Review: Gus by Kim Holden - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Gus by Kim Holden

My Thoughts

A compelling, emotional story about finding hope after loss.
Once again, Kim Holden packs all the feels!

4halfstars

Synopsis

gus bright sideThe journey that began in top-rated, best-selling Bright Side, continues …

This is the story of Gus.
Losing himself.
Finding himself.
And healing along the way.

“ … but the honest-to-God truth is I don’t even know how to function anymore. Bright Side wasn’t only my best friend; she was like my other half … the other half of my brain, the other half of my conscience, the other half of my sense of humor, the other half of my creativity, the other half of my heart. How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?”

My Review

“Bright Side wasn’t only my best friend; she was like my other half … the other half of my brain, the other half of my conscience, the other half of my sense of humor, the other half of my creativity, the other half of my heart. How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?”

Oh my heart… this book… Gus’ story… it just packed all the feels. Gus was my favorite guy in Bright Side and my heart absolutely shattered for him. Experiencing this novel was an exercise in grief and hurt, but also in healing in hope. The story had the feel of an intimate, heartfelt conversation, an in-depth look at someone’s life from the inside out, as if you were right there, feeling the struggle to breathe in the profundity of sorrow.

“I don’t know to be Gus without her, dude. I’m fucking lost as shit.”

Gus is drowning. Lost. He’s half a person without Bright Side. Nothing seems to matter for him and he spirals into his misery. Holden does an amazing job of evoking emotion, making us feel everything Gus goes through. I felt so sad for him, for how adrift he was without his best friend. Gus had also been a bright shinning light, like Kate. His easy going style, fierce loyalty and enormous heart made you fall in love with him. Seeing him dim and yield to the darkness he felt was just overwhelming to experience.

In the midst of grief and anger, he meets Scout on tour. She hates him, he seems like the typical rock star on a binge, but before too long, she’s exactly what Gus needs to wake up from his stupor. Slowly she begins to inadvertently pull him in with her no-nonsense attitude and comments, and a reluctant friendship grows. But the more we learn about Scout, the more we realize that there are things she hides. She’s going through her own brand of pain and keeping it all inside.

As Gus begins to finally become himself, he also helps Scout see herself beyond what mars her on both the inside and outside. She’s hurting… but she’s built a protective shield she’s not allowed anyone to get past.

“Some people wear their scars on the outside. Others wear them on the inside. Same difference. Your character, your heart, your essence, that’s what’s important, because that’s the real you.”

This is a gripping story of loss and love, of friends and family, of finding the courage to see past tragedy and live life to the fullest. Of doing epic. I loved so many things about this book. The humor, sweetness and the genuine feel of the characters. It’s wonderfully emotional and hopeful despite the heartbreak, and a joy to read.

“It’s time to do epic again, dude.”

series goodreads 2

Reading Order

bright side cover gus bright side

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