March 10, 2015

Title: Finding Mr. Brightside

Author: Jay Clark ♥ @jaypatrickclark

Expected Publication:
March 24, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.

Pages: 288

Genre: Young Adult ♥ Contemporary ♥ Romance

Source: NetGalley

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 03/09/2015): 3.71

  • Christina thought this title wasn’t her cup of tea. It goes on her bottom shelf. To find out why…

**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Quick Thoughts & Rating: 2 stars! This one could have possibly etched its way up a half star toward the end, but I know I wouldn’t have allowed myself to round up because there are so many 3 star books on my shelf that I know I enjoyed way more than this one.

Suppose this book was a boy and he and I were on a blind date. Hopefully he would have realized a lot sooner than myself that he’s not my type– because I’m a bit of a softie and always hope they’ll get better as time progresses. He would have noticed how incompatible we were early on and decided to call it quits early to spare himself as well as me and my time. Then he would politely suggest we pay for our own meals and part ways for good. However, if he declined to do so, somewhere around the seventy-five percent mark into our date, I would have snuck away to the bathroom to call my friend, begging for an emergency exit excuse. “Friend, please, I beg of you. Rescue me. The strain on my eyeballs from trying to hold back the eyerolls after every dialogue exchange is giving me a migraine. And he’s boring me to tears. We just aren’t gelling.” In conclusion, maybe it was me, maybe it was the book, but regardless of where the blame lies, we definitely won’t be seeing each other again.

♥ The Lowdown: Juliette and Abram have known each other their entire lives. In fact, they’ve always lived just down the street from one another. However, in all this time, they’ve never really known each other. They were never even on one another’s radar until one faithful day when their parents died in a car accident together and everyone learned about the couple’s secret love affair. Then Juliette and Abram’s social avoidance became less about different social circles and more about avoiding the awkwardness that exists between them now. That is until they happen to land in the pharmacy one day, both picking up their prescriptions, and that accidental meet-up carries over to Taco Bell and then to his house. Over time, they insert themselves into each others’ lives and their own secret romance is born.

♥ My Thoughts: This won’t be very long because I don’t want it to seem like I’m beating the book up and a majority of my thoughts aren’t positive, made obvious by my rating. Basically what it all boils down to is that this author’s writing style isn’t for me. I’m not sure how to explain it other than it read like a screenplay/script. There seemed to be way more telling me how the characters acted and felt and less like I was being showed through Clark’s words. So that made the novel feel more stilted, and as the story progressed, I was never able to get in a good groove because it didn’t flow well. I also wasn’t fond of the characters– them as people, their dialogue, nor their romance. It read as very contrived and more than a tad pretentious, in my opinion.

I will say that one positive note worth mentioning is that this is told in alternating point of views between Juliette and Abram, and both voices felt very distinct.

♥ Rec It? Sadly, I can’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should write it off completely. One of the reasons I requested this title was because a majority of my friends and other readers on Goodreads rated it between 4-5 stars. So take what I’ve said and maybe let it lower your expectations, but don’t necessarily let it keep you from reading it all together.

♥  A very special thanks to Henry Holt & Co. and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.


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