Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book Review: Brightest Kind of Darkness

Brightest Kind of Darkness
Published By: P.T. Michelle
Publication Date: June 2011
Page Count: 357
Source: Kindly Provided by Author
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

I have to admit that I totally judged this book by its cover. Every cover in this series is gorgeous. I wanted to read it solely based on that fact. I didn't even read the summary; I just immediately decided that this novel was for me. Luckily, this is one of those times when a pretty face actually has some substance as well. Brightest Kind of Darkness turned out to be an intriguing fantasy with paranormal and mythical influences.

Nara is a typical high school student on the surface. She worries about what other people think, struggles to find her niche, and just wants to do well in the classroom and on the soccer field. She's your typical average good girl, but her home life isn't typical. Her father abandoned her family without an explanation and hasn't made contact since. To cope with the abandonment, her mother throws herself into work and leaves Nara to largely fend for herself. These elements of the story inspired empathy for Nara. She's such a good person that I hated to see her feel like she wasn't loved by her parents. She doesn't even know how to truly accept affection from others and just expects to be treated poorly. Nara becomes a doormat, but luckily by the end of the novel, her backbone grows stronger.

There is one thing that makes Nara truly unique - she can see her future. Every night Nara dreams about the upcoming day. She can see everything - from what's going to be on the Spanish test to where she needs to be in the goal to prevent a soccer ball from scoring. As annoying as this gift could be, I did find myself thinking about the benefits of such a cool power. Nara tries not to abuse her gift, but when a school bomb threat appears in her dreams, she feels she has to act to protect her classmates. This event will trigger a chance meeting with the handsome new student, Ethan.

I really loved Nara's powers and how they are explained. I felt for her as she tried to decide when to intervene and when to let fate run its course. I honestly don't know how I would handle being in her shoes. On the one hand, I would want to protect others from harm, but every time Nara intervenes she changes the course of events. What if I triggered something horrific? The internal conflict in this story is superb. I enjoyed the ethical implications of Nara's actions.

In addition, I also enjoyed the chemistry between Nara and Ethan. There is an instant attraction, but there is not the instalove that I see so often in YA novels. Also, I almost applauded when I realized there was not a love triangle. It was nice for the story to focus on one girl and one boy. The emphasis is more on the plot than on the romance. I enjoyed that the relationship between these two began as friendship and took time to evolve.

My one big complaint with this story was the pacing. There were moments that I couldn't put it down because I needed to know what was going to happen next, but there were also plenty of times when I put the book down in favor of other activities because I was losing interest. There were times when I needed to force myself to plow through certain chapters. 

In the end, this was well worth my time and effort. P.T. Michelle has created an intriguing story that has some fresh elements. This is not the same old recycled paranormal romance that I have read a hundred times. Michelle's writing had some beautiful moments and I loved her descriptions. She's certainly an Indie to watch.

All in all, I enjoyed the time I spent with Nara and Ethan. I'll certainly be reading more in this series in the future. 

P.S. - Right now this novel is free on Kindle. Snag it.

One Last Gripe: Some of the dialogue seemed a bit unrealistic. The teenagers often spoke like adults.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I like the exploration of destiny and choice.

First Sentence: For me, being surprised was like my best friend's favorite shirt; cherished for its borrowed uniqueness.

Favorite Character: Nara

Least Favorite Character: Sophia

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.


  1. Replies
    1. I think it's a Paula book. I predict you're gonna love Ethan.

  2. Oh, I've been wanting to read this one! You're right about the cover. It's lovely. I'm also glad to hear that there's no love triangle--or insta-love.

    1. I think all the covers in the series are gorgeous!

  3. I was really intrigued and tried it but couldn't get into it. I think I got it free also. It was out of my norm anyway, YA and fantasy.

    1. I think there is a book out there for everyone. It's okay that some books don't speak to us.

  4. I just watched the trailer for it and I'm hooked! Also downloaded it onto my kindle...not good for my TBR!

    Charlie xx

  5. Thank you for reviewing BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. I'm glad you're looking forward to the next book. :)

    1. Thanks for being so patient! My reading list is a beast, but I'm trying to tame it. I have no idea when I'll be able to work in the rest of the series, but it is on my TBR list. Thank you for stopping by Reading Lark. :)


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