Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
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)
Brighton and Jonah come from different backgrounds. She’s the perfect goody-two shoes and he’s that guy who hates everyone and everything remotely related to Cross Pointe High as he’s been moved there against his will. The two are thrust together and over the course of one night get to know each other. In those few hours they forge an understanding that blossoms into a romance. The thing is…it’s tough to buy it. I normally LOVE books that take place over the course of one “life-changing” night. Further, I love books that are, like Bright Before Sunrise, written from alternating POVs, but I honestly struggled with this one.
Initially, there was promise in each character. First in Brighton, who is struggling with the loss of her father. She has a goal to get every student in the school to volunteer houses, something she does to follow in the footsteps of her dad. There is real pain there, something she hides from those around her, but the surface of this is barely scratched. And then there is Jonah. I found it so difficult to like him or sympathize with him at all because, while he was struggling to adjust to moving to a new town, living with his mom and his stepdad, he was, quite honestly a jerk. Inwardly he wasn’t a bad guy, but outwardly I thought he was terribly rude to Brighton. Of course he softens as time goes on, but I found it hard to understand why she’d even want to speak to him in the beginning.
That’s not to say there aren’t enjoyable parts of this book or sweet moments–there are. But for me those things came a little too late.
Crush Intensity: 3.0/5 Not bad, but not as cute as I’d hoped. I was definitely disappointed.
Thank you to Net Galley and Walker Children’s for providing me with an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.