer. He types into a document about... (full context)
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Then, Finch gets onto Facebook and finds Amanda Monk’s page. He searches her friend list for Violet... (full context)
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Finch’s family has been eating dinner together since the divorce last year. Finch enjoys it because,... (full context)
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Finch’s mom asks how Finch’s day was, and Finch says it was good. He doesn’t eat—eating,... (full context)
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That night, Finch checks Facebook and finds that Violet accepted his friend request. He’s elated. He scrolls through... (full context)
4. Finch’s Rules for Wandering
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Finch’s rules are that there are no rules, since life already has too many. Instead, there... (full context)
5. Violet: 153 days till graduation
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...to leave because she’s not feeling well. Suze asks if it’s true that Violet saved Finch. Violet says it is true, but she silently wishes the day would just disappear. Suze... (full context)
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...first place. He notes that the door is locked and barricaded. Violet says she saw Finch sneak up; he must’ve picked the lock. (Violet actually picked the lock, but no one... (full context)
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After a while, Violet checks Facebook and finds a video that Finch posted a few hours ago. He’s singing a song about jumping off the school roof,... (full context)
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Finch suggests that he could come over so they can talk in person instead of talking... (full context)
6. Finch: Day 7 of the Awake
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Finch climbs into his mom’s Saturn, which he’s nicknamed Little Bastard. He pushes Little Bastard to... (full context)
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Finch pulls up to Violet’s house and finds her sitting on the porch. She meets him... (full context)
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Violet snaps at Finch, asking him what he wants. Finch drops his charming persona and asks what she was... (full context)
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Violet asks Finch why people call him “Theodore Freak.” Finch decides on “a version of the truth.” He... (full context)
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When Finch gets home, he parks Little Bastard and goes for his nightly run (he swims when... (full context)
8. Finch: Day 8 of the Awake
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On Sunday evening, Kate, Decca, and Finch drive to Finch’s dad’s house for their weekly dinner. They’re silent on the drive over.... (full context)
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Finch’s dad greets Kate and Decca and asks Finch how the study-away program was. Finch says... (full context)
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Everyone settles in the dining room for dinner. Finch studies his stepbrother, Josh Raymond. Josh Raymond is tiny, like Rosemarie, and isn’t awkward like... (full context)
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When the kids get home, Finch’s mom asks if they had fun. Decca says that they didn’t, and she stomps upstairs.... (full context)
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Later, Finch puts on Johnny Cash in his room and lights a cigarette. Suddenly, he feels like... (full context)
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Finch lines up the sleeping pills on his desk and logs onto Facebook, where a lot... (full context)
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Finch does an internet search for Virginia Woolf quotes and chooses one that seems to be... (full context)
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Violet takes 20 minutes to reply, so Finch checks out EleanorandViolet.com. When Violet writes back, she adds more rules for wandering. She insists... (full context)
9. Violet: 151 days till graduation
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...in the Bartlett Dirt, which is the school’s “gossip rag.” It’s about how Violet saved Finch, and the picture of Violet in Eleanor’s glasses looks “like a makeover ‘before.’” Violet watches... (full context)
10. Finch: Day 9
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Finch decides on Monday morning that 80s Finch has to go, mostly because the picture of... (full context)
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Brenda insists that Finch can’t dress to please a girl; he needs to be himself. Finch thinks that would... (full context)
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By lunchtime, Finch loves “Badass Finch”—girls like him now. When one freshman girl asks him if he’s from... (full context)
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Class is boring, but Violet is the only one who laughs when Finch makes a joke in his British accent. After class, Finch comes up right behind Violet.... (full context)
11. Violet: 151 days till graduation
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...school with Eleanor’s old bike, which Eleanor named Leroy. Brenda saunters past and points out Finch. She also warns Violet that she’ll beat her up if she breaks Finch’s heart and... (full context)
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Finch explains that the wall of notes is just that—ideas. Violet studies them and wonders about... (full context)
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As Finch and Violet pass cornfields, Violet almost feels like her old self. Finch says he likes... (full context)
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When they reach the spot, Finch and Violet leave their bikes. Some kids on a fence point them in the right... (full context)
