Timeline created by Emma Cousino
This is the opening of the book. Finch and Violet meet here which sets the entire tone for the story. It shows how two people who seem like complete opposites may have more in common than you think. This is where Finch and Violet first connect, where they not only start talking but actually start to understand each other. They were on top of their school's bell tower on opposite sides of it, both thinking about jumping but in the end they talked each other out of it.
Finch asked Violet to pair up with him on their US geography project where they had to visit places in Indiana. While embarrassed she accepted his offer. Hoosier Hill is the first place they visit together, being the tallest point in Indiana.
Before they went on their next adventure, Finch decided to introduce himself to Violet's parents and he made a very good impression with them. He was also able to convince Violet to ride in a car again which she hadn't done since her sister's death in the car accident that she was also in. They end up driving to this cute little bookmobile park and they fall in love with everything regarding it. While doing this they continued to open up more to each other and were starting to form a bond with each other.
They find an old factory on Church road after the bookmobile park and decide to stop and check it out. They find walls covered in writing, all of the writings starting with ""Before I die I want to ____" Violet and Finch both decide to write down their own thoughts, opening up to each other in the process. The very last thing Finch writes is "Before I die I want to kiss Violet Markey."
Finch comes over to Violet's house in the middle of the night and sneaks her out to go here. First they go to a store called Bookmarks which is in Bartlett. Finch doesn't find what he was looking for here but they do have fun reading all of these children's books and singing the words and dancing around as if nothing in the world could stop them. Then they went to Purina tower and climbed all the way to the top. They then stood on the lookout by the guardrail and shouted the things they needed to shout at the universe, everything they were keeping locked inside themselves, and this helped them both a lot.
For their next adventure Finch finds out there's a man who built two roller coasters in his backyard for light tourist attraction so they decide to go there. The man built two roller coasters, the Blue Flash and the Blue Too. Each coaster only seats one person but they absolutely loved it. They liked them both but both Violet and Finch later agreed that the Blue Flash was their favorite. On the way home Finch pulled into the East Township Public Library parking lot and that’s where they had their first kiss.
They go swimming in the Blue Hole, which was rumored to have no end in the bottom because no one had ever found one. The swim around together and then try to find the bottom themselves. Finch has incredibly good lung support, being able to hold his breath for about 6 minutes if he pushes it. Violet had to keep going back up for air and she started panicking when Finch hadn't come back up. The deeper Finch traveled down the more pressure he felt on his chest and he liked it, and almost kept going, lured by the pressure, when he remembered Violet and went shooting back up to the surface. Violet was furious, thinking she had lost Finch for good. The start arguing how they each think they're bad for each other, soon realizing what they're trying to protect each other from has already happened. Then Finch tells her that he loves her.
After their last encounter they make up in an intimate way, showing how much they love each other. Instead of taking Violet home like he was supposed to he took a detour to the Purina tower, where they once again climbed to the top. Once up there he was being very romantic and sentimental and told her about this theory of the Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect which is when the planets are in aline and it feels like the gravity is gone and there is nothing tying you down anymore. He told her that's how he feels when he's with her, that all the weight of the world is just gone. The accidentally fall asleep on the tower they're there for so long.
Finch had been very good about staying on his best behavior since he was with Violet, but he had been on edge and in a little bit of dismay since her parents would not accept him even after he tried talking to them. Roamer as always continued to be himself and have the urge to cause trouble and he still targeted Finch. One day he walked past Finch and called him a freak, which he has done for years at this point but this time it was different for Finch. In a fit of rage Finch attacked Roamer and almost strangled him, because of this he was expelled, now truly spiraling out of control as some people viewed it.
Finch can't really take life anymore, and has reached his breaking point. After his usual family dinner he went up to his mom's room and grabbed an excessively large amount of sleeping pills and took them in his closet. Realizing what he's done and that he's not ready to die yet he quickly got himself to the nearest hospital and had them get the pills out of him when he was unsuccessful in doing it himself. After they were out and the nurse left him unattended he just got up and left so he wouldn't have to handle everything.
Finch drives himself to a small town in Ohio to go to a group called Life is Life, which is a support group for people who have both attempted or thought of attempting suicide. While there he discovers that Amanda Monk, one of the most popular girls at their school and an old friend of Violet's, also attends their under the fake name Rachel. At the end of the meeting he tracks her down before she can run away and she admits that her mom makes her go there because in Amanda's words, " I guess you're not the only freak in our school after all." Finch promises to keep her secret and she promises to keep his, not that it would truly matter since most of the school wouldn't care if he were dead or alive anyway. Later on however she goes back on her word and tells Violet out of pity because she actually cares for Violet.
