Did you ever want to read a heartwarming young adult romance with very little plot, a small cast, and a lot of character development? If so, Finding Mr. Brightside is the book for you.
I purchased this book in the spring when it first came out. It was my first book by Jay Clark, but I mostly purchased it because it has a really cute cover. Yeah, it was one of those spontaneous buys where I didn’t really buy it for the content, but for the artwork. I love cutesy covers like this and I just can’t seem to stop myself from picking them up!
I didn’t *love* Finding Mr. Brightside. I’m not saying it’s a terrible book, but it’s not exactly memorable. There wasn’t much of a plot line and there was a serious lack of complete sentences, but it was cute. It’s one of those fluffy young adult romances I would pick up after finishing a really intense story. I expected this book to produce a tear or two, but nary was a Kleenex used.
Finding Mr. Brightside is told in dual-first person narrative told in the present tense from both Juliette (the girl whose mom had the affair) and Abram’s (the boy whose father killed her mom and himself) perspective. I’m not the biggest fan of present tense narratives, especially when they are paired with dual POV. It always makes things seem…busier…than they should be. I have no idea why it does, it just does. Am I the only one weird about present tense? I hope not.
The book is light on world building, but as it is a character driven book, I didn’t have much of a problem with it. I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the book nearly as much as I did if both Juliette and Abram didn’t undergo massive amounts of character development, even if it seemed a bit rushed.
There he is, in the candy section: Abram. Deep breath. I’ll do my best to make the next scene more take-charge than outtake, but no promises, being that his father killed my mother a year ago.
Neither Juliette nor Abram were in a healthy place before that fated night at the drugstore – when they were both picking up prescriptions for drugs they both clearly didn’t need. Juliette coped with her mother’s affair and sudden death by abusing prescription stimulants and running away from her problems (literally, she ran all night). Abram copes by abusing antidepressants and ignoring stacks of mail from colleges. Together they start to change one another as they both shed the guilt of loving flawed parents. They make an awkwardly cute couple, and I enjoyed their dynamic, even if it was one of the least romantic romances I have ever read.