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It Ain’t Fiction, Just A Natural Fact

In Tiffany Schmidt's Bright Before Sunrise, good girl meets MLD. Obviously, romance ensues.

It Ain’t Fiction, Just A Natural Fact

BOOK REPORT for Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

Cover Story: Double Take
BFF Charm: Roger Murtaugh
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: He Said, She Said
Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude
Relationship Status: Flirtation

Cover Story: Double Take

When I first laid eyes on this cover, I assumed it was a new Jennifer E. Smith book because, well, it looks like a Jennifer E. Smith book.

Once I realized that was not the case, I began to wonder why the hell those two kids in silhouette were smooching instead of running for their lives because THE MOON IS ABOUT TO COLLIDE WITH THE EARTH. Obviously, they haven't seen Melancholia.

The Deal:

Brighton Waterford is one of those girls who defy high school cafeteria classification. She's hot enough to sit with the popular kids, she's sweet enough to be welcome at any table, and thanks to her no-dating policy, she remains sheltered from social politics. She's basically perfect, and she works hard at it-- not because she wants to be queen bee, but rather, because it would have made her father proud. As the anniversary of his death approaches, Brighton is only one person away from following in her dad's footsteps and achieving a 100% participation rate in her school's Key Club. Nothing will stop her from getting that one person to sign up for a community service project... except for that one person.

His name is Jonah Prentiss, and even though he transferred into school earlier in the year, he's made no effort to befriend anyone, especially not goody-goody Brighton. Thanks to his parents divorce and his mom's remarriage, Jonah was forced to move from his beloved blue collar neighborhood of Hamilton to the stuffy suburb of Cross Pointe, and he makes a point of hating everything about it.

So when crazy circumstances throw him together with Brighton for a night, things get ugly. But you know what Paula Abdul says about opposites...

BFF Charm: Roger Murtaugh

While well-meaning, Brighton is extremely uptight, but her grief over the death of her father adds some compelling shades to her character. Jonah's sweetness is a little more hidden, although his brutal honesty initially makes him more likable than Brighton and her forced peppiness. Both of them carry some serious baggage that affects their decisions, leading to some seriously stupid choices. 

I liked them, and I was definitely rooting for them to get together, but when I found myself repeatedly asking the Classic Parent Question, i.e. "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?" I realized I'm way too old for this shizz.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

I am a sucker for good girl meets MLD, and the best part about this duo is that they're far more nuanced versions of those clichés. A star athlete at his old school, Jonah is only an MLD at Cross Pointe, while Brighton has the pain of loss to add some edge to her purity. They've also got a fair amount of enemistry sizzling between them, since Brighton is intent on winning Jonah over (so he'll sign up for community service), and he basically despises her. There's never any danger of a wildfire, but the slow burn of their romance is nice and toasty.

Talky Talk: He Said, She Said

Each chapter alternates between Jonah and Brighton's perspectives, and both of their voices are unique and relatively believable. Jonah feels like a boy, and Brighton is made much more sympathetic by the glimpses of her anxiety and insecurity. While the emotions of the characters dip into dark territory, Tiffany Schmidt still keeps things light with breezy dialogue and brisk pacing. The entire book takes place over the course of a night, and you'll need even less time to devour it.

Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude

It's always fun to get inside the brain of an MLD, especially one who isn't stoned or stupid. The reality of Jonah makes him slightly less dreamy, but his attractiveness doesn't diminish with his mysteriousness.

Casting Call:

Aimee Teegarden as Brighton

Grey Damon as Jonah

I couldn't resist putting Aimee with her FNL and Star-Crossed co-star.

Relationship Status: Flirtation

Book, you were cute, and I definitely got a few tingles during our interaction. You didn't pretend to be something you're not, which I appreciate, and your lighthearted demeanor made for a pleasant conversation. I'm not gonna ask for your number or anything, but if I pass you on the street, I'll certainly give you a wink and a smile.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Walker Childrens. I received neither cocktails nor money for this review. Bright Before Sunrise is available now.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).