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Bright Before Sunrise

Bright Before Sunrise

4.1 8
by Tiffany Schmidt

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Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone . . . but has no idea of what she wants for herself. Her seemingly perfect life is marred only by Jonah,


Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone . . . but has no idea of what she wants for herself. Her seemingly perfect life is marred only by Jonah, the one person who won't give her the time of day, but also makes her feel, well, something. So when they are repeatedly thrown together over the course of one night, anything can—and does—happen. Told in alternating chapters, this poignant, beautiful novel's energy and tension, amidst the humor and romance, builds to a new beginning of self-acceptance and hope.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brighton Waterford is the most popular girl at school, but she and her family are still mourning the loss of her father: “Five years. And it’s still so raw.” Surly Jonah Prentiss is new in wealthy Cross Pointe; he can’t stand the town or anyone in it, especially his mother’s rich new husband, or Brighton, whose perkiness embodies everything that angers him about Cross Pointe. Brighton needs Jonah to participate in a school service project, and she will try and get to him however she can, including agreeing to babysit his baby sister to get access to him. When Jonah catches Brighton snooping in his room, it sets off a long night of mishaps, misunderstandings, arguments, party- going, near-fistfights, angry ex-girlfriends, and an eventual romantic spark between the two teenagers. In this combative but eventually sweet opposites-attract romance, Schmidt (Send Me a Sign) has the two protagonists narrate in alternating chapters, and she has a good handle on Jonah’s anger and class-based insecurity as well as Brighton’s exhaustion between her grief and the many pressures she’s under. Ages 12–up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Feb.)
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Barbara Johnston
Crosse Pointe high school mirrors the upscale, buttoned-up atmosphere of its planned community. No one exemplifies this better than pretty, popular, and high-achieving Brighton Waterford. As Key Club president, she hopes to honor her deceased father by equaling his record of having all students involved in volunteer work. It would be a certainty except that sullen newcomer Jonah has no interest in the school, its activities, or Brighton. He misses his baseball team, his “buds,” and his hot girlfriend, Carly, from his former and less privileged town of Hamilton. Brighton and Jonah butt heads on numerous occasions until both realize that clinging rigidly to the past hinders the possibilities of the present and the future. Brighton and Jonah alternate as narrators as the action moves through approximately fifteen hours. Both exhibit how major family changes—ones that many teens experience—precipitate internal mayhem. Brighton has lost a parent and copes by showing no emotion and acting “nice.” Jonah is full of resentment after his parents’ divorce and refuses to even try to adapt to his new circumstances. Ever so gradually, the author allows Brighton and Jonah to open up and try other ways of coping. These vicarious life lessons are valuable ones. Easy flowing teen banter, party scenes, volatile breakups, and a touching awakening of love also help deliver a worthwhile teen read and library purchase. Although the theme is familiar, Brighton and Jonah are stars and readers will want more. Reviewer: Barbara Johnston; Ages 12 to 18.
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
A lot can happen in a few hours and both Jonah and Brighton are counting down the time left until everything will get better. For Brighton, that means that the memorial service commemorating the fifth anniversary of her father’s death will be over. For Jonah, he will graduate in a couple of weeks and get away from what feels like an unbearable life forced on him by his mother and stepfather. Brighton is the most popular girl at Cross Pointe High School and also the busiest, running multiple clubs and volunteer efforts. If she can only get Jonah to volunteer for one of the many community activities, the school will achieve a 100% volunteer status, earn a plaque, and make the faculty sponsor, Mr. Donnelly, VERY happy. Mr. Donnelly has made it clear that he is counting on Brighton to get Jonah on board, and she cannot bear to disappoint anyone. Jonah, on the other hand, having been moved to this new school in an upper-class neighborhood in his last semester of high school, wants nothing to do with the school, his classmates, and certainly not with any volunteer activities sponsored by them. Through a chance encounter with Jonah’s mom at the nail salon, Brighton unwittingly agrees to babysit for Jonah’s new half-sister, and they are thrown together in totally unexpected ways. Unfortunately, the parents in this story all seem irredeemably clueless and self-centered, the personality transformations stretch credibility, and the conclusion is wholly predictable. Will appeal to teenage girls who like romances. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Jonah Prentiss, the new guy at Cross Pointe High School, spends his days alone and silent. Instead of attending this wealthy suburban school, he would rather be back at his old school in Hamilton, only a few miles away in distance, but on the opposite side of the universe in terms of economics. His mother remarried and moved the newly blended family to Cross Pointe during the last half of Jonah's senior year, and instead of trying to fit in, Jonah radiates anger and counts down the days until graduation when he can escape. He goes back to Hamilton as often as he can to see his girlfriend and old buddies. At his new school, he reluctantly befriends Brighton Waterford, a popular and spirited school leader at CPHS who tries to recruit Jonah to help with service projects. Even when he lashes out at her, Brighton continues to be sweet and friendly because, after all, that's what people in Cross Pointe do. Brighton and Jonah end up going to a party together and by the end of the night, they help each other uncover some of the deeper issues each faces. The story takes place all in one long evening and ends with a good bit of romance as the two find they have more in common than they first thought. This book will appeal to readers who enjoy realistic fiction and love stories.—Diana Pierce, formerly at Leander High School, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Prim Brighton, a high school junior, agrees to accompany sullen Jonah to a party only after the senior reluctantly promises to participate in a community-service project. Soon, sparks are flying in this opposites-attract romance. Initially, Jonah and Brighton's "date" is merely a businesslike agreement. Jonah needs Brighton's beauty to make an ex-girlfriend jealous, and Brighton needs Jonah's participation as part of her project to honor her late father. Their early interactions are largely contentious, as Jonah offends Brighton by describing her carefully cultivated "nice" persona as symptomatic of a lack of interests. But revelations and radical changes in perceptions must happen quickly considering the novel's short time frame, and Schmidt seems to compensate by relying on formulaic situations to move the plot along. Jonah becomes suddenly protective of Brighton when she attracts the unwelcome attentions of a brutish older guy at the party, and Brighton earns respect by gushing about horror movies during a late-night impromptu pizza dinner with Jonah's friends. Meanwhile, Brighton begins recognizing Jonah's sensitive side while observing him with his hometown friends and listening to stories of his father's abandonment. Her growing understanding allows her to see his observations about her personality less as critiques and more as permission to shed the burden of pursuing her father's legacy at the cost of her own personal interests. Predictable but with some sweet moments. (Fiction. 12-18)
From the Publisher

