Source: we received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.
Every so often you start a book without any expectations, just to have your feelings about it change, and then change a little more. I know it’s confusing, but that’s what happened to me with this book. When I finished it I wasn’t sure what to think and it took me a couple of days to finally be able to write the review, the only thing sure at the moment – and it’s still true- is that I enjoyed the story a lot, but it does give you stuff to think about it. I don’t mean that it was confusing, but it gave me mixed feeling. Let’s see if I can explain myself better with the review.
Besides having a really cool title, Brightest Kind of Darkness is a YA story that has a somehow original plot and the traditional characters that so often populate YA novels (and let’s face it, make you come back for more). Imagine dreaming every night about your future, imagine knowing that you are going to get sick, have an accident, that there will be a surprise test at school, or that your boyfriend is going to dump you. Imagine dreaming about every little thing that will happen the next day, even the questions to that awful exam. That’s what’s been happening to Nara since she was 7. Now she is 16 years old and just had a dream about a bombing attack in her high school, so she decides to change the future.
Until that point I went from uninterested in the story to completely hooked by it. Then everything goes a little crazy and I started feeling like I was reading the book version of Final Destination. I don’t want to give anything away but if you have watched any of these movies you know what I mean (I think), basically you can’t mess with your destiny without facing consequences. Halfway through the book I was a little disappointed by this, and then Ethan came along.
Ethan is a cliché, or at least that is his façade: the dark stranger who was recently transferred to Nara’s high school. He’s incredibly handsome, a loner with no friends and has a bit of a reputation. There is a kind of darkness surrounding him and Nara is attracted to, but it isn’t until the day of the bombing that they start their relationship. I am sure you are going to love this guy. Yes, he seems to fit the cliché but believe me, he is far from it. He is complex, fascinating and dark. I find his character more appealing than Nara and Nara is really cool.
You can easily guess that at that point my feelings about the book had completely changed again, I just couldn’t stop reading. I felt like I needed to know who or what was Ethan, what was going to happen to everyone and what was the deal with Nara’s aunt and dad; so I stayed up until I finished the book.
This story is a teaser for what is yet to come, there is a conflict that gets a resolution but there are still too many questions left unanswered. The setting is perfect for a series and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment.
As in any YA book, the angst is another lead character. Whether it comes from the actual plot or from the chemistry between Ethan and Nara, you’ll definitely feel it. Another common place is the romance, Ethan and Nara love each other and of course they are full of hormones which are a sweet and dangerous cocktail for sexual tension. I’m confident that you will root for them. The secondary characters are interesting, although not so well developed; but I’m sure that this is mostly because it’s a series, so we probably will learn more about them in the next books.
Do I recommend this book? YES! If you like paranormal this is a must read, even if it’s a YA. If you like YA there is no doubt in my mind that you will love it. This is a clever and well-presented story, although it can be a little hard to follow sometimes, but it is worth the effort. Brightest Kind Of Darkness will make you feel a whole range of emotions. It will make you wonder if you really own your destiny and about what you are willing to sacrifice for those around you. I spent the last two days pondering those questions and some others, so this was definetly a though-provoking and intriguing story.
Review by Marie
Synopsis:Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate...until she dreams a future she can't ignore.
After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.
Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.
Patrice Michelle; June 27, 2011.