Review: Bright Side (Bright Side #1) by Kim Holden

Title: Bright Side
Author: Kim Holden
Series: Bright Side #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
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.

My Review:
I’ve sat at my laptop for the last ten minutes attempting to structure my thoughts into some type of coherent form so I can write a review that will do this book justice. But the truth is I’m still struggling to come to terms with this story and get over the epic-and I mean EPIC-cryfest I engaged in during the latter part of the book. The last time I sobbed my heart out like that was after reading Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma and even that pales in comparison.

I picked up this book months ago on the recommendation of one of the readers in my Street Team and it kinda fell by the wayside as I have so many ARCs to read that I tend to one-click books and not get to them for ages. Then, I recently saw this advertised on Bookbub and it reminded me that I had to read it. My husband was out last night so I decided I’d quit work early and start reading this. I had to put it down at 3.30 a.m. purely because I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I finished it a little while ago and I swear, I don’t think my heart will be the same.

I can’t believe this is a debut work because it’s absolutely magnificent. This is very much a character driven story-don’t expect any major plot twists or turns because there aren’t any; it isn’t that kind of book. Character development is superb and the authenticity and uniqueness of Kate’s voice are wonderfully refreshing. Kate is an amazing MC – funny, warm, loyal, open, caring, honest, and she pushed those around her to be the best version of themselves. She lit up the pages of my kindle like she lit up the people around her. Gus and Kellar were both wonderful too and the other characters weren’t just relegated to the sidelines either.

The connection between Gus and Kate was uber special. In real life, I think two people like that would be a couple but I was okay with them remaining friends because it works here. They adore one another, support one another and know one another inside and out. Gosh, I just loved them! Kellar was fantastic too and I was rooting for him and Kate and dying for them to get their act together.

Ms Holden sure knows how to pack a mighty emotional punch behind her beautiful prose. I felt everything these characters were feeling especially at the end. God, I’m welling up again just thinking about it.

This book contains some important messages about self-love and self-worth and being true to yourself and always making the best out of life. While the story itself is tragic, it was also uplifting.

I think this review is probably rather rambly and all over the place but it just goes to show where my head and my heart is at in this moment. I may come back to rewrite this as I want to do it justice. This book deserves the hype. This author is phenomenally talented and she deserves to have a very long, very successful career. I will most definitely be checking out more of her work and I have just, in fact, downloaded a copy of Gus courtesy of my KU subscription.

Absolutely breathtaking. Grab a copy of this book, you won’t be sorry.

4 thoughts on “Review: Bright Side (Bright Side #1) by Kim Holden”

  1. Siobhan, I’m so glad you loved it! There is a facebook group for “support” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/539950609469642/) called Bright Siders and it is one of the most positive, supportive groups out there. Definitely read Gus, it will heal you. Franco would be next – part of the same world, they are both fantastic. Then I would read All of It and So Much More. Both are fantastic as well. On a side note, if you haven’t connected with Kim Holden yet, you should. I have a hunch the two of you would hit it off spectacularly! 🙂

  2. What a wonderful review, you definitely poured your heart out about what a great book this is! That and the fact that you gave it 5 stars, and now it’s on my tbr list!! It sounds like something I would enjoy!

    1. Donna, I’d be very surprised if you don’t LOVE it. It’s very emotional and you will be sobbing your heart out but it’s so, so good. These characters are some of the most vivid I’ve ever read. Can’t believe it was a debut novel because it’s so accomplished. You have to read it and then let me know how you get on! Karen in the Squad was the one who recommended it to me, I think, and it was a superb suggestion. Happy reading <3

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