Mon, February 10, 2014

Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt Review

Bright Before Sunrise book cover

Bright Before Sunrise book cover

Bright Before Sunrise
By Tiffany Schmidt
Publication date: Feb. 18, 2014
Walker Childrens, 288 pages
Source: Publisher

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.com description

Tiffany Schmidt’s Bright Before Sunrise had me at the description, honestly. Why? It’s got one of my all-time favorite conceits in literature: Stories set, start to finish, in a short period of time. (It was one of my Things I Like in Books, even!)

One reason I love young adult literature is that the emotions are so heightened…and when it’s set in a truncated time period it’s like YOUNG ADULT JUICE CONCENTRATE. I’m super into it. I found it so completely enjoyable to see Schmidt smoosh Brighton and Jonah together awkwardly and let them have one crazy night to work out their issues.

Definitely entertaining.

One thing I do want to touch on, though, is that for much of the book (maybe all?) I disliked both main characters. So it might have taken me a bit longer to get into the book as a result — but it doesn’t mean I wasn’t able to enjoy their story. I know a lot of people have a hard time separating the two (liking characters vs. liking a book). If you’re feeling this way, I’d just say to keep pushing and try to appreciate that Brighton and Jonah’s flaws just mean that have much more room to grow throughout the course of the book!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: romance, tiffany schmidt
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12 Comments

  1. Devyn said:

    Young adult juice concentrate…that is the best way of explaining it I have ever read!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    HA! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, February 10, 2014

  2. Ginger @ GReads! said:

    This book had a very slow start for me. There was a lot of scene setting in the beginning, but I found once the sun set, the story really picked up. In the end, I loved it. I think it’s great you point out the difference in loving characters vs loving a story. I feel that I see this a lot. Someone is smitten with a character, but forget to look at the story as a whole — and vice versa.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I think you + me = same page on this 100%

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, February 10, 2014

  3. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader said:

    Ah! I’ve been looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Bright Before Sunrise ever since you mentioned that you had read it two weeks ago, so I was very excited to see your review today 🙂 While an unlikable protagonist doesn’t necessarily mean that I will dislike the book as a whole, it certainly factors into my enjoyment of it. Characterization and development is definitely the most important aspect of a novel for me, and even if I’m not able to like a character, it is important that I’m able to understand them and that their motivations ring true. That said, initial reservations aside, I am still SO excited to read this one! Like you, I’m absolutely mad about books set over a shortened period of time. The stakes often feel higher and the emotions heightened as a result, and I love that. Also – “Young Adult Juice Concentrate”? Best description (and possible band name) ever 😉

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    HAHAHA that would a GREAT band name. Love it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, February 10, 2014

  4. Rachel said:

    Oh my gosh, young adult juice concentrate is the best description ever. I love when a story takes place over the span of a day, so I can’t wait to read this one! I’ve heard a lot of people saying they weren’t totally in love with the characters, but that they still enjoyed the story. I think the characters sound pretty interesting, but I won’t know if I like them until I read it.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I think definitely give it a try if you tend to like that in books too — like I said, the characters weren’t faves of mine, but I don’t think they were supposed to be, ya know? It’s more about their journey than loving them and who they are right off the bat.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, February 10, 2014

  5. Alexa S. said:

    I honestly love that BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE is written such that everything that happens is within 24 hours! That always creates the most interesting of situations AND reminds me, as a reader, that sometimes, it’s hours or minutes that can change the course of your entire day.. or even your life. I’m looking forward to reading this!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Beautifully put!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, February 10, 2014

  6. April said:

    I really loved this one. The characters really didn’t get on my nerves which is odd because I’m very much a character person. I think i read this one after HeartBeat by Elizabeth Scott though, and I hated that little witch so these two were refreshing. lol. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    HAHAHAHA your comment about Heartbeat just cracked me up. I didn’t hate that character as much as everyone else! She was a huge brat, granted, but I think she was just spiraling out of control and needed intervention. I liked that one! Hope you could too despite her 😉

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, February 10, 2014

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