Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Category: Young Adult
Release Date: 2-18-14
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. – Goodreads
I was wondering how a story would be told if all you could cover was a 24 hour period of time. Bright Before Sunrise turned out to be a very compelling look at how two very different people learn that they might more in common than they think. Brighton’s character was all about appearances. Not just looking put together, but giving the impression of being put together. However, she was still grieving the loss of her father on the inside and dealing with the grief of her mother, as well. Keeping everyone happy was her number one goal. On the other side, Jonah had resigned himself to being a disappointment. His new life in a different town has him feeling conflicted about who he is and where he comes from. The comedy of errors that bring Jonah and Brighton together was perfect RomCom material. Told in dual points of view, we get to see the lives and thoughts of each character, which I always like. We also see the misconceptions they have about each other, which makes their developing friendship interesting to read.
I liked the way the story let us get to know the characters as they got to know each other, with assumptions being shattered one by one. The way both families were flawed and messy, but still loving, was something that really helped me see where Brighton and Jonah were coming from in their views and attitudes. I liked the way it showed how even the people who you think have everything together, still have places in their lives where they feel vulnerable. When dealing with such a finite about of time in a book, it can be hard to adequately convey feeling and character depth, but I think that Bright Before Sunrise was able to do just that. Bright Before Sunrise took two high school stereotypes (the loner and the popular girl) and deconstructed them into real people through the interaction of the two characters. That definitely gave me the feeling that I was living this night with them. Bright Before Sunrise was a fun and thoughtful book that gave a very entertaining account of one night with enough depth to the story to make me feel like I really knew Jonah and Brighton.
I received this galley in exchange for my honest review.