Author: P.T. Michelle
Title: Brightest Kind of Darkness
Series: Brightest Kind of Darkness (#1)
Publisher: Patrice Michelle (2011)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“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.“ GoodReads’ blurb
I do have one roaring complaint about Brightest Kind of Darkness: I want more of it!
There are so many things I thoroughly enjoyed from this book. For starters, the action was non-stop. From the opening scene, which put me on edge and shot up my adrenaline even when I wasn’t yet invested in the characters, all the way through to the very end, I was glued to the pages and unable to turn away! Every spare moment I had, I invested into reading more, into trying to figure out the mystery of the dreams and the visions and the crows and...
Wait. I’m not making much sense, am I? I always try not to spoil reads, though, so I can’t really explain what the above referred to, but I can promise that you’ll be hooked from one issue to the next. Let’s just say, if you think that dreaming about the future is the weirdest thing Nara will have to confront, you’re in for a surprise. Ethan’s past is dark and unknown as well, as are is own abilities, but what truly kept me wondering all the time is his future: not so much who he was, because he was so lovable that I could accept him as readily as Nara did (his good looks might make me bypass her misgivings, even!), but who he’ll be. Or who he has been.
This is what I meant about wanting more, needing more of Nara and Ethan: the end will leave you reeling! On the one hand, there’s a sweet, much needed closure, but on the other... Oh, the questions! So many questions raised, so much foreboding, that I can hardly wait for the next book.
Another detail that captivated me here is the level of “normal” P.T. Michelle has woven through the paranormal. Nara has a difficult relationship with her mother, but their love, crooked and complicated, shines through in a thousand gestures. Same goes for Nara’s aunt and Granny, they are both support –one more important than the other, perhaps, but still!- and yet they have a collection of quirks, anecdotes, and a solid relationship with the main character that other novels could only dream to sketch.
In the same manner, Ethan’s troubled past is, hopefully, not what your average troubled guy might be hiding but the way she deals with him, his family, his attitude, his reluctance to get involved with others, his fear and fierce protectiveness when he does... All of that paints a very accurate picture. When she put him together with Nara, it didn’t feel like fate’s going (pardon the pun, to those who have indeed read the book) but like two complex people getting to know each other, and slowly loving what they find.
Furthermore, there’s life beyond their romance and their troubles. For example, both of them volunteer at an animal center – a detail I loved so, so much! I’ve been involved with abandoned dogs before and the scenes about forgotten puppies needing some love and care just felt too sweet, and too real.
I think that’s the key point, as usual with all great reads: even when we’re dealing with strange dreams and stranger events, it still feels rea. Why, even the disputes between friends and the not-quite-so-friendly backstabbing so classical of teenagers are well portrayed, and even those characters whose job is only to be a bother (yes, I’m looking at you, Sophia) get motivations and personalities clearly defined.
In a nutshell, if you enjoy the genre even remotely, you should read Brightest Kind of Darkness. It’ll grip you. It’ll surprise you at ever turn – specially when you think you know what’s coming. It’ll stay with you long after you’re done reading, and it’ll make you wait impatiently for book two.
So, what are you waiting for? Go, read and enjoy!