Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: Bright before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

Bright before Sunrise

Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Pages: Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: February 18, 2014


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


After finishing this I wasn't sure how I felt about this.
Sure I knew I really enjoyed this one. But was it one of those books, that will stay with me, was it amazing? Or was it just an adorable book?
To be clear, my wavering was not about my usual 3 or 4 star when i enjoy a book, no no this time around I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be 4 or 5Stars
Well, so I left it. Though about it for several days. Talked about it with several reading buddies. And this is what I found:

Schmidt has captured my heart with her writing style. It's simple yet beautiful, direct yet subtle. Her intuition rounds this all up in the most touching way.

The character building of the two MC's is done well. They both really well built and one gets to know them both really well. Especially since this is written in the dual POV.
Brighton and Jonah are total opposites in their characters. While Brighton is the typical nice girl- who does everything to be nice and hence never stops to see what she wants, but most of all wants to be liked - Jonah doesn't care what anyone thinks- but being nice is not an option because nice means forgettable. And Jonah wants to be seen most of all, he feels ignored and overlooked. Jonah is mighty angry.
Personally I am not nice, nor have I ever been the nice girl- don't misunderstand me, I am not mean or nasty- but for some reason I never really cared what other thought of me. So I related way better to Jonah. But I know many girls who are like Brighton. And the amazing thing; they all have a similar problem with assertiveness, just like Brighton. They find it hard to be authentic and find their own voices, simply because they are swamped by everyone else's needs.

The story happens over one day.
It's really beautiful to watch the two of them fall for one another. Though this only happens in one night- it's not insta-love, more like they discover each other during their weird and coincidental adventure. A night that changes them both- not so much as in huge way, but more real- very realistic- they both discover things about themselves and find a way to move on. The romance is a sweet side effect of it all- and the change is the catalyst to the romance and visa versa.

I made a few of my reading buddies read this book. And not one of them gave it 5stars. Not one of them was as moved by it as I. At first I thought it's just personal preferences. Then as we spoke about the book - I discovered that YES this is personal.  The characters spoke to me, I could relate to Jonah and to Brighton for different reasons. I really loved the ending- the fact that it's kind of a new beginning- it's like real life. Yes, there isn't the HEA and no there isn't an epilogue, but isn't that how life is?
But the thing that got to me in the end was the night time adventure. I am one of these people who has done the coincidental night party thing, I am one of the teens that hung around a park at 3am, I am one of those people who went and did some fun thing in the middle of night just because my friend needed it. And I am the girl who spent the first night she met a guy - going on adventures and talking to him till sunrise. We just had our wedding anniversary this week, it's been more than 10 years and frankly- that night, is the reason we are even together. There is a certain magic when you spend a night talking- somehow things can shift and two opposites just fit. Just like in my life- that's why this novel worked for me.
So in many ways Schmidt could have not written a more personal book for me. It just fit and just clicked with me and reminded me of beginnings and of pasts, youth and promise.
So it is 4,5Stars for many personal reasons- but then, what else are ratings other than a string of person reasons?
I am looking forward to reading many more books by Schmidt! A must read for lovers of the genre, definitely a very realistic and real YA novel.


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