Published by Walker Children's on 02/18/2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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.
I’m sure a lot of you have a great sense of what books are out there, especially when it comes to new releases. I know I feel this way, because I’m a librarian, a book blogger, and also just a lover of books in general. So it’s fairly rare for me to pick up a book and not really know much about it. But it does happen every once in awhile – like when I picked up Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt. I had seen the cover around, but for some reason I just never looked into the book. But when I saw it sitting at my library, I grabbed it and thought “what the hell, I’ll give this a try.” And friends, I LOVED this book. Don’t you just love that surprised feeling you get from a book you end up loving.
Bright Before Sunrise grabbed me immediately, and I couldn’t put this book down. In fact, had I not had plans the day I started reading this, I would have finished this in one sitting. This was exactly the type of book I was looking for: easy and quick to read, with a little romance, but also with fleshed-out main characters, and a little depth to make this something that sticks with you.
I loved both the main characters – Brighton, the popular, friends with everyone girl, and the loner, new kid Jonah. Both Brighton and Jonah are dealing with some family drama, which makes the twenty-four hours that this book takes place stressful for both of them. I could see myself a lot in Brighton – not in the popular girl bit, but in how she’s always trying to be “perfect” and nice to everyone. But I could also see myself in Jonah, who just wants his life to go back to the way it was before his mother remarried. Sometimes I wanted to rush over and give these characters gigantic hugs (for instance, how wonderful Jonah was with his baby sister), and there were times when I wanted to hit them upside the head and tell them not to be stupid (when Jonah invited Brighton to the party).
I even got a little swoony with Jonah. I loved how, even though he could be a bit of a jerk to Brighton, especially at the beginning, he also realized he was being an asshat. And I loved how he got to be a bit protective of her. Not in the overbearing way, because seriously, Brighton can take care of herself, but just in the way that you don’t want anyone you care about to be hurt.
Bright Before Sunrise was such a fast read, but I never felt like Schmidt didn’t give me enough. I was able to get invested in these characters immediately, and once I started reading, I just wanted to stay there. If you like books like The Distance Between Us and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I think you would definitely enjoy Bright Before Sunrise.