Bright Before Sunrise

By Tiffany Schmidt
Published on February 18th 2014
Published by Walker Childrens
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

Sometimes when I read a debut and I am so incredibly taken by it, I get nervous.  I get incredibly nervous because I am afraid that it was kismet or a fluke.  I am afraid that I am not going to love anything else that the author puts out as much as the first book.  With some authors, that is sadly the case.  They go in a different writing direction or things just don't fit as perfectly as they did.  Reading Bright Before Sunrise was more like a happy reunion.

I am not sure what it is.... the plot, the way the author writes, but there is something about Tiffany Schmidts books.  I open them up (or start them on my Kindle) and look back up and three hours have gone by.  I feel satisfied and have a bit of a headache.  I never intend on binging on her books- it just seems to happen.

Bright Before Sunrise has a slightly more cheery storyline than Send Me a Sign.  There is no terminal illness (although we do hit the slightly less rough topics of death and abuse).  The story flip flips point of view between Brighton (who if you have ever seen a Brighton bag or jewelry- she fits that exactly) and Jonah who doesn't really know who he is.  I have to say, I really enjoyed reading about both characters (which is rare for me, I tend to not like multiple POVs).  I loved that the storylines seemed to overlap- I get to see events from both sets of eyes.

Bright Before Sunrise reminds me of college.  You spend a ridiculous amount of time with a small group of people.  You "get deep" and have deep discussions right away.  You experience fun and memorable events together.  It all happens in a very short amount of time.  (I would imagine that camp would be the same way...I hate bugs so I don't actually know ha ha).

The thing I appreciated most about Bright Before Sunrise was that although there was a good romance, it wasn't the point of the book.  The point of the book was showing how two people discovered who they are and reconciled who they were with who they want to be.  That is such an important lesson for anyone growing up.  I think you can tell by the review that I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read the next thing that Schmidt cooks up!

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