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Bright Side #1

Bright Side

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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.

423 pages, Paperback

First published July 4, 2014

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About the author

Kim Holden

7 books4,288 followers
Some of my favorite things: reading, writing, the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son), my bicycle (my husband built it for me), Facebook (I'm fairly certain it's an addiction at this point), iced coffee (hazelnut), and music (LOVE Sunset Sons, the 1975, Dredg, the xx, Balance and Composure, Teenage Bottlerocket, and 30 Seconds to Mars). I also love dreaming, which brings me to my next point. I have one bit of advice for anyone reading this ... follow your dreams. It's never too late. Get started today ... heck get started RIGHT NOW! I wanted to write a book 20 years ago. Instead I waited. And waited. I should've been writing. But I didn't. I don't do regrets, because the past is just that, the past. But let me tell you there's nothing in the world like achieving something you've dreamt about for years and years. So, get started. Make your dreams reality.
I love to hear from other readers. Send me a message or find me on Facebook (https://facebook.com/kimholdenauthor) and tell what's up in your reading world.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,706 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,760 reviews32k followers
November 27, 2022
5+ Do Epic stars!

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“We all have to fight to make the most of the life we're given.”

One of my co-bloggers/friends told me about this book when it was first released. It was her favorite book of last year and one of her favorite books of all time. I knew it would be good, but I dragged me feet when it came to reading it. Why you might ask? I knew the subject matter would be sensitive for me so I put it off. Then I put it off some more. When I saw it was available on audio, I thought now is the time to take the plunge. (A shout out to the female narrator (Lidia Dornet) she nailed Kate. Voiced her perfectly.) I’m so happy I did. For a story that was so sad at times, it had the best messages of DO EPIC and BE BRAVE. It was depressing at moments, but at the same time strangely positive.

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I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone so I’m just going to take some time to talk about the characters. Kate is one of the best heroines I’ve ever read about. She is that girl you want to be. She’s positive, always looks at the bright side of things no matter how bad they get, and she is funny. This girl made me laugh so many times. I love that she was never afraid to be herself. She never wanted to change to fit in or to be anything other than she was. She is a character that inspires. I read lots of books and ‘meet’ lots of characters but there are very few I can say inspire me to want to be better. To want to make positive changes in my life. When a book can have that effect, it’s pretty special.

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Not only was Kate a wonderful character, but there were a slue of other amazing characters in this book. Keller was great of course. And I loved her friends Shelley, Clayton, Pete, Duncan and the entire band of Rook. But there was this one character of the story that stood out to me above others. From the beginning he was an instant favorite just like Kate. And his name is Gus. Gus has been Kate’s best friend since childhood. They have a special relationship. One of hugs, I love you’s, constant skyping and dude’s. Gus is touring with his band while Kate is living her college/life journey but he is still a huge part of her life and the book. I am ecstatic to read his story that was just released!

I love emotional books. I don’t mind when they make me cry, make me feel and get under my skin. But I love that this book also made me smile so big, made me laugh, and genuinely made me happy and look at life in a different light. This book had all of that. It made me break down and cry. It devastated me at times. But it was SO worth it. Bright Side isn’t just a story you read, it’s a story you live. So grab a cup of black coffee, listen to some good music and get ready to Do Epic. This book will be going right on my favorites list and I highly recommend it to all.

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Profile Image for Tough Critic Book Reviews.
308 reviews2,153 followers
August 31, 2014

Dude, I can't even….

It has been days. Days!! I just can't, but I gotta. But I can't. I must.

Numbness. Feels. Overload.

It's impossible.

Here I go.

I'm going.



Maybe it would be best if I started at the beginning.

It all started as a goodreads recommendation….from Donna. Donna. The person I want to hug. Punch in the face. Hug. Punch. Damn you! You owe me valium…and ice cream. After the recommendation, I read the synopsis. Intriguing. I also loved the fact that it only had three reviews. I absolutely love new unknowns. It's like a secret. My secret. I decided to give it a go.

I went.

There's no going back.

These feelings can't be unfelt.

I feel.

Kate Sedgwick may be one of my favorite female characters of all time. Let's face it, female characters usually have the tendency to be….well, they sometimes suck. They're annoying. I usually prefer the male characters. I don't play well with others.


Before you revoke my woman card or force me to burn my bra and roar, it's kind of a common occurrence with female heroines. They frustrate. They annoy.

I'm sure the nations leading psychologists might theorize that my "issues" with female characters probably stem from a place of jealousy. Damn straight. They never deserve the guy. My guy. I tolerate them because without them, there'd be no story.

Not Kate. I more than tolerated Kate. I adored Kate. I loved Kate. I was tied to everything she felt, experienced. Her character is unforgettable. This story is unforgettable.

I feel.

Then there's Gus (who I hear is getting his own book), and Keller, and Clayton, and Stella, and pretty much every character in this book.

I. Can't. Even.

The love between Gus and Bright Side. The love between her and Keller. I felt everything. The love was intoxicating. Suffocating. It hurt. It healed.

Sure the plot was predictable, but nothing. Nothing, prepared me for the emotions. I started crying during the last half, sobbed my way through the final chapters, but somehow I ended the book with a smile.

The hurt and emotions didn't cause me to break. I endured. I survived. Each emotion was coupled with humor, wit, an amazing story, and unforgettable characters. Laugh. Cry. Heal.

Embark on this incredible journey.


More reviews at: http://www.toughcriticbookreviews.blo...

Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,161 followers
February 18, 2017
This book wrecked me! It was incredibly touching and heartfelt. Despite dealing with some rather depressing subject matter, it was handled with care. I can't say that I didn't cry big fat tears, but I can say that I smiled far more than I cried while reading this book. It was beautiful.

The heroine, Kate, moves from San Diego to Grant, Minnesota for college. Right off the bat, I loved her. It is easy to understand why her best friend, Gus, gave her the nickname "Bright Side". She is the type of person that just lights up a room. Kudos to the narrator for being able to capture the essence of Kate's character so well.

As Kate makes friends in her new home, she never lets her relationship with Gus weaken. They talk daily on the phone, while he tours with his band, Rook. There is no mistaking the strength of their bond, or the fact that there are feelings shared that extend beyond the bounds of normal friendship.

Despite claiming not to believe in romantic love, Kate finds herself falling in love. Keller Banks is the hot guy that works the counter at the coffee shop that she frequents for her caffeine fix. They flirt tirelessly and find themselves thrown together more often through mutual friends.

