Review: Bright Side by Kim Holden - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Bright Side by Kim Holden

My Thoughts

An absolutely epic story about love, loss,
friendship and looking on the bright side.

5stars

Synopsis

bright side coverSecrets.
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

My Review

“Your new motto is this: Do epic.”

Perhaps the unofficial motto of this book is “Do Epic” and Kim Holden did just that with her debut novel,  Bright Side. Epic storytelling. Epic characters. And yes, epic tears by the end. This story, with its bright orange wrapper, packs so many feels. It’s a story about love and loss, about friendship and hope. It’s about a girl that sees the absolute best in life despite having been dealt some of the worst that life has had to offer. Her charm, her zest, her love of living and of those around her is infectious. I fell in love with Kate, or Bright Side as she was appropriately nicknamed. I fell in love with all of the characters really, but most of all between the relationship between two best friends who loved each other deeply… Kate and Gus. Their friendship redefines epic in the most beautiful way.  The connection between them was what first drew me into the story, and it was, to me, the constant thread that held everything together.

I was so impressed with this book’s ability to make me feel. It simultaneously owned me and destroyed me.  There was a sense of honesty in every aspect of the book… from the character’s thoughts to the dialogue, from their quirky personalities to the heavy realities they all have had to face.

“I can’t let the bad consume me or it would eat me whole. The bad stays in the bad corner of my mind, I don’t let it through the door to mingle with good, because the bad is a goddamn party pooper.”

When Kate Sedgwick moved to Grant, Minnesota, she left behind a life rife with heartache, but to her, a life that was full of happiness, stolen moments and amazing people.  You see, Kate saw everything on the bright side. Everything was a wonder, a gift, an opportunity to cease. She also left behind her best friend, Gus. Gus and Kate had been inseparable since there were kids. To me, they were soul mates. They complemented each other in every way, needed each other to fully experience the highs of every wonderful moment. Gus was the lead singer of Rook, a group at the brink of greatness and Kate knew it was his time to make his dreams come true. Kate also pursued her own dreams, studying to be a special education teacher. Experiencing the interaction between Kate and Gus is entirely entrancing. The love they feel truly shines through, raw and honest in a way so distinctive to them.

“… if there’s anyone in this world who’s capable of insane amounts of love and who deserves to be loved that way in return, it’s you.”

Despite Kate’s addictive outlook on life, she doesn’t believe in love. She’s a person who lives in the present, who is determined to not allow herself to get entangled with anyone else.

Until she meets Keller Banks.

Immediately, there’s a chemistry that comes alive between them. Kate tries to suppress her intensifying feelings for him, but the more she gets to know him, the more she falls for everything about him. He’s smart, funny, caring, but also a bit of a mystery. The truth is, both Keller and Kate are keeping secrets. The kind of secrets that can change everything.

“My life will not follow a fairy tale, and that’s okay. My life is reality. And in my reality people don’t fall in love and get married and live happily ever after, because life is complicated. And messy.”

We also begin to see some chapters in Keller’s perspective, and we experience how he fell in love with Kate. He too, tries to stay away for reasons of his own, but he can’t help but love Kate’s personality, her edginess, her kindness and feistiness.

“Then it hits me how beautiful this woman is. Like a freight train it hits me…everything about her is beautiful…What the hell just happened? I feel like I’ve been asleep for years and I’ve only just woken up.”

The story unwinds in a way that lets you really feel how close Kate becomes to the people around her. How they gravitate to her so naturally. You see new relationships blossom and grow, all through Kate’s one-of-a-kind perspective.  I loved Gus. I loved Keller. I loved every person in this book. Loved how they found each other in more ways than one. How they saved each other. I don’t want to spoil a single moment of this novel, but it’s truly one that even now, refuses to let me go. The writing is fluid, the storytelling is engaging, the characters unforgettable.  I laughed. I cried. I smiled. I cried some more. There are just so many emotions on every single page. Don’t be afraid to pick up this book., however… yes, it elicits strong feelings, but that is simply because the book’s characters become real people, their experiences became mine, their pain became my own and I couldn’t help but drown in the emotions that the story evoked. It ends hopeful. Sad. Beautiful. I can’t recommend this book enough.

“Let yourself love. With every fiber of your being.”

series goodreads 2

Reading Order

bright side cover gus bright side

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One Comment:


  1. Cezanne said:

    Amazing review Vilma! I can’t wait to read this one

    Reply

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