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Violet notices how blue Finch’s eyes are as he says that standing next to Violet makes him feel like he’s... (full context)
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Finch makes jokes as they discuss their project, and Violet stops herself from laughing. He tells... (full context)
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Violet pulls out her phone to take some pictures, and Finch shoves a notebook at her. Though she’d rather do anything than write, she scribbles a... (full context)
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Violet and Finch get back to Bartlett in the evening, and Violet waits outside Finch’s house as he... (full context)
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...cut him off (he’s notorious for taking over projects). Violet’s mom starts to ask about Finch, so Violet changes the subject by asking her dad to explain the history of chicken... (full context)
12. Finch: The night of the day my life changed
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It’s dinnertime at Finch’s house. Though Finch’s mom asks Decca what she learned first, Finch asks if he can... (full context)
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Just as Finch puts on his shoes to go for a run, icy sleet starts to fall. He... (full context)
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Finch’s lungs begin to burn. He’s not sure how long he’s been underwater, but it’s been... (full context)
13. Violet: 148 days till graduation
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...The Bartlett Dirt just published an article of the top 10 suicidal students in school (Finch is the top of the list). Jordan Gripenwaldt put resources on the front page of... (full context)
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...to the drive-in on Saturday as Mr. Black writes pop quiz questions on the board. Finch saunters into the room five minutes later. Violet thinks that he’s the person who knows... (full context)
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When class ends, Finch slips out before Violet can talk to him. Ryan walks Violet to Spanish class and... (full context)
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Violet signs into Facebook. Forty minutes ago, just after one a.m., Finch messaged her that the world’s tallest woman and one of the tallest men came from... (full context)
14. Finch: Day 13
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Finch throws rocks at Violet’s window and then waits for a while, but she doesn’t come... (full context)
15. Violet: 147-146 days till freedom
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Violet walks out the front door in the morning and finds Finch lying in her lawn. His bike is in the street. He grouses about Violet ignoring... (full context)
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After another minute of riding in silence, Finch asks what happened and offers to tell Violet how he got his scar. He says... (full context)
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...the reporter. But when the reporter asks if Violet got closure since she could save Finch but not Eleanor, Violet hangs up. She’s seething when Ryan shows up. They walk to... (full context)
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...to have sex in the back of a car, Violet gets out. She wonders what Finch is doing and thinks she owes him a wander. Ryan kisses Violet and for a... (full context)
16. Finch: Day 15 (I am still awake)
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Finch shows up at Violet’s house early and introduces himself to her parents. They invite him... (full context)
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Violet and Finch go outside, and Violet tells Finch where they’re going. As she goes to get her... (full context)
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Violet notices the blanket and pillow in the backseat, but Finch promises he’s not trying to seduce her. From the lawn, Finch tells her to put... (full context)
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Finch is feeling fantastic—he got Violet into the car, and Finch’s dad is out of town... (full context)
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Finch and Violet pull in at the Bookmobile Park, a stretch of flat land with parked... (full context)
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Finch gives the woman cash for the books, and while she goes to get change, Finch... (full context)
17. Violet: 145 days till liberation
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Finch misses the turnoff, so he drives right over the median to fix his mistake. In... (full context)
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Finch leans over Violet’s shoulder and writes that he’d like to kiss her. Violet kind of... (full context)
18. Finch: Day 15 (still)
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On the way to Violet’s house, Finch suggests epitaphs for people they know, like Amanda and Roamer. He asks what Violet’s epitaph... (full context)
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Violet asks if Finch is okay now, and Finch studies her. He knows it’s impossible to keep people from... (full context)
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When Finch gets home, he checks the landline voicemail. There’s a message from Mr. Embry informing Finch’s... (full context)
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Finch thinks a long drop is what it feels like to go to “Sleep.” He goes... (full context)
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This is why Finch pretends to be normal, even though he knows he’s different. He tells himself it’s his... (full context)
19. Finch: Days 16 and 17