Once Kate and Keller begin spending more time together, their attraction is evident. Before long, Keller has let Kate into the private aspects of his life that he doesn't share with others. The two grow incredibly close in a very short period of time.

Nobody is more surprised by their quick intimacy than Kate herself. She never planned on falling in love. She didn't even believe it existed. More importantly, she has a big secret that she's been keeping from everyone she loves, which she knows will ruin everything.

Aside from the romance between Kate and Keller, I found myself drawn to the stories of friendship in this book. Kate's relationship with Gus was incredible. The support and love between them was so strong it was tangible. Similarly, her relationships with Clayton, Shelley and Pete were inspiring.

This book certainly did not lack for a strong cast of supporting characters. Each of these characters was endearing in their own way. Even the ones that made me mad initially, like Kate's roommate, won me over eventually. I loved all of them and am looking forward to reading their stories.

In the end, I cried big, fat tears. It was sad, but also very inspiring. This is one of those books that makes you step back and reevaluate how you go through life. It was inspirational and helps keep things in perspective.

This is a must-read! I can't believe that I put it off for so long, but I am so glad that I finally read it. This book was fabulous!
Profile Image for Seth King.
Author 52 books1,878 followers
March 14, 2015
First of all: I get it.

To all the people out there who say they don’t like these types of books, books that make you hurt and feel and clutch your Kindle at 3 AM as tears blur your vision and you hope against hope that the character isn't headed towards what you think they're headed towards: I get it.

Life is hard. This world is a tough place. Crappy things are happening out there, things that break your heart on the evening news, and sometimes it’s easier to just drift along and float above the clouds than to actually sink down deep and risk getting hurt. There’s enough pain out there – why run towards more, right?

But Bright Side is worth the pain. In Kate and Keller, Kim Holden has created two remarkable characters, and after you’re drawn in through their banter and connection, you do start to fear for the worst. You start to fear that you’ll be that person hurting and feeling and clutching your tear-stained Kindle as you pray that The Almighty Worst won't happen. And when it does, it feels less like facing a gust of wind on a winter day than getting swamped by a frozen wave in the dead of January. And that's not fun. For anyone.

But that’s what makes us human, right? That’s what separates us from the rodents and the beasts and the swine, isn't it? We are elegant creatures capable of depth and empathy and heartbreak, who clutch Kindles and hurt and feel – especially at 3 AM.

Especially in the hands of Kim Holden.

Epically done, Kim.
Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,424 reviews743 followers
April 26, 2022

What would you do if you found it that you had only six months to live ?
Would you clean out your account and go about doing things on your bucket list. Would you throw a pity party and expect all of your near and dear ones to come be with you as you spend at precious moments on this earth. Would you leave quietly and hide out so you don't see sadness in the eyes of your beloved people and it'll break your heart?. What will you do in the last month...week...day...hours ?
Or would you touch all the people's lives with fun and humour and kindness and love.open heated , all encompassing love
Kate sedgwick took the choice to #DoEpic.
that's what kim created. A masterpiece, a story so intense that it shames you for being petty and whiny when your car breaks down or you miss out on a sale or you fight with your family or you yell at your kids or when you're stuck in traffic...
life is all about Sunsets and people ! Time to be with people you love and share beautiful moments with them like sunsets , or coffee, or books or music or just tShirts.
This book made me bawl hard...and I mean HARD ! It reminded me today to smile at strangers a little more widely , love my husband a little more intensely , hug my son a little more tightly . I never know whose life I may be touching today, making it a teeny bit better . I wanna be Kate now, today , tomorrow . Shes an intensely powerful, brave strong girl who captures everyone's heart , her purity of soul and generous spirit spellbinds everyone who she touches. Kim has created the perfect girl warrior. Some kind of a hero , who I aspire to be .😊
Kim writes -
" don’t forsake the present for the unknowns of the future. A lot of happiness is bypassed, overlooked, postponed to a time years from now that may never come. Don’t bide your time and miss out on this moment for a tomorrow with no guarantee.”
I promise to #DoEpic
sunsets and people, thats what its all about 💖
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This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,667 followers
September 1, 2014
3.5 stars!


I’ve been on an angst-fest/emotional kick lately so when I saw the blurb for Bright Side, I knew it was a book I wanted to read ASAP. Now that I’ve finished it, the first thing that popped up in my mind was well, that wasn’t what I expected. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the last 25% of the book that completely blew me away, I would’ve given this book 2 stars. That being said though, the heroine is a pretty refreshing character and the dry humor and sarcasm present in the book were things I could appreciate.


The heroine Kate Sedgwick (or should I call her Katie, Katherine, or ‘Bright Side?’) has had a hard life. Having a mother who didn’t care much for her children, a father who left, and a sister who passed away, Kate should technically be cynical and emotionally closed off to everybody but she isn’t. For some inexplicable reason, she remains rather optimistic about everything and becomes a ‘bright side’ to everyone she meets (more on that later). Leaving her closest friend Gus behind, Kate heads off to college and meets the guy she never expects to meet.

Keller Banks is first introduced as the charming guy who works at the coffee shop near campus. When Kate and Keller meet, rainbows shine brightly – both recognize that seeing each other ignites something in them.


As the book progresses and their relationship develops slowly, both of their hidden secrets (that the reader is privy to) are revealed and that completely changes their relationship dynamic.


To start with, the first 65% of the book was just plain boring. There were occasional laughs on my part but most of the time I would be asking myself why the heck am I not DNFing this?? I also had a hard time warming up to the heroine. Not that I didn’t love how refreshing her character was but sometimes I felt like the author was laying it on too thick with all the sarcasm it became an overkill. Additionally, there was a lack of buildup…to everything actually. Kellar and Kate’s relationship moved as fast as a turtle for the first 50% and then all of a sudden this insanely intense chemistry appears and bam, they’re finally together. There was also little to no buildup in regards to their secrets. It’s pretty obvious what Kate’s hiding because there are big clues in the first few chapters but after that, there is no mention of it again until it’s revealed. It comes out in a way that seems rushed and on the spot, giving the reader no time to adjust to the event. But despite knowing what she was hiding, I still got all emotional and teary-eyed in the last 25% witnessing the aftermath. Then I pretty much ugly cried when


Would I recommend this? I really don’t know now. If you aren’t a fan of extremely slow books maybe you should skip over this one. But if you’re willing to endure massive boredom to get to the heartfelt, touching part of the story, maybe this one is for you. My favorite part of the book was seeing all the lives Kate touched and brightened, and I say this with the most sincerity I have: I truly am looking forward to Gus’s story. Just make it more fast-paced than this one PLEASE!
Profile Image for Katy Loves Romance ❤️.
434 reviews718 followers
May 26, 2015
6++++++ #DoEpic #BeBrave Stars

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Reading is my getaway, my sanctuary I have a busy life and don't we all? But reading is my Me time. I love reading and I have read a lot of books this year so far saying that no insults to anyone here but this has been my FAVOURITE Read of the year so far this book is a book of life and living, friendship LOVE all in one. I know that a lot know what the story entails but for those who don't I'm going to try my best to keep my thoughts as SPOILER FREE as possible.