“This book renewed my faith in fate and made me remember it only takes one night to change your life forever.” —Jen Calonita, author of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life and the Belles series

“If you ever had that one wildly perfect night, you'll love this book. If you never did, you'll love it even more.” —Diana Peterfreund, author of Across a Star-Swept Sea and For Darkness Shows the Stars

“Sparks are flying in this opposites-attract romance.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Easy flowing teen banter, party scenes, volatile breakups, and a touching awakening of love also help deliver a worthwhile teen read and library purchase . . . Brighton and Jonah are stars and readers will want more.” —VOYA

“Fans of the one-crazy-night romance genre will love the budding tenderness and passion between the teens. Recommend to readers who like a lighthearted love story with serious undertones, such as those by Lauren Myracle or Deb Caletti.” —Booklist

“The book tells the story of how that first love can help you see the good and the bad through new eyes and launch you out of yourself toward becoming someone that you like better.” —BCCB

“This book will appeal to readers who enjoy realistic fiction and love stories.” —School Library Journal

“This is Schmidt's first novel, and it is a noteworthy one . . . a moving and inspirational novel that teen girls will love.” —VOYA on Send Me a Sign

“Compelling; it has heartbreak and tragedy, but hope as well.” —School Library Journal on Send Me a Sign

“Schmidt's heroine believably vacillates between stoicism and indignation as she learns to rely less on superstitious signals to predict her future and more on herself.” —Publishers Weekly on Send Me a Sign

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
HL710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

TIFFANY SCHMIDT is the author of Hold Me Like a Breath, Send Me a Sign, and Bright Before Sunrise. She's a former teacher who's found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. Visit Tiffany online at www.TiffanySchmidt.com and on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt.