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Since Finch missed his Friday session, he decides to make it up to Mr. Embry by telling... (full context)
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Then, Finch decides to show Mr. Embry how much he has to live for by talking about... (full context)
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The high school is huge, so Finch doesn’t see Violet much. On Tuesday, he decides to walk Violet to every one of... (full context)
20. Violet: 142 days to go
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At two a.m. on Wednesday, Violet wakes up to rocks hitting her window—Finch is outside. She opens her window and tells him to go away; she’s still angry... (full context)
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Finch then leads Violet into the local bookstore, where Finch’s mom works when she’s not selling... (full context)
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After a while, Finch and Violet start to read Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! aloud. They take... (full context)
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Finch and Violet go to the Purina Tower, which is only accessible by a steel ladder.... (full context)
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Finch notes that everyone would be happier if they celebrated the small things and remembered that... (full context)
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Finch calls for Violet to do the same. Instead, she stands a little behind Finch, holding... (full context)
21. Finch: Day 22 and I’m still here
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Finch knows something is wrong the moment he walks into Finch’s dad and Rosemarie’s house on... (full context)
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When Finch, Kate, and Decca get back home, Finch kisses Finch’s mom and says he’s going out.... (full context)
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...suicide used to be common in the U.S., but it’s gotten rarer in recent years. Finch forces his mind to go blank, but he remembers how one man who tried to... (full context)
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A few months ago, when things got really bad, Finch drove to French Lick, a resort with a healing spring. He drank the spring water... (full context)
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When Finch gets home, Kate is on her way out. She asks Finch if he’s been with... (full context)
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Finch lets himself into Decca’s room to make sure she’s okay. She’s sitting on the floor,... (full context)
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Decca gets up to look for more books, and while she’s gone, Finch cuts out words and leaves “MAKE IT LOVELY” on Decca’s pillow. Then he takes the... (full context)
22. Violet: 138 days to go
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It’s Sunday night. Violet is in her bedroom, flipping through her and Finch’s notebook so she can write about the bookstore and the Purina Tower. Suddenly, she gets... (full context)
23. Finch: Days 23, 24, 25…
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Finch feels like last night is a “puzzle,” but one that isn’t put together. His heart... (full context)
24. Violet: 135, 134, 133 days to go
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Finch is out of school for a week. People talk about him (Principal Wertz shut down... (full context)
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...fire alarm goes off at the beginning of third period. As Violet follows everyone outside, Finch comes up behind her, tells her to meet him in the student parking lot, and... (full context)
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Finch steps on a twig and curses. Violet laughs and reminds him that he has to... (full context)
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The fire alarm isn’t going off anymore, but Violet isn’t worried about being counted absent. Finch gets out of the river, dresses, and starts to tell Violet what they should do... (full context)
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Figuring she’s already in trouble for skipping class, Violet heads across town to Finch’s house. Kate answers the door and says she’s sure Finch is around somewhere. She lets... (full context)
25. Finch: Day 27 (I am still here)
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Finch watches Violet leave and then sits on the floor of the shower. He can’t look... (full context)
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Finch knows he could tell Finch’s mom how he’s feeling, but she’d tell him to take... (full context)
26. Violet: 133 days to go
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...and Violet’s dad. She explains that she was across the street from the school with Finch, the boy she’s doing the project with. Violet’s mom says she’s disappointed, and Violet’s dad... (full context)
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...web magazine. As Violet’s mom leaves the room, she asks Violet if she can trust Finch. Violet says she can—Finch is her only friend. (full context)
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...that germmagazine.com is available and registers the site. Then she gets onto Facebook and messages Finch. She says that her parents are upset, and that she and Finch might have to... (full context)
27. Violet: Saturday
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When Violet comes downstairs in the morning, Finch is eating breakfast with Violet’s dad. He tells Violet she looks better without the glasses... (full context)
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With that out of the way, Violet’s mom asks Finch where he’s going to college. Finch asks if she’s read For Whom the Bell Tolls... (full context)
28. Finch: Day 28
