The BrightsidersTITLE: The Brightsiders
AUTHOR: Jen Wilde

RELEASED: May 22, 2018
PUBLISHER: Swoon Reads
FORMAT: Hardcover

GENRE: YA Contemporary, LGTBQIA+

TRIGGERS: Abusive relationships, parental abuse, alcoholism

As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck.

Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing.

Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own?


I feel like I pretty much have to point out how I loved Queens of Geek and how I seriously could not wait to read The Brightsiders as soon as I found out about it. Granted, it took me a bit before I picked it up, but I did! And… Here’s my review!

The good

The biggest thing that has to be mentioned, the thing I absolutely love most about Wilde’s books is the absolute abundance of queerness. There’s bisexuality, there’s nonbinary, there’s genderqueer, there’s… A LOT and it makes my heart sing just thinking about it. I squealed when I saw a sentence about Chloe with they/them because we all know pronouns are a huge deal. [I admit, I sometimes struggle using the right ones but that’s seriously because I should read up on everything more and I’m simply scared to ask sometimes?!]

Emmy… Oh, Emmy.. My heart broke for our main character – that’s for sure. She’s a magnet for trouble. It keeps finding her, no matter where she goes and what she does. Being a celebrity doesn’t help matters at all. Even though she tries handling it, it’s obvious she’s in over her head. Paparazzi, a significant other and her parents aren’t helping matters in any way either. She’s having a rough time and my heart ached for her.

I don’t want to feel like I’m wrong all the time. I don’t want to feel inferior, especially not to the person I’m supposed to be equals with. And most importantly, I don’t want to feel worthless.

Alfie, who’s the lead singer of The Brightsiders, is definitely a fun character! Need I say more than tattoos? Guitar? Like..? Then there’s Ryan, Chloe and Kass – three close friends of Emmy’s as well! I loved them all because.. well.. seriously, I can’t get over all the queerness in this novel.

As for the themes tackled; there’s definitely a very good look into life of famous people. Paparazzi can twist and turn anything to use it against you, however they please. It can drain you, can destroy you and makes you want to prove what’s truth and what’s lies. It has to be a hard life and I can only respect those dealing with it.
Other themes are alcoholism, abusive parents and abusive relationships.

I know it’s unhealthy and screwed up and destined to be a massive failure, but my self-esteem is entirely dependent on what other people think of me.

The bad

I did have some issues with this novel. I absolutely loved it, but there were some things that irked me the wrong way because I’m me and I can’t deal with certain things. First off, there’s a ridiculous amount of drama going on. Emmy hasn’t even gotten out of one thing and she’s already jumped in the next piece of drama. It was tiring to say the least. Sure, it made reading quite easy since you barely had any time to breath but… It felt like too much?

Pain is part of the healing process.

Also, at one point there are some characters introduced, just like that. There’s barely any interaction with said characters, you have no clue what kind of relationship they have with Emmy and.. They just are? I don’t know. It felt weird at the time.

Overall I really enjoyed this novel, all the topics Wilde tackles and.. most definitely all the queerness represented. That’s probably my favorite part about the entire book – can’t help it!


Nacho Pizza


As for the munches, there was mention of a nacho pizza. I planned on making it a couple of times but life isn’t cooperating and I really wanted to share my review with you so.. Here’s a googled image of a nacho pizza? Hopefully I’ll get to make it myself some day soon though!

What’s a weird food you want to try out once?
You can’t seriously tell me a nacho pizza is a normal food.




  1. Great Review! 💕 I loved The Brightsiders a lot, but there was definitely so much drama going on 😅 I really want to try out Nacho Pizza now, it combines my two favorite foods, so it has to be good, right? 😄


  2. Haven’t read this one (tbh didn’t even know Jen Wilde had a new book out!) but it sounds like a fun one. I loved Queens of Geek so I will check this one out as well. Sucks that there’s a lot of drama though, that always takes away from the story. :/ Great review!


  3. Lovely review, Kathy! I also appreciated the diversity so, so much in that one and loved how inclusive it was. I have to agree about your bad points too though, it’s true that there was quite a lot of drama at times haha, but still, it was a fun read overall 🙂


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