Author: Jay Clark
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
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.
Okay, this was better than I expected. I thought Finding Mr. Brightside was going to be all super sappy and dramatic, but not so. This is actually a lot of fun. Yes, there are serious subject matters, but it’s not all done in a Debbie Downer way.
Juliette and Abram both lost a parent. At the same time. Her mom and his dad were having an affair, and then died in a car accident on their way home from a getaway. Can you imagine getting that call? Juliette and Abram live down the street from each other and go to the same school, but don’t talk. Then one random night they just kind of fall into this … weird friendship. They seemed to naturally gravitate toward each other, and that made sense given their circumstances and curiosity.
I love Abram and Juliette. Their dynamic is one of my favorite types – she’s standoffish and pushes people away, while he’s easygoing and persistent. It’s highly amusing how her attitude and personality doesn’t faze him. I know Juliette doesn’t exactly sound like a ball of fun, but she is funny in her own way. And the two of them together made me laugh quite a few times.
“Just now noticing the twin daggers shooting out from Juliette’s eyes – looks like they’ve been there awhile. In case there’s any confusion over who her target is, she points in my direction and then makes a throat-slitting gesture with the same index finger.
I step out of the car, still excited to see her.”
Obviously they’ve come together under strange circumstances, and they’re both dealing with what their parents did in their own unhealthy ways. So it was nice to see how they grew closer and found closure together. What I really like too is, there isn’t very much drama. I mean, there is a little or else it would be kind of boring, but it definitely falls on the lower side of the scale.
Overall, Finding Mr. Brightside was an entertaining read for sure.