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Bright Before Sunrise 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
When I read the blurb for this book originally, I immediately thought of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (one of my favorite books – and movies) and I knew I needed to read it immediately. I was thrilled to get early access to it from the publisher, through NetGalley. It sounded completely charming and I hoped I would love it. I wasn't disappointed!  Brighton is little miss perfect. She's popular, intelligent, involved in student activities and, darn it, people like her. Her family life is complicated. Her father passed away five years ago, her mother is still a bit of a mess, and her sister is away at college. It took me some time to connect with Brighton. She was maybe just a little too perfect and expected too much of others.  Jonah is a bit of an outsider. He was forced to leave his friends and girlfriend behind and move to the ritzy Cross Pointe from more or less the other side of the tracks in Hamilton after his mom left his father, remarried and had a baby. He doesn't want to make friends with the people at his new school and he has no desire to be involved with activities or sports there. He's simply biding his time until he graduates and leaves all this behind when he goes to college. I liked Jonah nearly immediately, even though he came off as a bit of a jerk.  Brighton tries to convince Jonah to participate in an upcoming fundraiser. He's having no part of it. They clash immediately. She's used to people pleasing her. He isn't going to play that game. Through a series of events that take place over the course of one night, they find themselves thrown together. During those few short hours, they realize that while they thought they had each other figured out, there was more to each of them than met the eye... and they have more in common than they might have thought. I love books when two people are thrown together for a specific, short period of time. It's fascinating to me to see the type of connection you can make with a person in a short time span. Sometimes it feels forced and unnatural, but that wasn't the case with Bright Before Sunrise. Brighton and Jonah worked well together. Their connection and the progression of that connection felt real and believable. There was a bit of romance, but it wasn't all romance, it was more about learning about someone else and figuring out things about yourself along the way.  This was a great, quick, engaging read for fans of the young adult contemporary genre. This was the first of Tiffany Schmidt's books that I've read. It certainly won't be the last.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it! Definitely recommend!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a cute story a little slow in the begining but that's exactly what kept you reading because you knew sooner rather than later the two charecters would (hopefully) get together. I really liked the story and loved the characters. Definitly recommened this to anyone who wants to read a quick but meaningful romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    I wanted to read Bright Before Sunrise because I liked the sound of Jonah and I thought that I would relate with Brighton because of the expectations at school as well as her grief over losing her father.     It really is amazing how dislike can turn into lust and like like over the span of a night. I like how fate pushed Brighton and Jonah together and that their decisions cemented that they were meant to spend time together and as a result get to know the person that is behind the front given to the rest of the school. And that neither is what they thought the other would be.      I know that my first thought would be an insta-love situation, but they never really muttered the I love you's, it was more as they gave the other a chance to see who they really are, they liked that glimpse and did things to see more. Now, I will admit, they had selfish reasons at first. Brighton wanted Jonah to participate in community service so that her and her teacher would have 100% participation and get a plaque, and Jonah wants to get back at his ex for dumping him claiming that he cheated. But Brighton thought that Jonah was a loner, an outcast where he just longed to be back where he called home and with the friends and family he loves are at instead of across town with his mom, stepdad and new baby sister, feeling all alone. And Jonah thought that Brighton was shallow, and just wanted to put on the nice face for show. But Brighton truly is nice, and while some of it is show so that her pain and uncertainty doesn't come out, she truly wanted to get to know Jonah and wanted to help others.       I love how as they spent more and more time together, the more they liked each other, and felt compelled to share. Brighton is in a lot of pain over losing her dad, and feels like she gets the brunt of responsibility and that she can't mourn. But Jonah doesn't treat her like she is breakable so she feels like she can share with him, especially after he opens up about his parents' divorce and his feelings about being away from Hamilton.      It def was a night to remember with their changing of percceptions, uncertainty that they were the only one feeling that way to a shared lust and some hot making out. I was kinda surprised that the whole book really just took place in a 24 hour time frame and the characters were fully fleshed out, dynamic, and I wasn't left with the feeling that the romance was too rushed.     Now of course, I would love more from Brighton and Jonah (and for some reason I want to keep calling him Noah in this review, lol). but I think that Ms Scmidt did a good job of resolving it and giving them possibilities and hope of a future together.  Bottom Line: Sweet contemporary with a romance that goes from dislike to something deeper as they spend an evening into the night together. 
Cupcakegirly More than 1 year ago
Read it! I started this book around mid-day, read a few chapters and had to set it aside to do things like, feed my kids and switch the laundry. By the time I was able to pick it back up again, it was 10:30p.m. and I was exhausted. I figured I would still get in at least an hour before my eyeballs gave up. That didn't happen. By 1:30a.m. I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom reading by - I kid you not - nightlight, and fighting the urge to flip to the end to see whether or not this turned out the way I hoped it would. It did. When I finally crawled back into bed at 2:30a.m., I had a big goofy smile on my face! What I Loved: I was really curious about the "one night" premise. I was also a little nervous that Tiffany Schmidt might not be able to pull it off - telling a story that only covers a few hours but that is engaging, thought-provoking and heart-warming, but she did it! I really enjoyed the dual POV and how both of these characters were almost extreme versions of themselves in the beginning. Their experiences have caused them to shut down emotionally but it manifests itself in different ways. Jonah is a jerk, lashing out at everyone and everything around him. Totally understandable. Divorce is hard on a kid regardless of age. Throw in a move, a neurotic girlfriend and a bunch of other changes and life can kind of suck. Big time. The only bright spot in his life seems to be his baby sister and ohmyfeels...the scenes where he is caring her are so stinking sweet! Brighton's perpetual positivity is merely a survival mechanism. Neither of her parents are emotionally available to her and thanks to her sister's carefree (and often hilarious) attitude, Brighton is the one tasked with taking care of their mom. But Caretaker is a role Brighton feels the safest in despite the fact that it's slowly eating away at her. When their night begins, both Jonah and Brighton have preconceived notions about one another as well as agendas. Over the course of a few hours, words are spoken, feelings are hurt, and connections made, leaving them both to face the reality that maybe they really aren't all that different after all. Maybe too, they're the only other person who has a clue as to what the other is dealing with. Maybe, just maybe, Jonah and Brighton are exactly what each other needs. Not tying up all of the loose ends is just one of the things that makes this story unique. But the reader isn't left feeling frustrated or angry about all of the "what happens now" questions. What the reader IS left with is hope and belief that it really does only take one night to change your life for the better. What Left Me Wanting More: Nothing. However, if Tiffany Schmidt would like to write another book about what DOES happen next, I'll be first in line to read it. With cupcakes. ;) Final Verdict: Engaging, thought-provoking look at how we not only see others, but how we see ourselves too. Read it! Favorite Quote(s): "Mom keeps a bail fund for me---for you, she only has college money." "Go get my purse' does not give you permission to go in my purse," when all I'd wanted was a piece of gum for my baseball game." (One of the first "rules" I taught my boys. LOL!) "Pity for the loser with undersized man-parts." "In one car ride she's gone from pensive to half-asleep, and now she looks like she's snorted coffee beans."
JackiesBookWorld More than 1 year ago
Bright Before Sunrise is a must-read! Tiffany Schmidt did an amazing job describing the characters really well and having everything happen in one day made it impossible for me to stop reading. From the setting to the background stories of the character, Bright Before Sunrise is a relatable book that would appeal to everyone that has gone through the same experiences as the characters. The losing of someone or something important and having to cope with it while not letting other people get hurt.  Jonah is miserable when he is forced to move away from his old life in Hamilton to Cross Pointe on his senior year. He has everything he has ever known in Hamilton, so he hates the idea of having to move to another town. Now if that wasn't all, he also has to deal with his step-father and new baby sister in his life. Although he is a caring brother, the relationship between him and his step-father hasn't started on the right terms. Jonah has isolated himself from anything, including his classmates at his new school. But it doesn't take long before Brighton, the popular girl at school, notices him and his new adventure takes off.  Apart from being liked by everyone at school, Brighton has suffered a lot in her life. She has to put up a happy face and show that she is fine so that she doesn't get pity from everyone around her. For once in her life, she feels liberated that someone is not afraid to tell her how things go without being afraid of breaking her. But everything around her seems to bring back memories of her diseased father. She knows that attending his anniversary is going to break her and so she avoids it by taking on the task of making Jonah, the new kid, realize that Cross Pointe is not as bad as he thinks it is.  Both characters have a lot to learn and to let go, and when they are stuck together for the day, they start to discover new things about each other that brings them closer. Their growth reflects on the time they spend together and that's one of my favorite things about this book. Schmidt is able to bring relatable characters as well as situations that just about anyone can relate to. The end of the book is the end of the day for both characters and they are in a much better place than they were before. The writing flowed beautifully and it all felt right. I highly recommend this book to everyone to give it a try, you will not regret it.  *ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago