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The Bright Side of Darkness

Narrated by: Adam Syron
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What is a family?

Rick Myers is a despondent 17-year-old who just lost his parents in a car wreck. His family is now the four teenage buddies he's grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, "the crew" is all he has. At least he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she's often painfully vulnerable intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.

But when the dark side of Daisy's past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick's resolve to build his promising future. Fortunately, his life is changed by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes all the difference to Rick and eventually to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges.

The Bright Side of Darkness is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit.

©2015 J. E. Pinto (P)2015 J. E. Pinto

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I was surprised by this book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn a bit about blindness or who just likes a good uplifting story. ;

What did you like best about this story?

the growth of the characters through the story, and the fact that it isn't part of a series. It's nice to read a novel with a beginning and a middle and an end, all in one book.

Which scene was your favorite?

Oh there were so many. I loved the scenes with Tim and Jake, and the ones with Rick and Walter, especially the first one.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

people can surprise you? Maybe? I really don't want to be cliché, but stupid things like don't judge a book by it's cover comes to mind. lol

Any additional comments?

I put this book on my wish list and had intentions of reading it because my friend had written it and I wanted to support her work. but honestly I really really didn't want to read a book about some blind chick with a guide dog being enspiring and blah blah blah, we've all been there and hated it. But I figured it's only 8 hours of my life and the narrator was great so here we go. So for the first little bit I was all like, yeah well this is nauseatingly familiar. He's amazed she can breathe and walk and dress herself and talk and all...okay it wasn't *quite* that bad but he was annoying with his "even though she was blind she could do fill in the blank" all the time. But then, and I am not spoiling it for anybody, but then something big happens which caused me to forget I had a life outside my book for the next 5 hours or so. I was kinda wishing I could put my kids in stasis so I wouldn't have to put it down. I loved the story, and the narrator was awesome as well. He did different voices which were very well done. The only thing is that he sometimes moved his head when he read so the sound moved or was muffled sometimes. That's the only reason for my lower rating on performance. The story and everything else was fabulous. The characters were believable and who doesn't love babies and dogs?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books I've read!

As a person with sight loss, I am always searching for books that include characters with disabilities, especially characters who are blind or have low vision. The Bright Side of Darkness by J.E. Pinto is one of the best depictions I have ever read of a character with a disability. I absolutely loved Daisy. She was my favorite character and one of my favorite aspects of this book was the fact that Daisy’s blindness was not her defining characteristic. Daisy is three dimensional, fully formed character, and a great representation of blindness in literature.

J.E. Pinto’s skilled writing brings all of her characters to life. They seemed to jump off of the page and take shape before me.The narrator did a great job. His narration helped breathe life into the cast.

The Bright Side of Darkness has a powerful message. I loved the elements of faith that were clearly at play in the text; however, readers who are not Christian will still be able to enjoy this novel. It is clear that the text is written by a person of faith, but the author does not proselytize. Instead, she presents a deeply moving story that speaks for itself.

I recommend this book for anyone and everyone. Anyone who loves to read should pick up a copy of The Bright Side of Darkness. I wish that there were more books like this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gina
  • United States
  • 03-04-19

What an excellent book!

I'm just sitting here having finished this book, and my question is. "Why isn't there more?" Also, what happens next?
As much as I hate to compare books, I see a lot of Outsiders influences in this book. When I was reading it, I just couldn't stop because I needed to know what was going to happen next.
There wasn't anything that I disliked about the story. Quite the opposite. I found all the characters to be realistic, and I enjoyed their stories. Especially Rick's. The author did an excellent job of coming up with backgrounds and situations for everyone to go through. So much so that I almost wondered if they were real. I also wonder if the author had brothers because a lot of the guy banter and dialogue made me laugh so hard, and I could hear guys talking the way they did in the novel.
I really liked Daisy's character and how she was represented. She was a no-nonsense blind character, and I felt all of her struggles when reading about her. Captain, her dog was super cute as well. If only he'd have been shown guiding Daisy a bit more. The fact that Rick didn't even care about Daisy's blindness was another positive aspect.
I thought the main point of the story was connections and brotherhood.
There was a good mixture of grieving in this book as well as humor. You can tell that the author thought out all of these characters and their situations. I think my favorite character to follow other than Rick was Tim.
I didn't feel that religion was pushed down my throat, and I like the way the author showed how God exists without preaching to the readers. I look forward to reading any other books she comes out with.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sweet and heart-warming

I really enjoyed this story's positive portrayal of blindness and the author's detailed attention to character development. Each of the characters had their own arc and problems. The book was not as preachy as I expected it to be. I enjoyed getting to know Daisy, Rick, and the rest of the crew, who all made me laugh at unexpected moments.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great contemporary coming-of-age story.