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John Ivers, an old man who lives out in the country, greets Finch and Violet when they pull into his yard. He leads them to the two roller... (full context)
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Finch climbs into the bucket seat, and John straps him in and tells him to hold... (full context)
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...head for the car, Violet notes that this is the end of their wandering. But Finch suggests that they keep wandering, especially since Violet’s parents are on board. On the drive... (full context)
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Suddenly, the air feels electric. Finch tells Violet he likes everything about her, and he takes the first exit off the... (full context)
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Later, in his room, Finch is “overcome by words.” He writes songs and then writes that he wasn’t even close... (full context)
29. Finch: Day 30 (and I am AWAKE)
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Finch and Charlie are in gym class, standing beyond third base. Charlie is great at sports,... (full context)
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Later, Roamer corners Finch in the locker room once most of the other kids are gone. Roamer tells Finch... (full context)
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When Finch gets to his locker, he discovers the rock he gave Violet sitting on his books.... (full context)
30. Violet: February 2
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...Violet and tells her that he asked Suze out. Violet considers telling Ryan something about Finch in return, but she isn’t sure what she and Finch are. Then, Ryan says that... (full context)
31. Violet: The weekend
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...she’s not ready for sex, but she also feels like she can’t get enough of Finch. She adds a “sex life” session to her board for Germ and writes in their... (full context)
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On Saturday morning, Finch picks Violet up and they go to the Arboretum. Violet asks about the fight with... (full context)
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...as she opens it, but it’s just a pair of goggles. She knows they’re from Finch, but she has no idea what they’re for. Noticing her mom’s hopeful look, Violet says... (full context)
32. Finch: The first warm day
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There’s a blizzard the second week of February. As it passes, Finch and Violet visit some nearby sights and build a huge snowman. On Valentine’s Day, Finch... (full context)
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As Finch takes his shirt off, he says that bottomless blue holes like this exist worldwide and... (full context)
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Finch leads Violet in a dive toward the center of the Blue Hole. They return to... (full context)
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Leaving Violet at the surface, Finch dives as though he’s escaping everyone in his life but Violet. He enjoys the way... (full context)
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Violet is sobbing when Finch reaches the surface. She calls him an “asshole” twice, louder each time. Finch is afraid... (full context)
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After a minute, Violet joins Finch and starts throwing rocks and shouting. Suddenly, she stops and asks what exactly they’re doing.... (full context)
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Finch says the story’s boring: Finch’s dad gets in “black moods,” and Finch used to be... (full context)
33. Violet: The Day Of
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Finch and Violet drive back to Finch’s house in the afternoon. His bedroom is now blue,... (full context)
34. Finch: The Day Of
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Finch knows that Violet is made of the exact same stuff as everyone else, but she... (full context)
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...enough, hundreds of people called into the show. Violet asks if this is real, and Finch reveals that it was just an April Fool’s joke. Violet scolds Finch for telling her... (full context)
35. Violet: The morning after
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Violet wakes up before Finch and marvels at how quiet he is. He wakes up a bit after and pulls... (full context)
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Once Violet and her parents have calmed down, Violet’s dad says that Finch is trouble: he’s had anger issues since he was a kid. Violet realizes her parents... (full context)
37. Finch: What follows
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When Finch sees Finch’s dad’s car in the drive, he almost keeps driving. But instead, he stops,... (full context)
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The next morning, Finch rings the doorbell at Violet’s house. Violet’s mom answers and apologetically asks if he’s okay,... (full context)
38. Finch: How to survive quicksand
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Finch moves into his walk-in closet, which feels like a warm, cozy cave. He brings in... (full context)
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It’s already too late for Finch to follow step one, which is to avoid quicksand. Second, people need to take sticks... (full context)
39. Violet: The Week After
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...when Violet is slow answering what she did over the weekend. Brenda assures Violet that Finch is a gentleman and won’t spread it around. On their way out of the cafeteria,... (full context)
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When Violet and Finch get to U.S. Geography, Finch looks exhausted. After class, they kiss under the stairwell. They... (full context)
