Today, my life is awesome. ~ Kate Sedgwick
I started hearing talk about Bright Side and then a few of my book girls recommended it to me, I was warned of Ugly Tears so of course, I had to read it.
The main character is Kate Sedgwick and you cannot help but fall in love with her. Kate truly lived up to her nickname, Bright Side. No matter what Kate herself was going through, she was always positive, she supported her friends and wanted to solve their problems. Early on, in the book, I had guessed Kate’s story and I have to admit, I was a little anxious when reading as I knew it was going to hurt.
Kate had already suffered loss at an early age, she was older than her years as she had to grow up quickly and care for herself and her sister. Throughout it all, Kate had support in the form of her neighbour and best friend Gus. They had a close friendship like no other and it didn’t matter that Gus was off doing his rock star thing, he always made time for Kate.
“I just need to hear your voice, because you’re my friend, and my family, and my past ... and me.”
Kate moves to a small town to start college, it’s something she has always wanted to do and with no more responsibility holding her back, she is able to enrol. It is there that Kate meets her new family of friends. Clay is a young adult struggling with bullies and learning to be comfortable with his homosexuality. Shelly is closed off to begin with and doesn’t like to step outside the box and then we have Keller Banks (even his name is sexy) he’s focused on his future goals and nothing can derail him, well until he meets Kate of course.
Bright Side was a slow burning book for me, I do love my romance and I would have liked it a lot sooner in this story but I understand the author was setting the scene and allowing me to fall in love with each of the characters first before Keller and Kate had their moment.
Kim Holden’s writing was funny and compelling. I really liked Kate and her upbeat personality. She would often talk to herself or converse with God, whenever she needed a favour. It always left me with a smile on my face.
“I know it’s weird, but I like to think of God as my homeboy. I’m not religious; I just talk to him a lot. I ask for a lot of favors. Sometimes things go my way, sometimes they don’t. That’s life. You just have to make the most of it.”
Kate’s college roommate was a source of comedic relief too. Kate was so astute in her thoughts yet tactful at the same time. Each run in she had with her roommate had me laughing.
“She looks down at her gigantic and unbelievably perky boobs. Those can’t be real, can they? “What?”“Not sure what you’re going for, but you do know that the twins are on full display, right?” She shrugs. “Yeah.” I throw her a thumbs up . “Okay, you’re all good then sister. See ya.”
“I motion with my thumb over my shoulder to my door. “Um, yeah, so Sugar’s riding the baloney pony and I totally just walked in on them. Do you mind if I room with you tonight?”
I would have loved more time with Kate and Keller being together and head over heels in love, but that’s just the romantic in me talking. Their relationship started as a friendship and I loved seeing it blossom. Kate really was at her happiest.
“I smile for many, many miles. Compliments don’t typically sustain me, but sometimes when the right person throws one at you, it goes a long way. I could live off what he’s just said for weeks.”
“I never thought being with someone would feel this right. But it does. It does. It’s my fairy tale and even though it’s going to be short and have a terrible ending, it’s still mine.”
Keller was a sweetheart. He wasn’t without his own troubles but being with Kate gave him the strength to break free of his parents expectations and he took charge of his own life for once. It was the most beautiful gift Kate could give him.
“I love you.”
“I love you, too, baby.”
“I love it when you call me that. Say it again.”
I lean back and look in his eyes, because he needs to see how much I mean it. “I love you, baby.”
He smiles. It isn’t happy, or sad, or flirtatious. It’s affirming. It’s contented.”
The tears did fall at the end of the book. It was inevitable and my heart was breaking for each and every character. Due to the strong foundation at the beginning of the story, it endeared me to all the characters and I felt for them. There was a lot of loss suffered in this book and at points, I just thought how unlucky can one set of characters be.
I didn’t Ugly Cry at the end, I think the reason being Kate always put a positive spin on things and she remained upbeat throughout the whole story and some of that rubbed off on me. It was well written and beautiful, but I wasn’t broken like I have been previously with some books.
Bright Side was a great story and one that I am very glad I discovered. If you are looking for a great, character driven and touching story, then I recommend this one today.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Epic. That pretty much summarizes Bright Side . It was brilliant and breathtaking. I was moved. Days later, I am still not over this book.
Kate Sedgwick has faced a lot of tragedy in her life. She is brave. Remember that. She leaves sunny California to start attending college in Minnesota. Kate is different than many book heroines. She’s just real. Kate immediately makes friends because that is the type of person she is. Positivity just radiates from her. Due to her addiction to coffee, she ends up at a local coffee shop named Grounds. This little coffee shop changed her entire life.
“With Katie, I’m free.”
“She’s staring at me. I usually hate this kind of intense scrutiny, but when she looks at me like this I feel alive. Like there’s someone who sees me, the real me.”
Enter Kellar Banks. Oh Kellar. He is mysterious as he is charming. But his attraction to Kate. That’s no mystery. He noticed the light around Kate the moment he meets her. As does everyone. But with Kate, for the first time in a long time, he feels a spark. He feels like he can breathe again. Live again. But he has a secret. And so does she. These are not light secrets. They are heartbreaking. There are so many FEELS in this book. Brace yourself. There is no insta love. You will watch two people with earth shattering secrets fall in love. It is beautiful, intoxicating.
“Because when you give yourself over to love, baby its breathtaking. You love mind, body, and soul. No doubts. No questions. No restraint.”
Bright Side is not the kind of book you read. You live in it. To discuss the plot would be a disservice to the reader. Putting this story into words and what it meant to me is difficult. I am literally crying my eyes out as I write this review. Yes. Again. Days later. Not sure I can summarize how much this story challenged my thoughts on love. I guess I thought I knew about the romance genre. I mean what else could there be, right? Doesn’t all hero’s fall in love with the heroine? Aren’t all secrets the same? Wrong. Well this book? It goes way beyond that. These characters love with a love so deep, so self less, and enduring. Kellar and Kate? They will shatter any notion you have on love and life. This book might break you, but you will understand why. I totally get the message the author is saying. It’s because of books like this, I think reading is seriously the best thing in the world. For someone to use words to elicit real emotions. Absolutely beautiful.
“My imagination is endless,” I say.
Good. So is my love.
Bright Side starts off very slowly. We are given a lot of details. You become so wrapped up in the story. You will fall in love with every single character. Every. Single. One. I think this is genius on the author’s part. Her writing allows the reader to fully immerse themselves in the lives of the characters. I think that is very necessary with a story like this. For you to completely understand it and it’s meaning. Days later, I am still reeling over this. My heart is still heavy. These characters will stay with me for a long time to come. If you think you can go into this story knowing what’s going to happen, you are absolutely wrong. This is not like any other story. And I am so glad it isn’t.
I (Kim Holden) live in the greatest city in the world: Denver, Colorado. Some of my favorite things: reading, writing, the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son), my bicycle, Facebook, iced coffee, and music. I also love dreaming. And speaking of dreaming, I have a bit of advice for anyone reading this ... follow your dreams. It's never too late. Get started today ... heck get started RIGHT NOW! Make your dreams reality.
I love to hear from fellow readers. Love. It. Please come find me. We'll hang out. It'll be fun:
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