Gah I'm speechless ack ummmm I DON'T EVEN errr know where to start?
Ok lets start from the beginning, we have a beautiful bright character that literally loves the world NO wrong word she loves LIFE she loves to breathe the air and she takes every day as a new day she enjoys every moment, everything she does or creates is with purpose to LOVE she takes chances on everything, you know when you walk past a person and you think that guy could do with a friend? or that mum could do with a hug and tell them everything's going to be OK? well that's Kate she takes life in her stride, she takes chances and she makes people smile she teaches the people around her how to LOVE freely. You know the world would be a bright better place if we had more Kate's and Katie's in the world, LOL sorry that's my name isn't it? no pun intended here #JustSaying.

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Bright Side is the most generous loving talented and Beautiful young lady to read, I connected with her straight away. For me there was just something that made me think and ,while reading, breathe the way she did.

She is starting a new chapter in her life though she has moved away from her home and is now at university just about the start her new course in training to become a Special Needs Teacher.
But she is moving away from her best friend whom she has known and been with her whole life. Gus has been pretty much present along her side for every first and every moment they have been together, therefore to begin with life is strange , still good but different.

Lets talk about Gus for a minute
Gus Gus Gustov my heart melted for him, his Intense loving nature, you can't do anything but love him. He's the lead singer of the Band Rook and he's starting his career as a musician. The Rock Band is a rising and Gus is touring with the other members on the road therefore Kate and Gus's relationship are of phone calls , texts throughout the day and then skype sessions every so often . Those Skype sessions were some of my favourite moments at the beginning that's all I'm saying there were some serious #Sigh moments between them.

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Their relationship is unique to say the least

There is something that Kate loves more than life and that is STRONG BLACK COFFEE and therefore a coffee shop is needed not just Starbucks or Costa Nope she wants a cosy down to earth heartily coffee shop that has normal coffee and that's where she meets Keller.
First attractions are something that are new to Bright Side she's taken with Keller instantly and their relationship blossoms gradually.

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I'm not going to say anything else other than this book is The Book Of Life no joke it touched me more than anything I've read in a long long time. Saying that it may not be for everyone this is a No smut read this is an emotional journey and the first half is a slower intimate start where Kim has weaved so many people into Kate's life gradually and somehow surrounded Kate with a circle of friends who become her life.

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I'm not going to say anything else other than Kim Holden is an Genius she really is, this is a NA read and although it was a gradual process I had time to get to know each person individually and together it meant in the last half I had a close connection to what was happening and why I was so emotionally involved in the last half. Kim's writing is just exquisite and you feel like you're there with each and everyone of them.

For me this was a life changing book, it made me think and be happy to be where I am that I have a big loving family that I'm so very happy to be part of. I have a few very close friends that are special to me, if your a real life friend or I've met here on Goodreads mainly by Blog Besties Shannie & Elizabeth and my Girl Layla I love you guys to the moon and back your all important to me in some way or another. I have a job where I can care and eventually go back and train (when my girls are all in school) to become a qualified nurse and do something where I feel like I've made a difference, it made me realise how very lucky I am to be surrounded by good people, it made me want to LIVE the moments and #DoEpics daily.

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Song list for anyone who like me needed to listen as well as read this is the songs I followed on Spotifty

We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow ~ Soko. Thought I Was An Alien
400 Lux ~ Lorde.Pure Heroine
Eula ~ Baroness. Yellow & Green
Sleeping Witch ~ Royal Thunder.CVI
Jump Into The Fog ~ The Wombats
Bug Eyes ~ Dredg. Catch Without Arms
Done With Love ~Teenage Bottlerocket. Freak Out!
Waiting All Night(Feat. Ella Eyre). Rudimental
Same Love-feat. Mary Lambert
Mutilate Me ~ Teenage Bottlerocket. Freak Out!
Lullaby ~ The Cure. Greatest Hits
Angels ~ The xx. Coexist
My Song 5 ~ Halm. Days Are Gone
Sex ~ The 1975
Panic Switch ~ Silversun Pickups. Swoon
Sweater Weather ~ The Neighbourhood.
Nothing Left To Say/Rocks ~ Imagine Dragons. Night Visions
Northern Lights ~ Thirty Seconds To Mars
Pictures Of You ~ The Cure. Galore
Let Her Go ~ Passenger. All the little lights
Everything To Nothing ~ Manchester Orchestra
Favor's Keeper ~ Index Case. Augustagein

Enjoy Dudes
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Profile Image for ȷαεlα.
659 reviews
March 19, 2016
"If you start a book and a couple of chapters in you decide you just aren't into it that's one thing, but once you reach the halfway point, there's no turning back"

This books would probably have been a 4-4.5 star rating if it wasn't for its first 50%, which had me continuously

AND THE WORD DUDE, really!?? DUDE?? It shows up 195 times(yes, I counted!!).
I hated every time one of the characters said "dude". I would add 2 more stars, but that effing word cheapened so much this book.

If I were to describe each half of the book with an expression, it would be like : 1st half-WTF I AM READING!? and the 2nd half-COULD THIS BE MORE DRAMATIC?

"A lot of happiness is bypassed, overlooked, postponed to a time years from now that may never come. Don't bide your time and miss out on this moment for a tomorrow with no guarantees."

* Ok, let's start. It contains major spoilers, so consider yourself warned. *

1st half
Kate/Katherine/Bright side is a 19-20 old girl diagnosed with terminal cancer(drama#1). She had an older sister who had Down syndrome(drama#2), but died last year(drama#3). Her mother never loved her(drama#4) and she committed suicide(drama#5). Kate has a best friend named Gus, who is a rock star, who loves her, but doesn't say shit, because she deserves someone better. BUT, one night before Kate leaves home to go studying in Minnesota they have sex, but after that it's like nothing ever happened, still best buddies. They have slept(only slept and spooning many times), and this was pretty normal.-Ewwww, I can't even imagine spooning or just sleeping with my male friends, so awkward(It may happen sometimes when you're drunk or something, but all the time??Nahh). I would understand If there was going to happen anything else between them, but the author decides them to be eternally friends.
Then Kate meets some very special friends in Minnesota, (gay people, unsure people, sick people who don't think they're sick-add more drama here). She falls in love with a guy, who's a father in his 21 years, whose wife died 4 years ago, meaning he had his daughter when he was 15-16.(Really??!!-more drama.)

Kate is described as a sex diva, a drop dead gorgeous babe, even if she's 5 feet. Yeah, I know I'm being judgmental, but how is it possible to be realistic a friendship between her and a boy band of Viking Gods?! It's not just her appearance, but her personality. I know, life was shit to her, but come on! Gus thinks everyone falls for her in 5 min talking with her.I didn't feel her Magic, sorry. She isn't into romantic stuff, but for the situations in this book.

The way I imagine Kate is like a lesbian Macho woman. Her way of speaking made that possible, not my fault.

2nd half

"But life doesn't come with a guarantee, Gus. We had 20 years together. That's pretty amazing when you think about it. And that friendship won't die with me, I know that. It will live inside you for the rest of your life. It's like a little piece of me gets to go on with you."

It was way better, but depressive. If I knew it, maybe I wouldn't finish this. There are people who like these kind of books, but they're not for me. Too much drama, suffering. Why did the author think it would be better for the book to have everything?(poverty, illness, gay, young father, sickness).Why couldn't she stick only to one plot? It would have been so much better. Oh, and add music to this for more diversity.

2 stars are more than enough. I am proud of myself for reading the first half, DUDE.

175 reviews32 followers
October 24, 2014
So I finished this and I am not impressed.

You know that feeling that you get when you read the first line or the first chapter of the book and you just know you are going to love what you're reading and never want to put it down? Yeah, Bright Side had the opposite effect. I started reading and I was like, okay, maybe this could be good, but the writing is a bit off. Then I read a few more chapters and was like, okay, where is this going... (from the beginning I already figured out the premise: perfect girl who always sees everything from the Bright Side and helps everyone around her out ). But the storytelling was all over the place. Seriously, it was a day by day account of a 19 year old (overly positive) girl starting college in a new place. It's bo-ring with all the typical cheesy stuff, including the gay (best) friend, the slutty roommate, the new love interest and the badass friend who is nothing like her but they get along. It's constant phone calls with the best friend, dinners with the bitchy aunt, late night dancing with the new gay friend, getting coffee from a super hot guy who she fell in insta-lust with, getting locked out of her own dorm room by her slutty roommate, and working with a girl who is super closed-off, but she becomes instant best friends with after sharing music. And this goes on and on in repeat until about 60-70%. So where the fuck is this going, really? By the time it was supposed to get interesting, I was so damn bored and so detached from the characters, that I didn't really care.

I didn't cry. Not one single tear. That is how disconnected I felt. The book, to me, was very cliché, typical and unoriginal. And sometimes I can get over that, if there are other redeeming qualities. Which there weren't. The writing was very mediocre, the relationships between the characters felt very unnatural (this is a huge factor that attributed to the disconnection), and I rolled my eyes way too many times. For the most part I could just copy my review for Ruin here.

So I don't know why I gave this 3 stars. I wanted to give it 2 stars, but felt like maybe that's a bit too harsh, because I downright hated some books and rated those 2 stars too. I just felt very indifferent towards this book and I don't feel like I would've missed out on anything had I not read it. The last 25% was supposed to save the book (it's why I didn't DNF), but all I did was roll my eyes even more then. It was so annoying and unrealistic how perfect Kate was set out to be. She's so brave, so strong, so drop-dead gorgeous, so caring, so loving, so talented, so smart, so positive, so kind, and so on. By the end, every one of her friends were all like "Kate's the best thing that ever happened in my life." Annoying.
Profile Image for Maria✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦.
662 reviews2,412 followers
February 6, 2017

➦I liked this book. I went in blind and it wasn't anything like I thought it would be. I'm definitely in the minority here and I won't be gushing over how beautiful the story was and such. Perhaps I just failed to connect to the heroine or may be I was just a bit torn up because of the whole awkward love triangle going on here.

➦I liked both Gus, heroine's best friend, and Keller, heroine's boyfriend. I just never really fell in love with either of them. Not to say that their character development wasn't thorough but there was just something off for me, I can't quite place it. I'll just go with "shit happens" instead of trying to rationalize it :D

➦By the time I was half way through the book I was fully aware of where it was going and how it was going to end. The books is written in a journal format and that, in itself, made it rather depressing for me. And also kind of boring. I wanted to DNF it a couple of times even. A lot of people loved this book and found the story inspirational and you might be one of those people. This didn't quite hit the spot for me but it might for you. ;) One thing to keep in mind, perhaps, is that the book has a major trigger

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Profile Image for Alexis *Reality Bites*.
757 reviews3,652 followers
October 30, 2014
5 STARS out of 5
Genre: New Adult Romance

My my my…what a read! Slow easy beginning, AMAZINGLY beautiful ending! I did not give this book 5 STARS it SNATCHED the 5 STARS right out of my hands.

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Kate Sedgwick has faced many adversities in her young life thus far; having a mother who was not so motherly and in addition a sister Grace, to care for all on her own... Instead of cowering in fear at the cards life dealt Katie did what she had to do, she grew up fast. When the book starts Kate is about to start college in the small town of Grant Minnesota; leaving behind her best friend Gus and the sunny skies of San Diego, California.

As Katie adjusts to Grant she moves into the dorms and makes a new friend along the way, Clayton. Whom by the way I LOVE!!! Eventually she decides to seek out coffee to feed her daily addiction. Her search leads her to Grounds where she befriends the owner. With his help she lands a job that same day.

It’s not long before I realize that there is something special about Katie. She has the power to change a person…an atmosphere… I can’t even explain it. I guess the best way to say it is that Katie impacts lives. You don’t meet her without a mark being left. Her presence is almost enchanting because the second she opens her mouth she has your attention with her witticisms and sass.

