Finding Mr. Brightside is an unconventional romance featuring two teenagers who bond over a shared tragedy. Abram and Juliette have known each other forever – but they never really knew each other until they accidentally met at a CVS one night. What starts out as an awkward encounter featuring some prescription drugs slowly turns into an easy friendship, until Juliette and Abram realize that it’s becoming something more. Their developing relationship is complicated by the fact that Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad were having an affair – which ended in a deadly car crash.
The story is sweet and heartfelt, and the writing feels very realistic. The perspective frequently changes between Abram and Juliette – something I generally dislike – but their voices are so distinct that there’s no confusion. Many YA books have conspicuously absent parents, but Juliette’s dad and Abram’s mom are present throughout the book, dealing with issues of their own.
Although the story takes place over a fairly short stretch of time – it can’t be more than a couple months – the progression of Juliette and Abram’s relationship feels natural. The characters are perfect for each other: Juliette helps Abram regain control of his life, and Abram helps to break down the walls Juliette has built around herself.
I was pleasantly surprised with Finding Mr. Brightside, and I look forward to more from the author.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy.
Final rating: ★★★★☆