Parents' Guide to

Bright Before Sunrise

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Opposites attract in fast-paced teen romance.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (2):

The format of Bright Before Sunrise is one the most captivating qualities of the book. Brighton and Jonah alternate narrating each chapter in the first person. The alternating point of view hooks the reader: When one character details an occurrence in the course of the evening, you can't wait to see how the other character sees it. The novel has a classic opposites-attract storyline. Brighton's an involved over-achiever who's kind to everyone, and Jonah's a sullen, cynical outsider who doesn't want to interact with anyone at school.

The interactions between all the characters make the point that we should never assume we understand what people are like based on appearances. Kids who seem to have it all together often don’t, and those who act mean are often doing so because they are dealing with emotional pain. Unfortunately, the characters are clichés, and most of the conflicts in the book feel contrived or flimsy. The dialogue and character motivations feel unreal and forced, until the last quarter of the book, when the story resolves in a satisfying way. And while major personality transformations in an eight-hour span aren't all that believable, the device serves the purpose of feeding the excitement and romance of the story.

Book Details

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