Tuesday, October 7, 2014

REVIEW: BRIGHT SIDE BY KIM HOLDEN

Secrets.
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.

Paperback
Published July 4th 2014 by Do Epic LLC
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Goodreads | Amazon

-Our review- 

I've been sitting here with this page opened for at least 30 minutes. I have no idea what to write. I want to tell you ALL about this book but I don't want to spoil it and it would be very easy to spoil it. But god, I want to sit on my back deck, look at my new pool, and talk about it with you. Lots of "..and when this happened, did you..?" and "...I about died when..." and "..wasn't so __ when __ ..." BUT I CANNOT DO IT. I refuse to spoil this sweet and wonderful story for you. 

(The previous thing Shelley wrote might be one of my favorite paragraphs she has ever written. Isn't it adorable;cute;wonderful? I love her. And she is so right!) 

Instead I'll talk to you like I talked to my neighbor. As we sat on my deck and looked at my new pool (it's super cool that I have a pool, y'all), I convinced her to look it up on her phone and purchase it. How? Like this:

1. You're going to love it. 
2. It's emotional...so be prepared and don't read it on a bad week ..unless you need a cry.
3. Yes. You'll probably cry. I didn't but I'm a robot. Everyone else cries.
4. The protagonist, Kate, is fucking awesome. I basically want to be her. 
5. ..and not only is Kate such a wonderful character but the secondary characters are so well drawn; I can't seem to get them out of my head. (And I saw that Gus is getting a book and I may just die. I need to read that book).
6. Because the protagonist is awesome I can't help but think the writer is amazing and I bet I'd like her a whole helluva lot.
7. The story is ...ugh..it's so hard to talk about without telling you what I want to tell you. UGH. The story is sweet and wonderful and Kate is inspiring and funny. It's poignant and happy tears and sad tears and, for some, ugly crying.
8. The story covers a short span of time and all you want to do is draw it out as long as you can, especially once you hit a certain point. But maybe that's why I like it. It's the perfect amount of story for these characters.
9. The voice of Kate was distinct and I found myself wanting to say "dude"..haha. The writing of this story may not have been Chekhov or Hemingway but I found the story so engaging that any spots that might have bothered me in any other book was quickly overlooked or forgotten. 

Awww. Okay. THAT list might be my favorite thing she has written. She is right. I had some issues with the beginning of the story, and the main reason is that I felt like I didn't know Kate well enough to have to know every single thing she thought about every issue in the world. That might not make sense, but it is as clear as I can be at this moment in time. However, I began to "get to know" the characters, and as I began to fall in love with them, I began to enjoy the book so much more. Wanna know why? The music. I can connect to ANYTHING through intellectual, thoughtful conversation, quotes, and music. There is plenty of it here, and it made this story very rich. Another thing I recommend...reading the story like Kate's point of view is literally her journal. That idea formed about 35-40% probably, and again made my experience better. 

I don't know if I'm convincing YOU but I hope you'll give it a shot. I know I won't forget about this novel for a long time. Kate was simply unforgettable. She was flawed, but really?, mostly perfect.. she came to me during a week when I felt pretty hopeless. Actually, this book came into my life at a time when I didn't even know I needed it and I did. I needed it a lot. I'm so grateful to Kim Holden for writing it and I'm so happy that I read it. 

I am happy too. It was a compelling story, with characters that I loved. I loved the time in their life that we got a peek at, as it is an interesting one when you're 18-23-ish, and how you form lasting relationships with people. It takes a in depth look at best friends, and that was beautiful....Kate and Gus were my favorites of the story, and I absolutely cannot wait to read more about Gus next year (hopefully sooner...hint*hint)

Shelley: 4 stars
Courtney: 4 stars


About Kim Holden--
Some of my favorite things: reading, writing, the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son), my bicycle (my husband built it for me), Facebook (I'm fairly certain it's an addiction at this point), iced coffee (hazelnut), and music (LOVE the 1975, Dredg, the xx, Haim, Teenage Bottlerocket, and 30 Seconds to Mars). I also love dreaming, which brings me to my next point. I have one bit of advice for anyone reading this ... follow your dreams. It's never too late. Get started today ... heck get started RIGHT NOW! I wanted to write a book 20 years ago. Instead I waited. And waited. I should've been writing. But I didn't. I don't do regrets, because the past is just that, the past. But let me tell you there's nothing in the world like achieving something you've dreamt about for years and years. So, get started. Make your dreams reality. 

I love to hear from other readers. Send me a message or find me on Facebook (https://facebook.com/kimholdenauthor) and tell what's up in your reading world.

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