Genres: New Adult, Romance
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.
A breathtaking, beautiful novel. Kim Holden’s Bright Side has indelibly imprinted itself into my heart, and I’m sure that I’ll be thinking of Kate and her story for years to come. This book took a piece of me, a piece that I’ll happily part with, because what Holden has given me, the lessons and images that now fill that empty void, is worth more that I can say.
I stayed up until the early morning hours to finish this book. I just couldn’t let it go. I couldn’t shut my mind off without knowing how it was going to end. Now that I’ve read the last chapter, and turned the very last page, I’m stunned, shocked, simply stupefied by this love story. My mind is a jumble of words, my heart, and gut, a tumult of emotions. I still feel like I’m in a trance, floating through a dream, one from which I know I’ll never be the same.
This is one of the most emotional and touching books I’ve ever read, and I am forever changed.
Your new motto in life: Do epic.
Well, I can say that in that task, Kim Holden delivered. This was my first book by her, and I have to say that it was splendid! A brilliant tale with a thoroughly lovable heroine, Bright Side is a gut-wrenching, yet uplifting story that left me feeling truly blessed.
This story follows 19-year-old Kate Sedgwick after she moves from San Diego to Minnesota to fulfill her delayed dream of going to college. She leaves behind Gus, her best friend and the person she loves the most in the world. She moves away so that she can live. So that she can take life in, live her dreams, and smell the roses. Yeah, it’s a cliché, but that’s Bright Side. Kate is, well, Kate is everything. She is tenacious, strong, kind, and sweet. After only reading a few of her chapters, I knew that this book was going to be special.
Fancy hides a lot, while simple unapologetically puts it out there for everyone to see.
When I read novels, particularly romances, I like to fall in love with the characters, especially the heroines. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy swooning and fangirling over the hot guys as well, but if a book has a heroine that I understand and love, then it’ll make rank and move quickly up my list of favorites. Unassuming, honest, optimistic, wise, loving, empathetic, beautiful Kate is now one of my all-time favorite heroines.
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.
Although the majority of the book is from fabulous Kate’s POV, some scenes are told using Keller’s voice, and I think that adds an additional dimension to the story. Seeing how Keller feels about Kate touches me deeply, and validates how much I absolutely love this heroine. Simply, Keller is sprung. But Kate is shy about love.
I’m an optimist, but first and foremost I’m a realist. 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.
This love story was a slow burn of the best kind. I love romances that are scorching hot, but I also appreciate a good build up where I can savor the anticipation.
I think I just fell in love with butterflies.
Kate and Keller’s chemistry simmers for the first half of the book, tempting and teasing. The story unfolds slowly, but it doesn’t drag. Holden gives you bits and pieces of Kate and Keller, allowing you to see glimpses of who they are. They both have secrets and hidden truths. She quietly reveals their motivations, and before you know it, you’ll have completely fallen in love with them and invested in their story.
…There’s finally someone who sees me, the real me. The good, and the bad, and I don’t have to hide any of it. I don’t have to be ashamed. I don’t have to pretend. I can just be me, Keller Banks.
Alongside the protagonists is a diverse cast of characters, a mixture of races, cultures, and sexualities. This veritable bunch is just so fun and they enhance the story.
“She’s the fucking dancing queen.”
“I thought I was the dancing queen.”
She laughs. She has a great laugh. “The title is all yours, Clayton.”
I truly loved this book. I thought Holden’s style was unique. This story just flowed effortlessly, and at no point was I ever bored. In fact, I savored every word because I knew that this was a tale that I wouldn’t want to end. Some might find this story and its theme cheesy or cliché, but I thought it was authentic. I appreciated the reminder that love is what’s important, that people are what’s important, and all that other stuff is just gravy.
Today, my life is awesome.
Although I’ve written a fairly long *cough* understatement *cough* review, I’ve only glossed over this story. Bright Side has a depth of emotion and a range of sentiment that a book review could never touch on. It’s an experience that encompasses every human feeling imaginable, and one that I recommend you partake in.
“You heal my spirit.”
“I love you more than you could possible imagine.”
“My imagination is endless”
“Good. So is my love.”