Violet goes to Finch's house for his birthday where he has Chinese food set up in his closet for them to eat. She gave him the first edition of The Waves which he had been searching for forever but had never found it. After such a perfect night Violet starts crying and she asks him why he never brought up Life is Life to her and they get in an argument and she ends up leaving. When she gets home she tells her parents the truth, that she's still been secretly seeing Finch and that she's in love with him and very worried about him. No one knows where he has been since his birthday and it seems like Violet is the only one who cares.
Finch's sister comes to Violet's house worried because she had received a weird email from Finch that morning. After checking her own email Violet realized she had one too, and by calling Finch's only two other friends they each had one from him. All of the emails seemed so final that everyone flew into a frenzy of worry. Violet realizes that he has left clues to where he is, even such subtle hints as the time he sends certain emails to something they used to discuss as an inside passion between them. She is convinced that he has gone to the last places of wandering that they were supposed to go to and his mom begs Violet to find him.
Violet has a very bad feeling she knows where to find Finch. She quickly drove to the Blue Hole in Prairieton, the place where Finch had enjoyed pushing his limits with the pressure on his chest. When she arrived she found his clothes folded neatly in a pile next to the hole, with his car keys on top. She calls out "Marco" because this is what she had done the first time to make sure he was okay and alive, no response came and she dialed 9-1-1. She goes into a shock as she calls Finch's mom to tell her, and his mom breaks down uncontrollably.
Finch's funeral is on May 3, and a lot of people attend, including people from school like Roamer who had been terrible to Finch. Violet and Brenda, one of Finch's best friends, are furious with this. Violet's parents were being rude and overprotective, not really allowing Violet to stay long afterwards to be with people who had genuinely cared about Finch. Violet is too overcome with sadness to yell at them so she just tries to let it go. She's furious and hurt and still madly in love with Finch and now all she can think of is how she couldn't save him.
Violet First Violet goes to the small town of Milltown. There is an area in town full of trees that people have hung shoes on as if they were ornaments and after a little searching she finds one he left for her to find with his name on it. Realizing the location of his shoes linked to his clues she was then able to use the clues to find the other places she had been. She then goes to the World's Biggest Ball of Paint in Alexandria. Sadly she couldn't find his name on the ball because the owner makes everyone paint over it so the next person has a clean start but she finds his name and a quote he added in the book that people sign. She wrote her own name in the next available spot and wrote the second half to the quote Finch had written on her own line.
The third wandering she goes to is the Pendleton Pike Drive-In. She soon finds where he left his name and becomes overcome with emotions. She finds a bottle of spray paint and writes her name under his and takes a picture of their names. The fourth place she visits is in Munster at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Monastery. She wound her way through a series of underground hallways until she finds a room that could only be described as glowing from floor to ceiling. She finds an out of place rock that she pockets and puts something small of her own in it's place. After she ascends a staircase on her knees (as directed by the sign) she finds a friar who informs her that the room she was just in was called "The Ultraviolet Apocalypse" which helps Violet realize why Finch picked this place. Ultraviolet was the nickname that Finch had given her and it had become an affectionate name, something they shared with each other and no one else. She looks at the rock she had exchanged her butterfly ring for and realizes it's the rock Finch gave her after their first adventure, with a note saying "Your turn" on it. After he had given her the rock and she had made her mood she had returned it to him, their inside knowledge, and now he had given it back to her.
The previous four wanderings had been places that Violet and Finch had picked together or at the very least discussed out. The final wandering Finch picked out however he had done without telling her, so she has no idea what to expect. She gets to a town called Farmersburg and after asking around she figures out there is the Emmanuel Baptist Church off of Private road and she knows from his clues that is where she's supposed to go. After reading about the history of the church Violet realizes why Finch picked this spot for her, it was a memoriam to those who lost their lives in car accidents like Violet's sister and for those who are still healing which is Violet. It was also for Finch because it was a sanctuary for weary travelers who needed rest which was Finch. There was an envelope sticking out of the Bible near the sign and when she picked it up she saw it was addressed to Ultraviolet Remarkey-able which is what he called her. Inside the envelope was a song he had written her telling her how much he loved her, and she was shaking because he had once told her he didn't believe in writing down songs. It was his final message to her, something that she would love and cherish forever. The perfect ending to a tragic story.