It's not long before one trip to Grounds changes everything. Katie meets Keller Banks an easy going extremely HOT guy working the counter. A semi flirty verbal spar over coffee ensues. Eventually after spending time as friends Keller makes his intentions clear in a very sweet and swoon worthy way.

“Keller. What is this, birthday week ? This isn’t necessary. You took me out for dinner last night, remember?”
He shrugs. “That was from all of us .” He smiles sweetly . “This is from me.”
I open it. It’s a twenty-dollar gift card to Grounds. “Thanks. It’s perfect.” Thinking back to our conversation a few weeks ago at the flower shop, I add, “Is this blackmail or bribery?”
“Neither. It’s insurance.”
“Yeah. That’s twelve cups of coffee . Twelve trips to Grounds . Twelve chances to see you.”

Soon Katie finds herself falling for Keller; and as much as she tries to keep it platonic between them he still breaks through her walls and gains entrance to her heart. Seeing that her defenses are ineffectual towards him she gives in.

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After enduring hardships no one should have to face Katie’s optimistic outlook in life had her coined as Bright Side by her best friend Gus. Gus is very protective of Katie and with good reason; she has one of the biggest kindest hearts you could ever come across. So when you realize that she is hiding something important you feel a bit slighted.

Only she’s not the only one holding secrets…Keller has a few as well.

Life changing secrets…

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Just when you think you know someone, they change. Or you change. Or maybe you both change. And that changes everything. -Keller

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'He’s not yelling at me, he’s yelling with me.' -Katie
(You have to read the scene to understand let’s just say I wept right here)

There is also a scene with Gus and Keller that I LOVE!!!  photo hearts_zps2cbeef3d.gif

My Thoughts
HUGE SHOUT OUT TO Donna at The Romance Cover and Jenny at Totally Booked for recommending this to me!

OH MY GAWD! Where to start? Kate, let’s start there. In one word I would describe Kate as jovial, always of good cheer and humorous at heart. The second she speaks people listen whether they like what is coming out of her mouth or not. She's also ballsy, which I loved! She has the lovingly precious friendship with Gus that just melted my heart. There is SO MUCH I want to say about him but I won’t. You need to meet him for yourself, trust me he will not disappoint. If I know anything I know this. Readers will want MORE OF GUS!!

The Writing -The book has a slow start as you go through the everyday small routines of a college girl. HOWEVER in these small mundane daily tasks Katie is causing these small tremors in the lives of those she comes in contact with. It may be small, like a song choice that pulls a smile out of someone who rarely smiles. OR it could be big and courageous like standing up for what’s right in a world filled with people who prefer to duck and look the other way.

At a certain point the book will take the air right out of your lungs rendering you BREATHLESS. Don’t let that stop you, keep reading.

I like Kim Holden’s style; she’s always saying something or maybe I should say relaying something about Kate in her writing when you’re not looking for it… its genius really. Pay attention tell me if you catch it. Watch the impressions Kate leaves on those around her. Yeah…I really dig Kim Holden’s writing style. Her words are well thought out and served with a purpose. Am I the only one who caught that? (Question is posed to readers)

My Ratings
Characters- Lovable, Sweet, Endearing and HOT
Writing Style- Strong and Methodical, which most won’t understand but it is, EVERY word served a purpose as I previously stated.
Plot/Storyline- A girl leaves Cali to go attend college in a small Minnesota town where she makes new friends and finds LOVE.
Steam Factor- High/Very Steamy on a scale of 1-10 I say 8 BTW, the steam came out of nowhere. HIT ME LIKE A HUGE WAVE OF FLAMES!
Entertainment Level- Lo-Med-Hi I say Medium, the book held my attention, pulled out a few laughs and caused some big grins to spread across my face.
Overall- I LOVED IT! I HIGHLY Recommend you read it!

Now go forth and read. Then come tell us about it on Goodreads!

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Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews287 followers
October 5, 2017
Im sorry! I’m a bonafide book crier, there’s no shame in my game. I felt NOTHING!!! I tried. My tear ducts were as dry as the Sahara Desert. And I had been wanting to read this book for forever. I was more interested in the songs which most were made up, than the plot. I had to push myself to finish. I seriously wanted to DNF this book.
Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews800 followers
January 13, 2016
I started this book by audio and finished the last 30% in my living room reading and balling my freaking eyes out until 2:00 am.

This book is so much more than 5 stars, it makes me question most of my 5 star ratings because it just MORE. I loved this book on a level I can't describe. Bright Side made me grateful for the life I have been given, it broke my heart imagining the struggles of other people around me, and it made me want to be a better person.

Bright Side isn't just a book or a character, it's a way of life. I don't think I will ever forget this book, I am still crying hours later. I hope that when I am faced with such adversity I can have the dignity and grace of Bright Side. I hope that when I see others being mistreated I can have her compassion. I hope that when I begin to feel sorry for myself for things I cannot change I look on the Bright Side. This book...gah, it's just more.

I hate reading sad books, but I also am so grateful that I took the time to let my heart break and enjoy this story!

I can't wait to read Gus when my heart heals just a little!
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,314 followers
September 16, 2018

I thought the story had several aspects that felt forced and inorganic, nevertheless, I was completely invested in Kate (aka Bright Side); although not so much the numerous side characters as they felt like props whose main function was to make “Bright Side” look all bright, sunny, and perfect.

I will say that the strongest part of the story was the last quarter of the book, which had me in tears. Definitely worth reading, but be prepared to do some serious eye-rolling and frequent “oh, come on, she can’t be that perfect”. Just saying.
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,360 reviews4,608 followers
September 4, 2014
3.75 Sunset Stars

"My life will not be a fairy tale, and that's okay. My life is reality."


After very slowly reaching the 70 percent mark I had put this book aside feeling that the rest of the story would be anticlimax.

So many friends have read this book in full and just loved it so I went back in today. Upon my completion, I will say the overall message isn't anything we haven't heard or read before but somewhere in the delivery and beautiful way Katie touched those around her was.

"She's not the poster child for positivity. She's a freaking ray of sunshine. She doesn't just look on the bright side...she lives there."

The characters were very lovable while the pacing for me was so very slow. The ending is predictable and yes it's sad it was a good read. I would definitely read a book about Gus and I'm hoping that will be in the works someday.

"Show time"

Profile Image for Jenny - TotallybookedBlog.
1,788 reviews2,013 followers
August 31, 2014

5 ‘do epic ‘ stars

‘Regret just leads to second-guessing and anger and sadness and I sure as hell can’t afford any of those.’

I. AM. NUMB! As I sit here wiping the tears off my keyboard I’m at a loss for words, and hours after finishing Bright Side, I’m still an emotional mess. This story made me swoon, it made my heart soar, it made me laugh, it made me sob, it devastated me and it inspired me and it wrecked me!

I inhaled Bright Side in one sitting and when it was over, I was left staring into space and I’m not really sure how to adequately convey my thoughts and express my feelings. I experienced the whole gamut of emotions throughout this book which had me laughing one minute, swooning in romance heaven the next, and openly sobbing my heart out at the turn of a page. Kim Holden brought this powerful and breathtaking story to life and did it beautifully with heartfelt and gut wrenching emotion .

“I’m always looking forward toward the future…..I can’t afford not to. The future is all I have.”

I fell in love with all the characters, but Kate, Keller and Gus were something else. What special people they were. My heart alternated between overflowing with happiness and being completely annihilated and you know what? I wouldn’t have missed a second of it because when a book evokes that much emotion from you, you know you’re onto a winner.

For those who may be a bit hesitant to give this book a go, if you take a deep breath, open the page and allow yourself to be swept away you’ll be rewarded with spending time with some beautiful, memorable and unforgettable characters that will enter your heart and never leave. Yes, this story is gut wrenching and at times devastating, but it’s also inspiring, thought provoking and heart-warming.

‘I look forward to spending every minute I get to spend with her. Every minute of every day wouldn’t be enough.’

Friendship and love are at the forefront of this story and both the relationship between Gus and Kate and Kate and Keller are so beautifully portrayed, you experience both sides of Kate’s heart. Bright Sky is told through the pov’s of Kate and Keller, which only served to intensify the emotional impact of the story. There were times Keller’s pov broke me.

Kate was such a kind, positive, happy and accepting character. Despite not having the happiest of upbringings, Kate saw the good in everyone and everything; she was pure of heart and loyal and forgiving to a fault. She really does earn her nickname Bright Side. This extraordinary girl exudes a light and warmth that draws people to her and really possesses a truly beautiful soul. She owned my heart and she broke my heart.

‘What in the hell just happened? I feel like I’ve been asleep for years and I’ve only just woken up.’

Kate has been blessed with a unique and enduring friendship with her buddy Gus, an up and coming musician with his band Rook. It’s a friendship that has known happiness, pain, tragedy and loss and a shared connection brought about by their love of music cements a bond which is unbreakable. Gus owns a piece of Kate’s heart and I have to say, he owned a piece of mine too. He was such a beautiful big bear of a man and their friendship was so special.

“Gus, it always gets better.”

Whilst Gus takes off to tour and establish his band, Kate starts a new life at College in Michigan. Kate knows where she’s heading and has a plan. It’s a plan that doesn’t include love, but somewhere along the way Keller Banks entered her life and threatens to shoot that plan to pieces.

Keller Banks. Well, words fail me on this beautiful, giving and completely selfless man. He was divine and I loved him! Keller was living a life pleasing others, never taking his own happiness into account, carrying secrets from his past that weighed him down. Katie entered his life like a bright shining star and knocked him for six.

“I fell in love with you. It would’ve happened whether you loved me back or not. It’s impossible not to love you.” – Keller

I completely swooned over Kate and Keller’s relationship. It built at a slow and steady pace and I felt their connection deep in my bones. There was so much to Keller and as his and Kate’s secrets came to light, the true testament of this man and his character came to be. Arrgghhh Keller. I can’t think about him without crying. What a man!

“You give me courage I never knew I had.” – Keller
“I didn’t do anything. It was there all along, you just had to find it.” – Kate

I connected to this book on many levels. There were times it did feel a bit cliché but at the end of the day these thoughts were soon forgotten and I find myself reflecting on the feelings I experienced and what a profound effect this book had on me. And it wasn’t just the characters and story I connected with in Bright Sky. This author clearly shares my passion for music and made it so it became an extension of her story as it wove through the pages.

I knew nothing going into this book and I’m thankful for that so I’m definitely not going to give anything away. I can’t say it enough about how this book made me FEEL. Grab some tissues (you’ll need them!) and READ THIS BOOK!!.

This is one of those stories that hits your heart hard and carries messages that will leave you contemplating what’s important in life…you know… don’t sweat the small stuff. Be tolerant. Be forgiving. Open your heart and grab life by the scruff of the neck. Love hard, laugh often, follow your dreams and love life.

“Thank you. I’m not really into the whole being rescued thing, but you make one helluva white knight, Keller Banks.”

I’m still a bit numb, so in the words of Katie….go forth and ‘do epic.’

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Profile Image for Nora-Kate.
253 reviews25 followers
July 2, 2015
The hype got this one WAY wrong. Reviewers tell lies.

I can't even BELIEVE how much I disliked this book. Probably the equivalent of how hyped up it was to me. Which is a lot.

It took me a long time to figure out what exactly is wrong with this book. It's come so highly recommended. People are crying and falling out their chairs, and I can hardly stand it. I always feel like it's only fair when this happens to analyze if there isn't something wrong with ME.
But no, in this case it's the book.
The girl bounces from encountering one "interesting" person to another to another to another til I think the count is close to 15(!) Maybe even more? The problem is, the story is FULL of these little characters, dancing, sleeping around, playing truth or dare type games, listening to music, drinking COFFEE, going to class, eating, sleeping, talking, walking, skypeing, ….
Oh, also the book is half over!
It's like they're all in this story together, if the story were a car, the game is to cram as many people as possible into the story-car, but no one is driving the story-car anywhere. Like, anywhere.

I read and read and read and was so baffled by my boredom and unlove for this that I stopped and read the reviews more closely. And the thing all the people raving and crying about this book want to talk about. The only thing! Is the end. The last 25%.

People! That doesn't make it a good book! If only 25% is good. It's not good. You waste my money.
Profile Image for warhawke.
1,283 reviews1,928 followers
April 27, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person - Dual

Kate Sedgwick moved to a new small town for her college education. With her bright, bubbly personality, she could charm just about anyone. Still, she never really opened up to anyone other than her best friend Gustov (Gus) Hawthorne.

