Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

Book Blurb:

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 year later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite Juliette to Taco Bell.

To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins

My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Teen--

Abram and Juliette have both been struggling in their own ways over the last year. A shocking tragedy took away Juliette's mom and Abram's dad, who had been having an affair. As the book starts a year after those events, Juliette is addicted to Adderall and wasting away and Abram is addicted to antidepressants and could care less about anything. Due to poor timing (on Juliette’s part) the two have a shaky interaction that could really change their lives for the better.

This was not a deep insightful read where I learned a lesson. It was about two damaged and confused teens who find each other and end up better because of it. I had no expectations going into the book; to be honest I could not even remember what it was about when I started reading. I found myself in the minds of both teens and their quirky thoughts and I thought the book to be absolutely hilarious, which is strange to think about since the topic is drug addiction, death and grief as well as betrayal. Even the most awkward of situations was turned into some strange occurrence that I could not get enough of. I ended up reading this book in one sitting because it was a quick light read that flowed well. There was no teen angst about heartbreak and the back and forth of dating and playing hard to get. It was about two kids who found each other and determined to make their strange relationship work regardless of the many flaws and pit falls in the way (predominantly in the form of Juliette being her honest self).

I was almost finished with the story when I decided to read other reviews of the book on Goodreads and I was surprised by the poor ratings. I decided to read some of those bad reviews just to make sure we were reading the same book. And sadly, we were reading the same book. I understand where some of the issues come from, since Juliette is in no way shape or form a “real girl”. She is so far outside what a typical teenage girl is like that it may cause discord for a teen reader who wants to relate to her. This is a problem that I face when I read books written by men with a female main character. There is no connection or realism because a man will never understand a woman the way a woman understands a woman. I have yet to read a book written by a man who has a female main character that I have connected with or found believable. This is true in this book also, Juliette is not real, but I did not find that to distract from the overall quirky nature of the book. The whole “slut bashing” thing I found to be blown out of proportion mainly due to the story being told by a man. Maybe the author thinks this is how women really are, or he has dealt with enough snarky girls to assume that is how we all are. I took it with a grain of salt due to a very insecure female character and the author’s knowledge base. Not to say that there isn’t a male author out there who can create a completely accurate female portrayal, just that I have yet to discover one.

Don’t read this if you want a true teen angst book, because you will be let down. Read this only if you want a fun quick trip into escapism with a cute couple who learn to be better people together. It was full of humor, awkward situations turned fun and a sweet love.

I was surprised by how entertaining I found the book to be and I am glad that I decided to give it a chance. I look forward to more from this author in the future.

I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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