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The Brightsiders


Don't mess with the girl in the purple lipstick!

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Swoon Index

  • Heat

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  • Tears

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  • Laughs

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  • Thrills

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Full Description

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?


"Cheeseburgers!" I shout at the top of my lungs.

Jessie pulls me through the club, shoving people out of the way. "Move, people! We're getting cheeseburgers!"

"CHEESEBURGERS!" I shout again, but few hear me over the thumping of music and drumming of feet against the dance floor.

Everything goes dark, and I realize my eyes are closed. I take a sip of my drink and giggle as mystery shoulders rub against mine and Jessie's grip tightens on my hand.

"Em!" she calls. Her voice sounds miles away. "Wake up, babe!"

"I'm awake," I mumble, then open my eyes to find us walking past the bar towards the exit.

"Hey," a cute girl by the bar calls. "Are you Emmy King?"

I do a curtsy and smile. "Indeed I am. And what is thy name, fair maiden?"

Jessie snakes an arm around my waist. "Uh oh," she says. "That's Outlander talk. You've officially reached peak drunkenness."

The girl at the bar holds her phone out. "Can I have a selfie with you?"

I stumble toward her and take her phone. "Aye, t'would be my most high pleasure."

"Um," the girl says. "What?"

Jessie laughs. "She means yes."

I start taking photos with her phone, sticking my tongue out and blowing kisses and crossing my eyes and giving the finger, but Jessie snatches the phone out of my hand and gives it back to the girl.

"C'mon, Em," Jessie says. "I'm starving.” She takes my hand and pulls me away. We've been dating for almost six months, but she still gets a tad protective when fans pay me a lot of attention. It's kind of cute seeing her freckled nose scrunch up like that when she's jealous.

I bow to the girl, spilling some of my drink. "Fare thee well, my sweet, for I musteth findeth cheeseburgers, lest I waste away from hunger. My heart doth long for the day we may meet again!"

Still grinning, I reach a hand out to Alfie as we pass. He takes it and stands.

"Where are you off to?" he says in my ear.

"CHEESEBURGERS!" I yell, and he laughs.

"I should have known," he says.

My best friend, Chloe, is dancing their butt off in the middle of the club. I wave to them and mouth that I'm leaving. They blow me a kiss and I pretend to catch it.

Jessie pulls on my hand and I wobble off balance, but Alfie steadies me.

"Whoa," he says. "You okay, Em?"

I nod. But then my stomach lurches, and I groan.

Alfie takes one look at me and furrows his brow. He taps Jessie's arm to get her attention. "I think Em's gonna be sick," he says. I shake my head slowly even though they're not looking at me.

Jessie rolls her eyes. "She's fine.”

"Nah," he says. "She's doing that face she always does before she voms."

They both look at me, and I smile, but it's delayed and lop-sided.

Jessie sighs and pulls me closer to her. "Em," she says sternly. "Are you gonna hurl?"

I shake my head and pout. She gives Alfie a look that says "told you so" and turns to keep walking.

And then I barf all over the floor.


An ALA Rainbow Project Recommended Reading List Selection

A YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers

"Every now and again, I read something by an author and think, 'Thank God this person decided to write books for teens.' I had that exact experience reading Wilde’s sophomore novel, a wildly fun take on stardom starring a bisexual drummer ... Definitely fun for romance-loving readers, especially ones who’ll be thrilled to see a confidently genderqueer love interest." —The B&N Teen Blog

"The representation that Jen Wilde brings to The Brightsiders will make you cheer." —HelloGiggles

"Emma is a complex, multifaceted character who doesn’t always make the right decisions, but she proves that relationships can be complicated regardless of one’s sexuality. The author adeptly captures the essence and confusion that young people may go through when trying to figure out their identities. ... Perfect for collections seeking high drama and romance." —School Library Journal

"Wilde allows Emmy's bisexuality to be a full part of her existence, without making it the only thing about her." —The Mary Sue

"Fantastically quirky." —Teenreads

"Wilde exchanges fandom for music here, but the characters and relationships she creates are every bit as strong. A recommended purchase, especially for collections looking for LGBTQ titles that aren’t heavy-handed." —Booklist

Queens of Geek:

"Seeing girls and women uplifting, protecting, and loving each other is extremely powerful, especially in the context of fandom. The book deals head on with issues of mental health, body shaming, sexuality, and internet celebrity, handling them with a delicate and skillful touch." —Teen Vogue

"This is the geeky, queer book of our dreams." —Seventeen

"Jen Wilde's book about two best friends—one a bisexual young woman of color, the other a young [autistic] woman . . . dealing with anxiety—will be a favorite of anyone who is a fan of geek culture. . . . This fun book about fierce friendships gives voice to a group of diverse female characters who are so defined by so much more than just their mental health and sexuality." —Bustle