Sometimes you begin a book and aren't really sure what to expect. The synopsis sounds interesting, even if the cover is bland, but you still have no idea what you're getting into. You know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but you still do. This cover is boring the pee outta you. Heck, you've never even heard of the author before now! You open it up, hoping and praying that it will at least be "good enough" to hold your attention...and suddenly everything has changed. Every word of the book takes a hold of you in the most amazing way. It doesn't just grab your attention; it grabs a hold of your heart and changes it. This book is Bright Side by one of the best up and coming authors out there, Kim Holden.
I actually finished this book about a week ago, but it honestly left me in such a state of flux that I had to let myself settle a bit before I could write my review for it. Quite honestly, I'm still second guessing myself by writing it because I know that I will never be able to express properly the way this book touched me, changed me. There is true magic within the pages of Kim's book. She certainly has a way with connecting with her readers via her characters. Both through her development and through her actual writing, she creates such believable characters. Characters that are so alive on the page that as a reader, they come alive not only in our head but also in our heart...and that's how Bright Side slays us.
This book is about a remarkable girl named Kate, who is best friends with a musician that she's known her whole life, Gus. Kate moves across the country to Minnesota on a mission to complete something on her bucket list and it's there that she meets some amazing friends and the one other male that has ever caught her eye, Keller. Kate's never believed in love. Keller has a secret. So does Kate. What happens when they become more than just friends is not only beautiful but heartbreaking. Que the best friend to enter the scenario and this book left me not just in tears, but bawling. Like gasping for breath sobbing.
I literally got about 60% through the book and was sitting in my car reading while waiting in line to pick up my daughter from school. It was dark outside, rain was pouring down outside my car windows. It was a great day to be reading. Before I even had time to process that I needed to wipe my eyes, tears were falling onto my iPad. Even though this story required more tissues than I normally prefer for my reading pleasure, I also feel like the real message behind the story is what sticks. Kate is such a fantastically optimistic, courageous, lovable character and her message is one of taking life by the horns and really living in the now.
I'm not alone in my love for this book, as I quickly discovered after posting on Facebook about my love and sadness over Bright Side. I discovered there's an amazing Facebook support group for those who have read it too! It's a fun page to discuss all things related to the book and author, as well as other great book related items. So many people have had the same response to this book and I think that if a single book can touch so many people, so many lives, then the author has done something truly worthwhile. She's created something significant by urging a change among the people, merely with her words. THAT is phenomenal in my opinion.
I highly recommend this book to everyone! Be prepared with your tissues and make sure you have time to read it in a sitting because you will not want to put it down once you start. Thankfully it's a quick read so you won't have to worry about wanting to put it down. Kim has one other book out right now, All of It, that I am looking forward to reading very soon and she has a book completely devoted to none other than Kate's BFF, Gus, coming out in early 2015.