I'm glad I read this book. Inspirational fiction isn't normally my cup of tea, for a lot of reasons, but this story explodes off the page, full of action and emotion, and the journey to Christian faith our main character, Rick, takes is just one part of a big picture.
Our main set of characters is a group of young men living in a public housing apartment building in gritty, urban Dallas Texas. Each guy has specific personality traits, likes and dislikes, and habits and behaviours, and we get to know pretty quick which one is the jokester, which the would-be "tough guy," and so on. All the guys have prickly personalities in one way or other, but Ms. Pinto shows us, almost right away, what is likable about each of them, and keeps reminding us, even as they do some pretty unlikeable things.


So, this is a book about male friendship - awesome, messy, loving, devoted male friendship. This aspect is, quite seriously, the best part of this story. I've never read a book that depicted such close connections between young male friends. I mean...these guys touch and hug each other!!! :-) More than that, though, they have each other's backs in huge ways, and even when some of the friendships break apart, they do the hard work and say the difficult words they need to to not only heal the rifts in the friendships, but to heal the rifts in themselves. If you want a depiction of masculinity that's toughness hiding softness, savviness warring with brashness, sassiness shaking hands with smartness...you've found it in this book.

If you love coming-of-age stories, and religious elements are your thing (or you can respect some religious content for the sake of a good story), get this book.

A word about the narration: It's good, but not fantastic...but it works. If anything, the rough edges make the story feel a lot more real.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant! Hard to put down.

I absolutely love this book. I found myself rooting for the main characters in this story. I like the fact that this book is not all roses and rainbows and there are no Hollywood endings, but it still offers a lot of insight and hope for those who face challenges. Well done. I recommend this to everyone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An Emotional Journey

I was entertained; I was angry; I was very sad; I was even proud of the characters at times. This book doesn't let your feelings have a break. Despite the emotional assult, or perhaps because of it, I couldn't put this book down. I usually don't go in for the whole coming-of-age theme, but there is so much more packed into this book that I forgot about that element. I particularly enjoyed the character development of so many characters. At first I thought I might never tell all the guys apart. Maybe the narrator could have varied the voices a little, but I didn't struggle after the first chapter or so. Speaking of the narrator, I found the recording a little strange. At some points it's like the recording changed, and the narrator was speaking through an intercom or something. That sort of thing doesn't bother me much, especially if  the story is good. And this one is. Likable characters, gripping plot, and just enough annoyance at the struggles the characters go through to keep you reading.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Must read!

This book is an excellent read. From the first few pages it grabs you and will not let go. I could not put it down and would have read it all the way through. The character development is fantastic; its like you are a part of the "crew". The plot and story line kept my attention and had me on my seat through the whole book. I love how this book incorporates Christian views of hope,love, and Grace. Another great part of this book is how disability is portrayed, how Daisy is capable but does things in her own way. My only wish is that it had continued to see Rick and the others find love. Please write a sequel and I'd gladly read that one too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 01-21-17

Couldn't finish

I heard the sample of this book and was excited to read a story about a group of scrappy teenagers forced to fend for themselves, one of whom happens to be a blind girl.
Not only was Daisy, as a blind character, completely shallow (she did stuff! AND she was blind! and she had a dog!), but the dialogue was clunky and childish. The phrase |or something" was used in both dialogue and narrative passages so frequently that I wanted to yank my hair out.
The narrator puts on this "Texas" accent, then drops it in places, then picks it up again. You can hear pages turning and other background noise, and some sentences or parts of sentences were clearly re-recorded.
I wanted to like this. I wanted to like it a lot. Unfortunately, I couldn't get past the juvenile dialogue, improbable circumstances, and clunky audio production.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

No mater how life grinds you down there is hope and the inspirational people in your life.

This is a great story that will take you up and down with challenges, hope, tragedy, redemption, adversity, loyalty and success! It teaches us to look for the good not only in our own lives but also in others. How important it is to believe in and invest in others and be a positive influence in their lives, as well as surround yourself with those who will support you through good times and bad. What a great book with many valuable life lesson's to come away with. One of the more positive and uplifting books I've read in awhile.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful