Release Date: 27 Jun 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Summary: 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.
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Source: Please note that I received this book for free from the author for the purpose of an honest review. I did not receive monetary compensation for my review and receiving this book in no way affected my opinion or how it was expressed in my review.
Review: From the very beginning Brightest Kind of Darkness reminded me of a way better version of Final Destination. They aren't even similar in the beginning, at all. However, just one thing Nara said got the comparison stuck in my head and I was unable to let it go. Nara mentions trying to alter what happened in her dream when she was young, a girl breaking her arms on the monkey bars, by inviting her to play with sidewalk chalk. Instead of the broken arm, the girl ends up with a blood clot from a rogue baseball. Changing fate is a dangerous thing and yet Nara knows she has to risk it again in the opening scenes of the novel. Because of this past horrific experience, I was so proud and endeared to her from this moment on because reporting a bomb should be an obvious choice but Nara knows first hand that it isn't. I don't want to say too much, but I was so pleased with myself when Nara made a discovery a little more than halfway into the book. My stupid comparisons are genius.
Nara was such a refreshing teenager to read about. She was genuinely a good person; it's so rare to read about a character like her especially in YA. She wasn't sickly sweet or full of fake kindness either. I like realistic characters and as someone who is kinda sorta prone to grudge holding, I find those types characters easier to identify with. Nara was effortlessly easy to sympathize with and understand, and she was real. Her volunteering at an animal shelter is what helped me make that special reader-character connection. I volunteer with horses and handicapped kids/adult so I have a special respect for others that donate their time. It's not easy and it's usually thankless; if you only do it for yourself, you won't last more than a few weeks before it burns you out. I don't like saying it because it always annoys me when it is or isn't attributed to a celebrity, but I have to admit that Nara is a great role model. She's certainly someone I admire.
For quite a good portion of Brightest Kind of Darkness I had no idea what to make of Ethan. We're given little snippets of information that all contradict what Nara seems to be feeling. For example we see his drawings of a demon eating flesh and he's described as a troubled loner. All of Nara's first descriptions of him had me feeling pretty blah about him, I'll admit that I can be shallow when it comes to heroes though. However, Nara tells us she feels safe around him etc. I liked having conflicting feelings about Ethan instead of being pulled into an instant love situation where I've either got to love him along with the heroine or else the book isn't nearly as enjoyable.
Brightest Kind of Darkness is an amazing, intense read. Even when it was 6AM and hadn't slept yet, I couldn't seem to put it down.
"Do you want to know what happens the rest of your day?" he asked in a calm voice.Rating: 5 Bites (Phenomenal, loved it)
Covering my hand, he slid his thumb rhythmically over mine. "Unless you count the end of the day-when you kiss me."