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The Brightsiders

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,686 ratings  ·  491 reviews
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out, and life in the spotlight after being labeled the latest celebrity trainwreck in Jen Wilde's quirky and utterly relatable novel.

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 ni
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by Swoon Reads
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Oh, boy.

I know this is my unending refrain, but I really wanted to like this book. Even though I didn’t expect to.

Unfortunately, I was prevented. By exciting stuff, like drama so unrelenting and pain-inducing that it gave me icepick migraines. You know, those really fun ones that feel like someone is stabbing you above the eye? Yeah.

But let’s talk about good stuff first.

The main main main amazing triumphant life-changing world-turning Good Thing is what Jen Wilde seems to do best (judging by th
may ➹
reading this book with phrases like “fave people” and “hashtag blessed” was very disconcerting after reading Six of Crows where a character ripped out someone’s eyeball and I liked it a lot more than I expected!
Lea (drumsofautumn)
hardcover of the brightsiders

This is the kind of queer book I was waiting for. If you’re still looking for something super diverse to read during Pride Month.. THIS IS IT! Please pick it up 🌈💜

I've been thinking about some more thoughts to write about this for over a week now but I just honestly am so deeply in love with this, that I don't even know what to tell you. Like it's one of those books.
I definitely wanna tell you what diversity is featured in here. I tried to catch as much as possible but I might have missed some!
May 23, 2022 added it
There’s definitely a diversity of rep here but unfortunately this really was not for me. It read as much too young for me personally so I imagine would likely be best for teens, though be mindful if recommending it does deal with underage drinking/emotionally manipulative family and exes/parental negligence/sex etc. I am always prepared to suspend my disbelief, especially when it comes to celebrity romances, and I typically enjoy the heightened sense of drama. But there really just wasn’t much r ...more
1.5 stars.

✔️ The cover
✔️ The premise
✔️ The diversity- seriously, there's an incredible amount of gender, sexual and racial diversity in these characters
✔️ It's short

✖️ The writing
✖️ No seriously
✖️ It was bad
✖️ And felt ridiculously amateurish
✖️ And immature, like dude, I know they're teenagers bUT COME ON
✖️ The way Wilde explained all the diversity and some of Emmy's choices about hair and make up felt... ""preachy""
✖️ Like I totally get the message about wanting to look the way yo
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Trigger warnings: Emotional manipulation, alcoholism, parental abuse

Jen Wilde does best when she writes wonderfully diverse characters who are the norm - The Brightsiders features characters who are bisexual, gender fluid, lesbian and also biracial. Although Emmy King is a famous teenage rockstar, with an immense talent for the drums and with legions of fans from all over the world, there was an element of her that felt so real. Having had neglectful parents for her whole life, and being in an a
kav (xreadingsolacex)
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacted my review.


The Brightsiders is a young-adult contemporary novel about a teen drummer, Emmy King, who is branded as the media's latest trainwreck.

Wilde really outdid herself with this novel.

An unapologetically queer novel that tackles a multitude of important subjects,
Trigger Warnings: biphobia, homophobia, transphobia, emotional manipulation, abuse, underage drinking, drug mentions


The Brightsiders was another book I picked up on a whim. I didn’t expect a lot since I hadn’t enjoyed Queens of Geek. This book was one that I was definitely enjoying more than the author's debut. I was totally into the world and wanting to get to know the punk rock bad main characters more. It was also beautifully diverse,
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I wasn't expecting to click with this book as much as I did with Queens of Geek, I definitely did enjoy it! However, it did seem to lack some depth, which made it a bit difficult to really stick with the main character throughout the book, and especially the ending felt a little too quickly wrapped up. This was a bit of a shame to me, because I did like the characters and so I would have loved to get to know them better. Both the topic and the main characters reminded me of Alice Oseman's ...more
All I have to say is, don't mess up with the girl wearing purple lipstick.

details about the different representations:
Emmy: she/her, bisexual, drinking problems
Alfie: he/him, genderqueer, pansexual, social anxiety
Ryan: he/him, first generation Korean-American, bisexual
Chloe: they/them, biracial, black, genderqueer

L.C. Laurent
Sep 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: negative-reviews

Page 154. That’s how far I was able to make it before I had to pause and just start a review. I will be finishing this book so that I can have a complete opinion on it, but this was the point where my disbelief could no longer be suspended. It’s funny to think about what small seemingly insignificant thing can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but this is what did it for me: strawberries and maple sy
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I'm not sure if I actually liked this more than Queens of Geek, but it comes pretty close. The Brightsiders is unapologetically queer & if you're looking for great LGBTQIAP+ rep, this has it. The 3 MCs of the band- Emmy (bi), Ryan (bi), Alfie (genderqueer)- are strong characters on their own (though we don't see as much on Ryan's development as Emmy's & Alfie's) & their friendship was lovely to see. Alfie was definitely my favorite character- a sequel for him in the future perhaps? Othe
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

TW: Emotionally abusive parents, toxic abusive relationship, gaslighting, alcohol abuse, vomiting, car accident, biphobia, transphobia, forced kiss, anxiety attack

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I mean…the issues is tackles so head on (all kinds of abusve relationships) hit me right in the feels, and the way it was done was so honest and Earnest that I couldn't not love it, no matter how many other flaws it has. And to me, it didn't have that many flaw tbh. The MC, Emmy, is a
. (not active on this account stop adding me)
full review now on my blog!

rep: bisexual main character who's briefly in a relationship with another girl and comes out in the novel, genderqueer, pansexual main character with a social anxiety disorder (he/him pronouns), bisexual Korean side character, m/m side romance, non-binary black side character (they/them pronouns), side f/f relationship (the couple from Queens of Geek)

this was like reading a self-insert fanfiction, but i still enjoyed it. and you can't go wrong with all of that repre
Alex Nonymous
Jul 01, 2022 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 5-and-6
Ngl pretty sure this book lost me page one when it tried and failed to transcribe drunk-speech.
Super cheesy, super cute, and super queer.

