March 29, 2015

Finding Mr. Brightside - Jay Clark

Finding Mr. Brightside Jay Clark book cover
Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the opinions expressed in my review.]

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.

I’ll be completely honest: I’m still not quite sure what to make of Finding Mr. Brightside. The entire novel is a bit of a whirlwind, particularly because of its short length. Finding Mr. Brightside does have a pretty decent story, though it did not leave a particularly strong impression.

Juliette and Abram. As individuals? Well, Abram is kind, and pretty positive all things considered. He’s a pretty ordinary guy, mostly identifiable by his fascination with Juliette. Juliette, on the other hand, has a mind wired with hyperactive emotions. Readers will simply want to help her through this difficult time. As a couple? Unlikely, particularly considering what connects them. And yet, also, possible, because they understand each other on a level no one else would.

Honestly, what I appreciated most about Finding Mr. Brightside is this: Clark definitely showcases some character growth for Abram and Juliette. Who they are at the beginning is different from who they are at the end. While there’s no complete turnaround, there are definitely things that have changed in terms of their attitudes.

Other likable things? Abram’s mom, who happens to be a cool lady and is nice indeed about Juliette. Juliette’s dad, a writer, a grieving widower, who turns out to be pretty darn strong. The idea of escaping, even for just a little while, to a beach house.

Really though, Finding Mr. Brightside feels like it was written with the intent to get a message across to readers. However, whether it was because of its brevity or characters, it winds up feeling like a simplified account of this girl, this guy and their experience dealing with some tough stuff.


  1. I don't know if I want to read this simply because it's a play off of one of The Killers' songs, or if I actually like the sound of the book. Could be both! I definitely still want to pick this up, since it was a good story despite the lack of impression ;) At least there is some character growth! Sometimes I just can't pass up a contemporary- and I'm loving the cover. Nice review Alexa!
    Rosie // Rosie Reads

  2. I'm still not sure whether to read this or not. It's pretty short, so I might pick it up anyway but there aren't a lot of positive reviews around :/

  3. I really want to pick this one up, despite the mixed reviews I've been seeing. It's nice to see that the author throws in some character growth, with a storyline like Finding Mr. Brightside you definitely need it!

  4. I'm still feeling 'meh' about this one. I think a lot of the points you brought up in your review would annoy me. And the stepsibs thing... I can't really get into contemporary romances unless I feel connected to the characters--both of them--so Abram being so one-dimensional would drive me nuts.

    Sarcasm & Lemons

  5. I was actually really excited about this one, but I keep seeing not so positive reviews, so I'm thinking I'll skip this one. There's so much great books out there. We'll see.

    Anatea @ Anatea's Bookshelf

  6. I've been so torn about picking this one up. The synopsis wasn't initially grabbing me and now that it's had such mixed reviews I feel less inclined to pick it up.


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