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...ask readers to send in videos or pictures of their favorite sites. She emails Brenda, Finch, Jordan, the three Brianas, and Lara, inviting all of them to contribute. Though Violet drafts... (full context)
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...tells them she’s going to Amanda’s house. They ask no questions, and Violet bikes to Finch’s house instead. They have sex and then hide under the blanket, talking about Germ. Violet... (full context)
40. Violet: Spring break
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...how Violet can transfer to NYU for spring term next year, Violet is worried that Finch hasn’t answered her texts. She wonders if they’ll stay together or break up after high... (full context)
41. Finch: Day 64 of the Awake
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It snows on the last Sunday of spring break. Finch spends the morning with Decca, building a snowman and sledding. As they walk home from... (full context)
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On Finch’s way back from the bathroom, he passes Josh Raymond’s room, and the little boy invites... (full context)
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Finch’s dad suggests that Finch bring Violet over sometime. Finch imagines the conversation his dad and... (full context)
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Finch starts to pass farms and then sees a commercial nursery. There are a bunch of... (full context)
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Finch gets to Violet’s house after 11 p.m. and sits in Little Bastard, smoking. He doesn’t... (full context)
42. Finch: Days 65 and 66
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At school, Finch realizes he’s been staring out the window and doesn’t know how long he’s been staring.... (full context)
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Finch thinks that this must be what it’s like to get sucked into a vortex or... (full context)
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Mr. Embry seems to know something is wrong. To give him something, Finch tells Mr. Embry that Finch’s dad wasn’t happy, so he got a new family. Finch... (full context)
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Mr. Embry asks Finch what he knows about bipolar disorder. Finch smiles a flat smile and makes his voice... (full context)
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After gym class the next morning, Roamer says “Freak” under his breath as he passes Finch. Finch doesn’t think—he slams Roamer into a locker and starts to choke him. Both Charlie... (full context)
43. Violet: March 10
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Finch calls Violet after third period, asking her to drive to Southern Indiana to see the... (full context)
44. Finch: Days 66 and 67
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The Nest Houses no longer exist; one old man tells Finch that “they been ate up by weather and the elements.” Finch thinks that everyone is... (full context)
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When Finch gets home, he stares at himself in the bathroom mirror. His reflection disappears, and Finch... (full context)
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In the morning, Finch checks the landline voicemail. Mr. Embry left one for Finch’s mom that he says is... (full context)
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Finch is silent during dinner. Afterward, he steals a bottle of sleeping pills from Finch’s mom... (full context)
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Finch runs to the hospital and asks to have his stomach pumped. He blacks out and... (full context)
45. Finch: Day 71
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Finch gets in Little Bastard and drives 25 miles to Ohio, where a group called Life... (full context)
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Finch already wishes he hadn’t come. He’s certain that the brand of cookies on offer contains... (full context)
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Finch finds the meeting heartbreaking. He wants to “let the Long Drop come.” There’s nothing wrong... (full context)
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Finch thinks of Eleanor as the discussion turns to the different medications people are on. He... (full context)
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Finch asks if Amanda still thinks about killing herself. Amanda admits she does and asks if... (full context)
46. Violet: March 18
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Violet doesn’t hear from Finch for three days. It starts snowing on Wednesday, and the roads are so slick that... (full context)
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Violet is driving smoothly when she gets to Finch’s neighborhood. A woman who must be Finch’s mom opens the door, invites Violet in, and... (full context)
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Violet asks Finch if he’s okay, trying to watch her tone—she doesn’t want to sound like a needy... (full context)
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Violet and Finch write words on sticky notes and then either put them on the wall or throw... (full context)
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Finch explains that he gets in “black, sinking moods” sometimes. Violet says that’s normal for teenagers,... (full context)
47. Finch: Day 75; Violet: March 20
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Finch offers a quote by Cesare Pavese: “The cadence of suffering has begun.” Finch is “in... (full context)
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...secret. Violet sighs but agrees to keep the secret. Amanda says on Sunday she saw Finch at Life Is Life, a support group for teenagers considering suicide. He said that he’d... (full context)
