Tuesday, 12 May 2015

ARC Review: Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

Book: Finding Mr. Brightside 

Author: Jay Clark

Publisher: Raincoast Books

Publication Date: March 24th, 2015

Pages: 224 Pages

Format: ARC provided by the publisher

Source: Raincoast Books

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.

It's not often that I find myself utterly surprised by a contemporary. I picked up Finding Mr. Brightside because I honestly thought that it would be mindless fluff - something to pull me out of my reading slump with its cuteness. But that wasn't the case. This book has such amazing and developed characters, and because of them, I found myself really invested in the story. And when I finished this? I came away thinking that this was so much more than a summer contemporary.

One of the things that got me hooked so early on, was the relationship between Abram and Juliette. They're such great characters that stand up on their own, and have their best aspects enhanced by the other. It's not often that you find characters that fit each other so well, while still maintaining their sense of self, and their individual identities. Juliette and Abram definitely have some things that need to work out on their own, but this book doesn't dwell on that fact. Instead of focusing on the fact that they're both popping pills like it's no one's business, Jay Clark focuses on the fact that they're teenagers, who are just looking for someone who understands. He wrote a book about two weird and outcasted teenagers that fall in love at a Taco Bell. He does so well of not defining these characters by their traumas, but instead, by who they are despite them.

Jay Clark did a great job writing this. I was invested in the plot, and in the lives of the characters, but for some reason, this book felt a bit incomplete. It was a short read, only about 200 pages, but it fell right in that weird range. I felt like this was both too long, and too short. As if the place where it ended didn't make sense, and left me wanting more, but angry that I had to want it. Does that make any sense? I hope so. If not then i'm just rambling. 

If you're looking for a great, quick read for this summer, I'd definitely give you Finding Mr. Brightside. I really loved these characters, and I'm so looking forward to reading more by Jay Clark. 4/5 Stars.

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