Review: Bright Side by Kim Holden

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☆☆➹⁀☆5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

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.

Goodreads | Audible | Amazon | Kobo | 


My Thoughts:

I don’t remember why I purchased the audio version of Bright Side by Kim Holden, and I can’t explain why I didn’t start to listen to it right away. However, as soon as YA author Ann MacFarlane-Eliot mentioned how much she loved it, I began to listen to this attitude-changing book.

It’s rare for me to love a book from page one, but Kim Holden’s writing and Roger Wayne, and Lidia Dornet’s presentation of the book grabbed me from the start. The story opens with an awkward goodbye between BFFs Kate and Gus. Kate is delighted to be heading to college, and she wants Gus to be free to be delighted about his band’s upcoming tour. These two are as close as peas in a pod. Each phone call and Skype session ends with “I love you”.

Kate Sedgwick. This girl! She’s just so perfect. She is the epitome of the glass-half-full attitude. Mind you she’s no Pollyanna, she is just not going to let her energy get sucked up by negative thoughts and actions. Kate is the sort of character that makes you aspire to be like her and to want to be her friend. I loved this character hard. Actually, I loved all the characters—just Kate especially so. Gus, Keller, Shelley, Clayton, Pete, Duncan, and the Rook band members are fantastic characters. Every single main and secondary character is tantamount to the experience of this book, and this is primarily due to Kate’s impact on them.

This story is beautiful, funny, tragic, and it left me re-energized to refocus on appreciating friends, family, beauty in the world and the people around me. Bright Side is the embodiment of “carpe diem”.  While I spent a lot of my read smiling and laughing, I have to warn you that this book also broke me. I freely admit that I easily get misty-eyed. However, until I read this book, I hadn’t truly experienced an “ugly cry” read. I can’t tell you how hard it is to get ready for work while sobbing (it was a water-proof mascara day)! I continue to be greatly affected by this story, and two months after finishing the book, I am finally able to coherently verbalize my feelings about Bright Side. I don’t know if I could read this book again, but it haunts my thoughts.

Bright Side by Kim Holden is about friendship, family, love, and life’s many struggles. Be brave, grab this book and don’t put off reading it. You won’t regret it. You’ll find yourself quoting Kate and wanting to be like her.

#DoEpic  #LifeIsAGift




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