Monday, April 6, 2015

Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

Title: Finding Mr. Brightside
Author: Jay Clark
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
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 there real love story begins.

It doesn’t usually take much for me to read a book. Well, for me to be interested in reading any given book. If it has a premise that sounds like something I would enjoy, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll end up reading the book. Most of the time, I come out the other end having read an enjoyable story, and that’s exactly what happened with Jay Clark’s Finding Mr. Brightside.

Abram and Juliette have lived on the same street their whole lives, but that’s the only thing linking them together. That’s until her mom and his dad have an affair that ends with both of them killed in a terrible car crash. That was almost a year ago, and Juliette and Abram have avoided each other since. How do you talk to the person who related to the person who ruined your family? But one night, Abram decides to strike up a conversation with Juliette when they cross paths at their local pharmacy. An unlikely friendship is struck that night. And before Abram and Juliette know it, that friendship is becoming something else entirely.

The thing about Jay Clark’s Finding Mr. Brightside is that it’s really short. Like barely over 200 pages short. So when I first got the book, I was kind of curious as to how this story was going to work. How everything the synopsis promised was going to be able to take place in such a short span of time. I was even a little afraid that everything would feel rush and that the romance between Juliette and Abram wouldn’t feel genuine because of it. In the end, though, I shouldn’t have worried too much because everything worked out just how it was supposed to and the story didn’t feel rushed in the least. Yes, it was fast-paced, but it worked nicely in the greater context. And I really liked the fast-pace of the story, the constant switching back and forth between Juliette and Abram’s perspectives. It kept me guessing and kept me flipping the pages to see how their story would turn out. And it was just really fun to read how these two people came together in the face of the tragedy that connected them.

Abram and Juliette could not have been more different from one another. Where Juliette is all about following the rules and structure in her life, Abram much prefers just going with the flow and seeing what happens. Really the only thing they have in common is the fact that their parents had an affair together, and that’s not really sometime you want linking you to something else. But they became friends in spite of it all and I loved seeing that relationship develop, how each of them had a positive influence on the other, getting them out of the sort of funk both of them had been in since their parents’ deaths. Abram and Juliette complemented each other. They just worked and I was so happy when they both realized it as well. Even if they weren’t always willing to admit it to themselves and each other. And at the end of the day, they were just kind of adorable together.

Jay Clark’s Finding Mr. Brightside was a fun and lighthearted story. Though it was fast-paced, it didn’t take away from the story’s heart and the romance was right on point. If you’re in the mood for something short and fun, this is the book for you.

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