Keller Banks was pretty hard to resist with his good looks and adoring personality. Both he and Kate were attracted to each other yet they tried to resist the pull because both of them have secrets big enough to push them apart.

While dark books feed my soul, the ugly crying ones are like sweet desserts haha! This book is definitely an ugly crier, but the beautiful thing is, it was also very light and funny.

I’m an optimist, but first and foremost I’m a realist. My life will not follow a fairy tale, and that’s okay.

I adored Kate not only for her personality but also her strength. She lived up to her nickname Bright Side because she could put positive spin on anything that came her way.

“It scares me how much I like her. She makes me want to say screw it all and re-write my future.”

Keller was also wonderful. I love how patient and understanding he was even though he had his low moments.

But my favorite was hands down Gus. He stole my heart from the moment he was first introduced. I love how much he cared about Kate and how much he didn't care about things that are not important in living a meaningful life.

The supporting characters were also equally lovable. Each of them brought something to the table besides just being entertaining.

What I love the most about this book is that it's not exactly a romance but rather a story about life. It's about living it to the fullest and not taking it for granted because life could easily take an unexpected turn.

She’s refined the art of enjoyment and living in the moment. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s breathtaking.

Bright Side is a story about love and friendship that endures through hardships in life. While heartbreaking at some points, the book is ultimately uplifting and heartwarming and hopefully will urge you to see things from a different perspective.

I don't have a personal experience in the subject matter so I don't know how I would cope being at either side of the story, but I know for sure it requires a lot of strength for all involved.

Standalone books in the series:
Bright Side (Bright Side, #1) by Kim Holden Gus (Bright Side, #2) by Kim Holden

♢ ᛯ ♢ . . . (F)BR With Anna . . . ♢ ᛯ ♢

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,804 reviews2,158 followers
August 17, 2015
So, I don't think I could ever pick a rating on this book. The numbers 1-5 are too simplistic of a way to describe my feelings on this book so I won't rate it. Don't know if I ever will.

I also don't really know how to review this, but I'll try and say something short. This book had exactly the opposite effect on me that it had on other readers. Instead of being uplifting, I found it so incredibly sad and after finishing it, it left me in such a depressed mood. Please do not read the spoiler tags unless you really want to be spoiled.

I will say though I think Kim Holden is a great writer, and while I wouldn't classify this as a romance or new adult, she told this story in a beautiful and positive manner that was not easy to pull off. Will I read anything else by her? YES. On one condition

So thanks for reading my ramblings and word vomit. I honestly cannot write a coherent review after this book.
Profile Image for Donna ~ The Romance Cover.
2,756 reviews312 followers
November 8, 2014
Bright Side by Kim Holden
5 breathtaking stars!!!

“Today, my life is awesome.”

This book is up there on my favourite reads of 2014, hell even up there on my favourite reads of ALL TIME! Yes it is seriously that good. This is a book that I couldn’t put down, not for one measly second. Once I started I couldn’t stop and once I had finished I was completely and utterly devastated. I was not ready for this book to end, I just wanted more.

The writing style is fluid, beautiful, emotional, captivating, gut wrenching, all encompassing, this book takes you over, heart, mind, body and soul. The heroines motto in this book is “DO EPIC” and Kim Holden has “DONE EPIC.” This book is EPIC, do not be dissuaded by an innocuous cover, in fact this is a prime example of “never judge a book by it’s cover,” what is inside this cover is exquisite and deserves to be read, to be devoured and to be inhaled. This book is like an emotional vortex, it sucks you in, drowns you in emotions and feels and doesn’t let you free until the end. Have I said that this book is EPIC!! One more point on the cover though, once you have read the book you will appreciate it’s symbolism, I can see why the author did it and I can appreciate it whole heartedly. Just please, if you have a few spare dollars/pounds, pick up this book, you will not regret it.

This is one emotional book, it is devastating but it is devastatingly perfect, but and this is a big but it is perfectly balanced with humour, wit an addictive storyline and some amazing characters. Not one character is superfluous to the story, they all have their part in bringing this story together.

Kate aka as Bright Side lives up to her nick name, she always looks on the bright side of life (cue Monty Python music). She has had a really crap upbringing but she has never let it get to her. She has made the most of the crap that life has dealt her and is one of these people that puts everybody first. She is intelligent and super talented but all her aspirations were put on hold when life dealt her a hand that forced her to put those dreams aside for the time being. Kate was a beautiful character inside and out, she was adorable, selfless, giving, trusting, infectious, you couldn’t help but smile and be happy in her company. She had the knack of bringing the shyest person to life, her personality shone like the sun, everyone she touched felt her, she radiated, she really was Bright Side. Her saving grace in life has been her best friend and neighbour Gus.

“I can’t let the bad consume me or it would eat me whole. The bad stays in the bad corner of my mind, I don’t let it through the door to mingle with good, because the bad is a goddamn party pooper.”

Gus was adorable, he was the epitome of the perfect best friend. These two loved each other unconditionally, the lines of friendship having been blurred once these two were firmly putting their best friends label first even though at times you knew, ideally in another world, another scenario that these two were meant to be together. They were more than best friends. Gus was a guitarist and singer in a band, Kate was his muse, they batted off each other, her being musically oriented as well meant that these two made beautiful music together. Kate was shy so she just remained in the back ground, but all she wanted in life was for Gus to succeed and she would push him all the way. Gus needed his best friend, he needed the push and she was always there for him, just like he was for her.

The story starts with Kate tackling one of her bucket list items, she always wanted to go to University, finally life had changed enough to make this possible and we see her start University life with a flourish. She picks her friends wisely, brings life, love and laughter to all she meets. This is where she meets Keller.

Keller was another lost soul, his own history already leaving its mark. Having never opened his heart up it is unsurprising that Kate manages to break down his walls and defences. Kate is reticent to jump into a relationship, preferring to keep to just friends but there is something about Keller, he makes her feel, he makes her want to push her reservations aside, he makes her take the leap. These two were truly beautiful together and Keller embraced her friendship with Gus…eventually.

“I didn’t do anything. It was there all along, you just had to find it.”

And that is all I can say about this book…if I say anymore it will give too much away and that would be a travesty. All I can say is please, please read this book, give this newbie author a chance. Let the emotion and feels take you away for those few hours, learn some life lessons, be inspired, you will laugh, you will cry, you will swoon, but most of all you will feel. This is one book that has left its indelible mark on my heart, a book that I will champion from now on. Only a few books have made that impact and I am glad to add another to that list.

