Sunday, February 16, 2014

BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Number of Pages: 288
Source of Book: eARC from publisher on NetGalley
Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone . . . but has no idea of what she wants for herself. Her seemingly perfect life is marred only by Jonah, the one person who won't give her the time of day, but also makes her feel, well, something. So when they are repeatedly thrown together over the course of one night, anything can—and does—happen. Told in alternating chapters, this poignant, beautiful novel's energy and tension, amidst the humor and romance, builds to a new beginning of self-acceptance and hope.
Sometimes the best stories are the ones that take place over a course of hours instead of days. Those stories that highlight the moments in life, the nights when things change. Perspectives are shattered, feelings are awakened, hearts are broken and healed, and two people come to know each other in a way that would never have happened had circumstances not led to them being together and talking.

Both Jonah and Brighton are hurting. Their families don't seem to realize that they're part of what's making each more wounded. They don't really know each other, but they end up in the same place thrown together. Neither one thinks much of the other, although each is trying to figure the other out, and that helps them figure themselves out also. Through the course of this one night, that will happen. And in the end, neither will feel the same, act the same, or be the same as they were at the start. This is a story that has things happening, but also delves deeply into the internal examination of each character trying to figure out what they project to others and whether that's truly who they are. Over the course of this one night, they both see each other more deeply and come to learn things about themselves that help them see themselves more clearly. I do love the ending, but I wouldn't mind being able to follow Brighton and Jonah's story a bit more beyond it.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. I appreciate it being told in dual points-of-view so that we know not only what Brighton is thinking/feeling, but we also get Jonah's perspective on things. It makes for a richer and more fulfilling story. It also allows the reader to get to know each character more and really feel for them. I was pulling for each to come out okay in the end. This is the type of story that would work for those looking for a lighter romance book, but also those looking for a story with more depth of teens trying to figure themselves out in the context of other's perspectives and families dealing with divorce of loss of a parent. I know that I will be passing it on to students very soon because it is the type of story I know they'll like.

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