Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
Brighton Waterford is the “It” girl in her high school: peppy, happy, wealthy, and just plain nice. Seriously. Really nice. All she wants is for Jonah, the new kid, to join a school group, get involved.
Jonah Prentiss is the new kid and just wants to be left alone to wallow in the unhappiness that was created when he moved with his his mother and step-father (and new baby sister) into this upscale town, leaving his girlfriend, school friends, and place on the baseball team behind.
The entire book takes place on a single night when Brighton is babysitting Jonah's baby sister and Jonah is asked to take her home. As they are thrown together, each learns the secrets of the other.
Bright is not the happy, spoiled child. Jonah is not really the tough, angry kid. The characters never fall into that two-dimensional hole. As they spar, doing the approach-avoidance dance, readers are entertained and fascinated. We even root for them, although we really know the eventual outcome.
Even though we can see the plot lines from blocks away, the story still sucks you in and leaves you with hope. Change can happen. For everyone.
Recommended 12 up.
Mild cussing, death, grieving, kissing.