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As soon as school is over, Violet bikes to Finch’s house. He doesn’t answer, and it seems like Finch’s mom and sisters aren’t home. Violet... (full context)
48. Violet: March 21 and beyond
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When Violet knocks on Finch’s bedroom door, it takes a minute for him to answer. He opens the door wearing... (full context)
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Finch has painted his closet with planets and stars, and everything is glowing. He points to... (full context)
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Violet and Finch pass a bottle of vodka back and forth, and Violet says that all of this... (full context)
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Finch and Violet lie on the floor. Finch tells Violet that Sir Patrick Moore was the... (full context)
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Finch says that being sucked into a black hole would be the coolest way to die.... (full context)
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Finch smiles an awful smile and says he doesn’t need help. He’s not like Eleanor—Violet shouldn’t... (full context)
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...Violet’s dad are watching TV. Though Violet feels terrible, she tells them that she met Finch when she climbed up onto the belltower ledge. He talked her down and saved her,... (full context)
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...rocks hitting her window in her dreams, but then she wakes up and wonders if Finch actually was outside. When she gets up, he isn’t there. Violet spends the next day... (full context)
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...the hallway at school on Monday and asks if she’s heard from colleges and if Finch is going to go to the same college. Violet isn’t sure. As people greet Ryan,... (full context)
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Violet hasn’t heard from Finch by Tuesday, so she bikes to his house. Decca answers and lets Violet in. Violet... (full context)
49. Finch: Day 80 (a muthaf#@*ing world record)
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In the poem “Epilogue,” the poet Robert Lowell asks, “Yet why not say what happened?” Finch isn’t sure how to answer that question. He’s just wondering which of his feelings are... (full context)
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Finch flashes again on the final line of Virginia Woolf’s suicide note, in which she tells... (full context)
50. Violet: The rest of March
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On Thursday, Finch starts to text Violet. He writes that “they were all perfect days,” but then he... (full context)
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At school, Violet feels like the only one who notices Finch is gone. School days proceed as normal: Violet gets acceptance and rejection letters from colleges,... (full context)
51. Violet: April
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...find a license plate with flowers planted around it. Violet goes cold. She knows that Finch did this—and she also knows that she and her parents have survived the last year.... (full context)
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...further than Violet would’ve. She thinks that in that way, Eleanor was a lot like Finch. Violet starts to sing her favorite Boy Parade song, and Violet’s mom joins in. (full context)
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Violet hasn’t heard from Finch since March—but now she’s angry instead of worried. She’s upset at herself for “being so... (full context)
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...movies with Brenda and then sleeps over at Brenda’s house. Brenda tries to bring up Finch and assures Violet that Finch didn’t leave because of Violet. They stay up all night... (full context)
52. Violet: April 26
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Mid-morning on Sunday, Kate shows up at Violet’s house and asks if she’s heard from Finch. She explains that Finch has been checking in on Saturdays, but they didn’t hear from... (full context)
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...her mom and then goes upstairs to log onto Facebook. She finds a message from Finch that he sent a few minutes after he sent the email to his family. He... (full context)
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Violet drives to Finch’s house. Finch’s mom starts crying as soon as she sees Violet and wraps her in... (full context)
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Back inside, Violet notices Decca arranging pieces of paper on the floor, just like Finch did with his sticky notes. Violet asks to look at Finch’s room, and Kate tells... (full context)
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Violet goes back downstairs to find that Kate has left to look for Finch. Violet asks Finch’s mom to follow her back upstairs. When they get into Finch’s room,... (full context)
53. Violet: April 26 (part 2)
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Violet goes for herself, not for any of Finch’s family members. She knows what she’ll find—and she knows it’ll be her fault. She made... (full context)
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...behind the van, something inside of her screaming at her to leave. If she leaves, Finch will still be alive. But Violet gets out, walks up the embankment, and then walks... (full context)
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...swims as deep as she can, but she can’t hold her breath as long as Finch could. Violet knows he’s gone, but she continues to dive for him. Finally, she crawls... (full context)
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When the sheriff asks for Finch’s mom’s number, Violet says that she’ll call. Finch’s mom answers the house phone on the... (full context)
