Bright Before Sunrise
By Tiffany Schmidt
Expected publication February 18, 2014 by Walker Childrens
Jonah is not happy with his life. His mom left his dad and had a new baby with his athletic trainer. And they made him move to a new town, away from his friends and his girlfriend. The last thing he needs is it-girl Brighton trying to be his friend. He just needs to make it through the year and get out of town. But Brighton can't stand Jonah hating her for no reason and she's determined to change her mind. Will one eventful night change their lives?
I spotted this one on NetGalley and requested it because I'd heard good things about Schmidt last year (Send Me a Sign, her debut, came out in 2012). I saw this one mentioned over on Stacked so it was already on my radar.
What I liked about this book most was the character of Brighton. I liked that she struggles with how she feels and the expectations from other people about how she should feel. Her father passed away five years ago, and it seems most people think she should be over it by now, but she's not. Having lost my brother a number of years ago, I could very easily relate to this aspect of Brighton. Yes, it does get easier with time, but I'm not sure you ever really get over it. Losing someone close to you, particularly when you don't expect it or when you feel like it was far before their time, changes who you are. Similarly, Brighton is nice, something else that everyone expects of her. One of her main struggles throughout the book is figuring out if she actually wants to be that person all the time, or if she tries to be because she feels like she should. I think Schmidt handled this exploration really well.
I felt that Jonah's character was a bit less well-developed. I thought his story was interesting, particularly the guilt he felt over his parent's divorce, but perhaps his story seems a bit less unique for me.
I liked the idea of these two being thrown together for a very unusual and eventful night, though the path that put them together was full of conveniences and seemed just a bit unlikely. Similarly, though I am all for the romance, theirs was definitely too unbelievable for me.
Overall, I think Brighton is the highlight of this novel, but readers looking for a slightly off-the-wall contemporary romance won't be disappointed.
Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via NetGalley.