Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Review: Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley, and it will be published on February 18th.

When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him. 

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. 

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? 

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

This book was adorable. From the moment I picked it up I could not put it down, and I had to physically force myself to stop reading and go to class. After I got home from dance, I picked up my kindle and read through until the end. The story flowed very nicely and was very fast-paced. I liked the characters and I couldn't wait to read more (obviously).

This story followed the alternating points of view of Brighton and Jonah, as they learn more about themselves and the world around them. Jonah discovers that maybe living in Cross Pointe won't be so bad, and Brighton realizes that she doesn't have to be what everyone else wants her to be. This novel raises important questions about who you are, who you want to be, and what you want to achieve in life.

Some of my favorite components of a romance are when two people start of as enemies that misjudged each other, and two people who are opposites yet compliment each other; this book has both of these things making it more enjoyable for me. This author also had a wonderful way of bringing her characters to life, and bringing us into their lives without stating facts about them.

I didn't like Jonah's girlfriend, Carly. Then again, we aren't supposed to like Jonah's girlfriend.From what we see, she doesn't have many redeeming qualities (other than her looks) and her reasons for breaking up with Jonah are very flimsy. She does some questionable things in retaliation against something that didn't even happen, which really frustrated me as did the fact that she has no proof for her accusations against Jonah other than a phone number on a flyer.

As the night goes on, Jonah realizes that Brighton isn't who he thought she was. He also sees the differences between Carly and Brighton and starts to suspect that maybe things hadn't been quite right between him and Carly lately. Jonah doesn't leave Carly to be with Brighton, he realizes that their relationship was having problems and he had reasons for dating Carly other than because he cared for her.

A wonderful story that made me happy, and I gave it 4 and-a-half stars (maybe I'm just being picky, but I just couldn't give it 5 stars). I will definitely be buying this book and re-reading it when it comes out (in 5 days!). Maybe having the physical and final edition of the book will bump it up to a five, but I don't know. I recommend this book for people that like contemporary romance novels, and novels that deal with self-discovery.

"Kindness is your social weapon of choice, but it only works because you've grown up within the system and it's what people expect of you."

"Nice is for people we forget."

"Your goal each day should be to make the world better by being in it."

"How do you think people describe you?"

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