Title & Author: Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
Genre: Young Adult- Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: March 24th 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Description: Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.
Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a few months later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite her to Taco Bell. To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins.
I’ll be straight with you, the biggest factor in deciding to buy this book was the cover. I am a total SUCKER for great covers. I am loving these recent contemporary cover designs. I want to own them all. Ok, onto the review.
This book has an interesting writing style that puts you right into each characters head. It’s as if they are narrating their life into a voice recorder, crazy thoughts and all. I loved it. At first it was confusing to read but once I realized how it was structured it was much easier to just get into it. This is a really short book. As a hardcover its not even an inch thick and I found myself finishing this in two sittings. There are no cliffhangers and mostly everything comes to a nice closing at the end which is exactly how I like my standalones. I’m not a huge fan of the “fill in the ending” thing most authors do so when this one ended with them together, things being better, both looking on the “Brightside” I was extremely happy.
This book was so full of emotion. Hope, despair, depression, anxiety and they all mixed and blurred and I just loved the interaction of Juliette and Abram. Their lives had always been intertwined even before the fatal car crash of their parents. Moving past the grief and coming to terms with what happened really helps both characters grow closer together and heal each other.
Juliette is a huge mess. She is a huge pessimist, thinks mean and bitter thoughts constantly and is always trying to beat herself up over something. Realistically she isn’t in the best mental state and her addiction to Adderall is not helping her. If anyone of the two should be on antidepressants I thought it should be her. Abram on the other hand is taking antidepressants but doesn’t really think he needs them anymore and it sort of irked me the way Juliette just comes out of the blue and helps him get off it without seeking the advice of a medical professional. Yes I realize she viewed the side effects as bad and yes they probably weren’t the best for him but depression is from a chemical imbalance and you can take screenings with a doctor to see if you are getting better/worse and I just don’t want teens to take the idea of “helping” themselves by getting off their medication after reading this book. (Please for the love of all things good, do NOT do that.)
I know a few reviews say Juliette is viewed as slut shaming and therefore a bad person but honestly, when reading this the only person she shames is herself. Yea she gets bitter thinking about the unnamed Asian girl Abram almost slept with but come on, girlfriends are allowed to be a little jealous every once in awhile. She just using the term ho-bag and whore to talk about herself and her behavior (even though she’s never done anything) and I chalk it up to a few things. 1) She is living in a time when people are constantly slut shaming and degrading the actions of women. Its clear she is apart of that generation and it would be stupid to not see her peers feelings on stuff like that and not have it effect you in some way. 2) She is not in a good place mentally and uses the negativity to beat herself up and lower her self worth. She views herself as a ticking time bomb and hello, that’s not healthy. 3) Her mother was having an affair and that can seriously warp your views of women/sexual things.
I feel like I’ve talked about a lot of negative things in this review but honestly I loved this book. I gave it 4 stars on goodreads mostly because its the type of book I’ll remember but probably never reread. There was a lot of really good things! For instance, Juliette tried to rush things physically with Abram and the both come to a mutual understanding that they aren’t ready/they don’t need to move to the next level yet to show their affection to one another. Also lots and lots of character/personal growth! Even in Juliette’s dad! (Although it did seem sort of weirdly rushed. I mean she was only gone for like 5 days.) Anyway, when it comes down to it I found this book really fun/funny and would recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary.
Good golly I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Juliette is a super pessimist but I liked the way Abram leveled her out with his optimistic easy going attitude. This isn’t a rushed relationship (even though in the book it takes them about a month or two to establish a relationship) it was never viewed as insta love and thank goodness for that.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK?
Yes, this is a really great contemporary read. Its got a lot of dark humor, sass and awkward situations but they all come together to make a great book.