There are some abusive relationships but overall it’s a positive feel better queer story and friends to lovers romance and the chemistry & sexual tension were off the roof!!💕

blog | insta | twitter | booksirens | duolingo | pinterest
Laura (bbliophile)
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really, really loved this. Not sure if I loved it as much as Queens of Geek, but who cares. It's good, y'all.

Tw: abuse, gaslighting, alcohol abuse, car accident
Sadly, I didn't enjoy this one as much as Queens of Geek - I think because it was very dramatic and not as feelgood. But boy, does this author write diverse characters flawlessly. Plus, the band storyline was a lot of fun! ...more
Jaye Berry
I'm wacked out on cough medicine and this shit STILL sucked.

The Brightsiders is about a girl named Emmy who is in a famous band. After a night of partying leads to her girlfriend in jail and Emmy in the hospital, the tabloids have named her the latest train wreck. Luckily her friends and bandmates are there for her to pick up the pieces- including Alfie who Emmy finds herself falling for. But dating your bandmate is a recipe for disaster.

I only picked this up because it was free on audible and i
I loved this so much!!

Emmy King is the drummer of the rockstar band, The Brightsiders. Her life is one of incredible privilege, but also many who take advantage of her. After a drunken night out ends with a car crash, Emmy is in the hospital with no memory and her girlfriend is in jail. Emmy is lucky that her friends and bandmates are there to help her pick up the pieces. While she tries to get her life back in order, she begins to realize she might be crushing on Alfie, her bestfriend since ch
Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice)
3.5 stars!

I'm not going to lie. My expectations going into The Brightsiders was quite high. I'm always looking for good, well-written Queer romances. Sadly, this one wasn't quite what I was hoping for. I ended up disliking the main character Emmy immensely. She was always getting into scraps and jumped into arguments and events without properly thinking things through. Nevertheless, I loved the Bisexual and Gender-Queer representations. Emmy is a drummer in a famous band called The Brightsiders.
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trigger warning: alcohol abuse, abusive parents

The Brightsiders is Jen Wilde’s second novel. I went in with very high expectations! I thought Queens of Geek was absolutely adorable, so I wanted a lot of the same feels from this one. While this was a bit different than Queens of Geek, it was no less amazing.

This follows teen drummer Emmy King who is spiraling a bit. She’s about to turn 18, and gets caught for underage drinking, and her girlfriend for driving under the influence. Branded as a trai
Nicole Field
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: enby-characters
I liked this book. I liked the way that it tied in to the main characters--Charlie and Alyssa--from Queens of Geek. But I didn't love this book.

The Brightsiders is the name of a young rock band made up of Ryan, Emmy and Alfie. They are queer icons because Alfie is out as being nonbinary. And Emmy comes out as bisexual shortly after the start of the story where we see her dating a girl called Jesse.

I wasn't a fan of Jesse. In fact, I wasn't fan of the first 16 odd chapters in the novel that mo
Kathy - Books & Munches
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it

- way too much drama in barely 300 pages.
4.5 stars

This was so fun and current and joyously queer and I loved every second of it
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. I loved every aspect of it from the fun and colorful cover to the main character, to the diversity, to the toxic relationships, to the ending. I'd go back and read this all over again except I want to share my love for this book with the world - so instead I'm writing this review.

full review:
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Can we talk about a how cool this book was?
Trigger warnings: Abusive parents, abusive relationship, gaslighting, alcohol abuse, slut shaming.

I was excited about this book from basically the moment it was announced, mostly because of how much I adored Queens of Geek. And then when this hit my Kindle, I put off reading it for inexplicable reasons. I have to say, I didn't love it as much as I loved Queens of Geek, and for at least 50% of the book, it was looking like being a 3 star book for me.

What I loved most about this is the diversity.
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
Even though I have it, I haven't read Queens of Geek, so this was my first Jen Wilde book and I loved it.

I really connected to Emmy.  Not the bisexual rock star part, but her insecurity and need to please people.  That desire to want everyone to like you.  That is very much me to the point that I do things I don't want to do pretty often.

"I don't know why, maybe I'm just super insecure, but I have this intense need to be liked.  If someone doesn't like me-or even expresses a different opinion th
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Jen Wilde is the YA author of QUEENS OF GEEK, THE BRIGHTSIDERS and GOING OFF SCRIPT. She writes unapologetically queer stories about geeks, rockstars, and fangirls who smash the patriarchy in their own unique ways.

Her books have been praised in Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Autostraddle, Vulture and Bustle. Originally from Australia, Jen now lives in NYC where she spends her time writing, drinking too mu

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