Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
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.
Publishes in US: March 24th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Genre: ya contemp
Source: macmillan via edelweiss
Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository
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I wanted to read this one because it sounded like the kind of love story that gets me every time... the one formed by tragedy.
The prologue didn't do much for me but I liked once we got into Abram and Juliette's heads and lives. We see right off, with them meeting at CVS that both were taking care of parents who aren't fully present, but also that Juliette is taking ADHD meds and abusing them even though she has a prescription and that Abram is on an anti-depressant. I think both are pressing issues for teens, knowing when meds are okay, helpful and what the line is with abuse.
As a side effect of the ADHD meds, Juliette feels a confidence that she normally doesn't have and she agrees to go get some food with him, and so their love story began. Their parents are against them being together but especially her dad. Abram's mom seems more resigned, and has always wanted Abram to keep an eye on her, but never this closely. Juliette is more of a free spirit, and just drops in pretty much when she wants, uses his computer, and steals his heart.
I enjoyed Juliette's growth, but wish that some was more self motivated rather than because Abram asked her to stop the meds. But I was still proud of him when he followed her suggestions of how to wean off of his. The ending was sweet and perfect for the journey of these two characters. The only reason that I marked it down is because while it is a story line that I enjoyed, and a good romance, it ultimately didn't stand out. Their meds, their parents (the dead ones also got attention and they were working through the cheating and the position they're in because of their relationship) I feel like it could have been more emotional.
Regardless of what I said about their reasons for recovery, I do like that they challenge the other. Juliette steps out of her comfort zone-- talking to others, trying new things, being open to stop the meds eventually. Abram was open to trying tennis again, something he was very good at, but something that was very associated with his dad.
I also didn't like the slut shaming. I get that Juliette didn't have the best self-esteem, but she def focused on someone Abram was friends with and in her mind and sometimes out loud, tearing down this other girl. I guess that her views of sex can be skewed as well because of her mom's affair, but associated just being on the pill with being a whore, or letting herself feel lust and passion in the same light.
I did enjoy the remaining parents' dysfunction and development. It took a lot to get Juliette's dad to face reality instead of depending so much on her, and being a legit writer hermit. On the other hand, Abram's mom was involved but not pushy. She would voice concern but respect his decisions. She didn't let her husband's affair with Juliette's mom effect her view of Juliette as a separate person.
The ending was sweet and perfect for the journey of these two characters.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
What's the strangest way you have met someone/ started a relationship or formed a friendship?