{#Review } Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark @jaypatrickclark @MacKidsBooks @HenryHolt

March 30, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 29 ★★★★½

{#Review } Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark @jaypatrickclark @MacKidsBooks @HenryHoltFinding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
Pages: 224
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), Macmillan on March 24, 2015
Genres: contemporary, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher

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.


YA ReviewMy ThoughtsFinding Mr. Brightside is the sweetest story about two quirky teenagers that have (completely different) problems of their own, each stemming from a singular incident that affected them both. Abram and Juliette are neighbors and they each had their own little average nuclear family, until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad decided to have an affair together. And then they both died in a car crash while they were away together. So it is kind of a gossip worthy and messed up situation.

Finding Mr. Brightside is told in alternating points of views between Abram and Juliette and these two kids could not be more different. Juliette is as type A as they come, popping more than her already too high dosage of adderall just to keep up with everything self imposed thing she wants to do. The funny thing about Juliette is that she had all the makings of someone that would be queen bee in high school, but she was almost as much of a loner as Abram was. I liked that neither of them really fit into any one stereotype completely. It made them seem more like real teenagers and less like characters in a book. I can see Finding Mr. Brightside as a movie. Maybe one of those indie movies. (or big budget movies, with funky camera work, made to look like its’ an indie movie.) Everything played out while I was reading like I was watching it on a big screen. The whole book felt very conversational, not forced and effortlessly funny. I thought Jay Clark did a phenomenal job of capturing the voice of teenagers.

Juliette cracked me up. She knew her neurosis and she knew that some aspects of herself were messed up, and she poked fun of them in her chapters. I loved that her specialty text message was a mixed message. I couldn’t stop laughing at that. This book seemed so relate-able to me, which was great because I’m not really anything like either Juliette or Abram. I have noticed more than a few DNF 1 and 2 star reviews of finding Mr. Brightside and I can only imagine that a vast majority of these readers didn’t give Juliette and Abram enough of a chance. The beauty was in riding their journey out with them. They made each other better. They were there for one another- supporting, listening; telling the other one when they were wrong and just looking out for them. It was a beautiful relationship, even in its’ moments of messed up glory. Yes, Juliette and Abram had problems. Yes Juilette should not have abused her adderall like she did, but I hate to break to everyone- she is not the only teenager on ADHD medication. I have seen her story time and time again in real life, and I loved the way Jay Clark portrayed it in Finding Mr. Brightside. He didn’t glorify it, or sugarcoat it. You got to see the good, the bad, and the ugly about those little pills.

And now for my favorite part of Finding Mr. Brightside- Abram. Oh my sweet, sweet Abram. He is my Mr. Brightside as well as Juliette’s. How can you not love Abram. He is also just so positive, and so nice. He is a good guy, you can tell that from the very first moment you meet him. And he is never anything but a ray of sunshine. He saved Juliette. I totally and completely believe that. Finding Mr. Brightside has an open ending, but it looks like it will be a standalone. And I am ok with that. I thought the story was beautiful and funny and all around wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed Finding Mr. Brightside.



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About Jay Clark

Jay Clark is the author of Finding Mr. Brightside, which author Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl) calls “one of my favorite YA books ever,” and The Edumacation of Jay Baker, which Booklist praised in a starred review.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

29 Responses to “{#Review } Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark @jaypatrickclark @MacKidsBooks @HenryHolt”

  1. Crystal Books Unbound

    I haven’t really heard much about this book! But your review was awesome! I also love when a book has characters that feel so real that they’re more than just characters. They’re flawed just like real people. I also enjoy books like this where a relationship evolves into something more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I will definitely have to check this book out 🙂

    Crystal @ Books Unbound

  2. Vi

    I do love a book with a good guy. The cover initially drew me into this book, but yeah, I haven’t heard many raving reviews about it and I’m already picky when it comes to YA contemp so that’s why I haven’t given this a try yet. I do like that there’s a good amount of humor in it. Might have to give this one a try.

    • Michelle @ Book Briefs

      Yea there have been some mixed messages about it, but a lot of the lower reviews seemed like DNF’s. Which I totally get if you are not feeling a book, but this one is worth a read I think.

  3. Kim @ BookSwoon

    I love it when we get the alternating points of views in a story like this. This sounds like it worked out great for you – and I’m glad you were able to give the characters a chance to finish the journey. The romance sounds sweet as well.
    Thanks for the great review, Michelle 🙂

  4. Dragana

    I’m not sure if Finding Mr. Brightside is my kind of contemporary. I like them only super fluffy and light. o:) But, I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!

      • Dragana

        Now you are talking my language. 😀 I’ll add it to my summer vacation tbr. I like to drown in contemp. romances then. 😀

  5. Keionda Hearts Books

    Hey Michelle! 🙂 This book sounds like a spicy read! 🙂 I’m more into the *ehem* bad boys but I’m curious to see how this male hero is in this book.
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Chyna @ Lite-Rate-Ture

    Yay!!! It sounds super fun!!! I was denied in net galley for a copy huhu it broke my heart. But I need to grab a physical copy, it’s so cute. Look at that cover. Btw in your review you didn’t mention any romance? Is there romance? I sure hope there is. I want a cute fluffy romance hihi (Not including the affair) HAHA


  7. chyna @ Lite-Rate-Ture

    Yay!!! It sounds super fun!!! I was denied in net galley for a copy huhu it broke my heart. But I need to grab a physical copy, it’s so cute. Look at that cover. Btw in your review you didn’t mention any romance? Is there romance? I sure hope there is. I want a cute fluffy romance hihi (Not including the affair) HAHA

  8. michelle

    i’m glad you enjoyed this. i love the book cover. it’s not my usual contemp read because i usually pick up the light, fluffy, romantic kinds but i might consider this one for when i’m feeling like stepping out of my comfort zone. thanks 🙂

    -michelle @ Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks

    • Michelle @ Book Briefs

      I think you might still like this one Michelle. I know it seems like they are dealing with some heavy issues, but Jay Clark has managed to make this one funny and feel good at the same time! (trust me, I am the queen of liking light fluffy reads.)

  9. Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought

    Well, I didn’t expect that this book is dealing with ‘tough issue’ such as abuse! I thought it’s only an ordinary romance between two teenagers. Nevertheless, this make me want to read it more. Glad you enjoy it! 🙂

  10. Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    I love books that can make you relate to them regardless of whether or not you you’ve ever been in their shoes. I actually haven’t read too many reviews for this one so I haven’t seen any of the lower ratings, but I always enjoy it when a book inspires a wide variety of opinions, it makes me want to pick it up all the more just to see what I’ll think. So glad this was a winner for you Michelle!

  11. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    This sounds absolutely lovely, Michelle! I love the sound of these characters and I think I would love them. Quirky characters are usually the best.
    Plus, I need a sweet story in my life!
    Wonderful review, Michelle!

  12. Danielle @ Love at First Page

    I thought this was such a gem of a book! Glad to see you adored it too. 🙂 I agree – this would make a great indie film, someone needs to get on that! Loved the characters, especially Abraham – he was so surprisingly sweet.

  13. Jaime Lester

    I have seen some good, some meh, and some not so good about this one. But it does sounds pretty cute. This one is a library pick, for sure!

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