54. Violet: May 3
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Violet stands in front of her mirror, studying herself. She’s dressed in black and wears Finch’s T-shirt. Her face doesn’t look like it belongs to a girl who has great parents,... (full context)
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At the funeral, Finch’s family stands in the front row. Violet studies Finch’s dad’s back and notices that Finch’s... (full context)
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The preacher finishes, and Violet thinks that he didn’t mention suicide at all. Officially, Finch’s death was ruled an accident, since they didn’t find a proper suicide note. But Violet... (full context)
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As the crowd disperses, Charlie mutters about the “phonies,” and Brenda says that Finch is probably watching and flipping everyone off. Violet asks Brenda if she thinks Finch is... (full context)
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...blank days, the ones she didn’t put an X on because she spent them with Finch. She thinks that she hates Finch and wishes she could’ve done something. She wishes she... (full context)
55. Violet: May—weeks 1, 2, and 3
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Every kid at school seems to be grieving Finch. Someone builds a shrine in a display case near the principal’s office, and kids leave... (full context)
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Principal Wertz insists that all Finch’s friends and classmates attend a counseling session. Violet thinks that since Finch’s death was an... (full context)
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...Suicide.” He asks her to read it and to talk to people about it. Since Finch’s death was “different,” Violet is going to feel even more difficult emotions. (full context)
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When Violet notes that Finch’s family insists it was an accident, Mr. Embry says it doesn’t matter. He just cares... (full context)
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...someone but not be able to help them. She realizes she felt that way about Finch. (full context)
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The school holds an assembly two weeks after Finch’s funeral. They bring in a person to teach self-defense and then show a film about... (full context)
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...matter. Everything feels dark, and all she can think about is herself. She asks if Finch ever saw a doctor and says that Finch was trying to fix himself because of... (full context)
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...she’s fine and will finish the project like everyone else. She just wishes she and Finch had documented their wanderings better. (full context)
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That evening, Violet reads through all of her Facebook messages with Finch. Then, she opens their wandering notebook and writes a letter to Finch. She asks where... (full context)
56. Violet: Remaining Wanderings 1 and 2
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Violet sits, waiting for whatever Finch wanted her to see. She looks up and sees Finch’s sneakers high up in the... (full context)
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...site of the world’s biggest ball of paint. She hopes nobody has been here since Finch, and that she’ll still be able to read whatever Finch wrote. Mike Carmichael answers the... (full context)
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...agrees to paint a layer and asks for sky-blue paint. She feels like she’s losing Finch again as Mike locates paint the exact color of Finch’s eyes. Painting the ball is... (full context)
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...A Street Bridge to begin with. She keeps going, saying that she wants to remember Finch and Eleanor—even though she can’t bring them back, and even though Finch’s death might’ve been... (full context)
57. Violet: Remaining wanderings 3 and 4
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...only the screen left. It’s spooky. As Violet heads for the screen, she thinks of Finch’s text from this spot: “I believe in signs.” The back of the screen is covered... (full context)
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...a sign asking people to ascend the “holy stairs” on their knees. Violet knows that Finch wouldn’t have cheated, so she drops to her knees. The friar helps her up at... (full context)
58. Violet: The Last Wandering
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...of Private Road. Violet gets back on the car, thinking that soon, her wandering with Finch will be over. She feels disappointed when she sees the church and the lake—they’re not... (full context)
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Violet stops and wonders if Finch came here the day he died, and how he found this place. She gets out... (full context)
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...it. Violet sits down in a pew and wonders if she’s ready to hear whatever Finch had to say. Shaking, she pulls out three sheets of staff paper. One is covered... (full context)
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...gets the tune stuck in her head. She realizes that it’s okay that she and Finch didn’t collect more souvenirs from their wanderings or do more to organize their project. She... (full context)
59. Violet: June 20
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...and then hikes over the embankment to the Blue Hole. She dives in, looking for Finch even though she knows she won’t find him. She thinks of Cesare Pavese who killed... (full context)
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Violet has written her own epitaph for Finch. It says that he was alive and then he died—but not really, because someone like... (full context)