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.
I originally bought this book a few months back but I just now finished reading it. I’d heard a lot of great things from fellow book bloggers which had made me anxious to give it a try. However, when I first started it I had trouble finding that “hook”. I’ll admit, I only read about 10 pages in so I didn’t give a good first try. Now that I’ve finally finished; I’m left thinking: “Why the heck didn’t I continue reading months ago!?!?” Brightest Kind of Darkness was fantastic. It had all the wonderful elements I love and need in a good book. The story line was fresh and full of mysteries. Even after book one I still don’t really grasp what’s going on but in a weird way I love that I don’t. The obstacle(s) in book one weren’t easily averted because their cause goes deeper and touches on a more sinister plot. Certain aspects that at first seemed normal and random turn out to be important and intertwined within the overall story, giving it a more complete and solid feel. I’m not really sure where the story is headed next but I’m glad that there is such a huge window of opportunity for it. I love being shocked and surprised!
P.T. Michelle does a fabulous job of capturing the essence of high school whether it be waiting for that darn bell to ring, studying extra hard for Trig, or the colorful students that inhabit the halls. All the major types and should I say stereotypes were represented. For instance, you’ve got the jocks who are busying partying it up on the weekends and flirting their way around the field along with the loner-types who keep to themselves and seem to be burdened with a dark past. I found all the characters to be solid and very real.
Nara our main character and heroine really breaks through the highschool stereotype. Although she’s a star soccer player she isn’t quite as stuck up as her fellow teammates. From the outside it may seem like she’s just another lemming fitting into the status quo but once you get to know her you realize she’s pretty unique and independent. What I loved most about Brightest Kind of Darkness was the dilemma Nara is put in when she loses her dreaming ability. In the beginning of the book Nara speaks about her ability as a curse. However, the moment she loses it, she has a pretty hard time functioning without it. I.E. living her life day by day not knowing what to expect. It’s one of those “you didn’t know what you had before you lost it” scenarios because Nara didn’t truly realize how big an impact her dreaming ability had on her day-to-day life. She’s had this ability for 9+ years and has come to rely on it on a daily basis whether it be during soccer games or even taking a test. She’s never had to study a day in her life (super jealous!). Among other things a good chunk of the book focuses on Nara coming to terms with her dream ability, does she truly want it back or is she better off without it. Things aren’t quite as black and white as they first appear to be.
Brightest Kind of Darkness was a great first book to a sure to be promising new series. It was written beautifully with great descriptions and dialogue. I found that there was a good balance of narrative along with dialogue which to me, is very important. The characters really standout and fill-out the story well, with the parts they play. I believe this books belongs in the Nevermore-domain, another book which is beautifully written and has a careful, complete, and unbelievably-awesome story line tinted with a darker-edge. I recommend Brightest Kind of Darkness to anyone who of course loves YA fiction with action, romance, mystery, paranormalcy, and of course a bit of sinister-ness.