“I don’t know if the speed limit in California is 95 miles an hour, because I realize you guys probably do things a little different there, but it’s only 65 here, which is about how fast you take f**king corners.”

Kim Holden, all I can say is you are EPIC, this book is something that you should be truly proud of. I totally and utterly loved it and will now be eagerly anticipating your next book.

Go and 1click peeps, you will not be disappointed.

Profile Image for Sara ➽ Ink Is My Sword.
561 reviews413 followers
March 6, 2018
5 “And I still want to be Kate when I grow up” Stars


Buddy-read with this charming boy who accepted to be my buddy-reads-partner for life and he totally has cheated on me already.



*Takes a deep breath, cracks her fingers, close her eyes.*

I hope this review makes justice to the EPICNESS this story is. I am so nervous because this is a book I really want everyone to try out, but I feel my soul will break if someone hates it.

This is one of the most bittersweet books you will ever find. I am not kidding. If you can’t believe you can be heart-wrenchingly crying while having a big smile on your face this book will prove you wrong.

If you are getting into this book with the expectation of a great epic romance, I am sorry you may be disappointed. This is the first time in an NA book were although I liked the romance it was not the main thing why I kept reading. I was invested in FRIENDSHIPS, LIFE, CHARACTERS, KATE, FEELS, LOVE.


💛GUS. do I even need to say more?
💛I loved how we get a tight friendship between female & male. But tbh my heart is also broken because hell I shipped them okay.
💛Kate’s friendship and tight bond with everyone. She was so kind and her interactions with everyone were so funny and they filled me with giddy feelings.
💛Shelly+Kate=Tight female friendship
💛Dance parties.

💛This book has a great take on life.
💛“I’m not saying you shouldn’t pursue dreams and goals. Just don’t forsake the present for the unknowns of the future. A lot of happiness is bypassed, overlooked, postponed to a time years from now that may never come. Don’t bide your time and miss out on this moment for a tomorrow with no guarantee.”
💛Kate’s way to view life was beautiful, it honestly made me fall in love with it a tiny bit. Which I really needed.
💛POSITIVITY. This books seriously shits rainbows and bright sides, there is no other way of explaining it.
💛“Today, my life is awesome.
I don’t want to think about tomorrow.
Or the day after that.
So I repeat to myself: Today, my life is awesome.”

💛Kim is queen because fuck she punched my heart over and over with everything. I mean life is shit yet kim still made it look awesome.
💛“Don't judge each other. We all have our own shit. Keep your eyes on yours and your nose out of everyone else's unless you're invited in. And when you get the invitation, help, don't judge.”

💛GUS: He is my fucking sunshine. I am so in love with him, I mean maybe not as much as I was with Kate in this book, but for sure he is my weakness. HOT, MUSICIAN, WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING. His interactions with Kate made my day, I just loved both so much.
💛SHELLY: She is wonderful. So tough but at the same time sweet as candy. And a great dancer, shhhh don’t tell her I told you.
💛KELLER: I wanna protect him from all dead in the world. He was sarcastic, flirty, hot.
💛CLAY: I want to make him a magic poison against all those homophobic assholes in the world. He was funny and enthusiastic, basically lovely.
💛PETER: “a role-playing sex addict that gets off on S&M.” “wearing only leather chaps and holding a riding crop...” *shakes head* THANK GUS, that picture is just. No, but in all seriousness, I loved his small sweet romance with the nerdy girl.
💛STELLA: Love her. Sweetest thing ever.

💛Yes, I am extra, yes she needed her own section apart from the other characters.
💛Biggest crush I have ever had on a female character
💛Because she loves coffee black, books, underrated music, dancing.
💛Every time she smiled the whole room shined.
💛Open-minded goddess.
💛“I know it’s weird, but I like to think of God as my homeboy.” She made me want to talk with the big guy and I am NOT religious.
💛She is a great, brave friend.
💛“You deserve someone who takes you out on real dates. Someone who buys you flowers and shit. Because if there's anyone in this world who's capable of insane amounts of love and who deserves to be loved that way in return, it's you.”

💛I laughed like crazy.
💛I cried like there was no tomorrow.
💛The quotes, the quotes, the quotes.
💛If you didn’t feel anything you are made of stone.
💛Twix bars (If you get this reference I love you)

💛Love for life
💛Love for friendship
💛Love for love
💛Love for oneself
💛Love for Kim Holden because she created this book, like how?

If you still haven’t got the clue, I LOVE THIS BOOK. So yeah, now is your decision if you wanna make your life a better place by reading this book or not. But yeah not to hype the book or anything.
Profile Image for Fares.
246 reviews315 followers
February 26, 2018

Well I got my answer, happy and ignorant Fares is gone, replaced by a sad looking lump of mixed emotions. Actually come to think of it I've always been that :)
But this book is sadly positive, and while I feel sad I also feel happy. Confusing? Yes that's me.

I just want to point out that I know nothing about this one, so right now I feel happy and ignorant :) I wonder what will I feel after finishing.

Buddy read with the most sadistic and mice person here
Oh dam you autocorrect you did it again :)
Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,494 reviews1,208 followers
September 29, 2018
I realize that I'm in the minority with giving this book below 5 stars but I couldn't help it. I'm a huge fan of a happily-ever-after. Nuff said.

As beautifully written as the story was, and it was beautiful, unfortunately my heart was broken beyond repair. And as much as I loved Gus, I can't find the will to read his book. Love should never die. Ever. Reading his book would be like contradicting that and I just can't.

Yes I loved Kate. Her personality made even me happy. Her relationship with Gus left me envious even while I enjoyed and appreciated their bond. Her relationship with Keller... from their friendship to what they turned into... what they became... they made my heart sing.

My thoughts: this book was bittersweet and full of heavy emotion. My heart feels... heavy. Those letters... the audio CD... I couldn't help but feel it deep. So while I love most everything about the story, I'm leaving my rating as is and hope my review clearly explains my reasoning.

If you're looking for a book that attempts to squeeze out every drop of emotion from you, this one will do it.

Happy reading! xo
Profile Image for Brenda Zalegowski.
Author 3 books25 followers
February 5, 2015
Dude if you can't write believable surfer lingo then don't make your character a surfer girl. If I read the word dude one more time this week I will punch someone.

We get it, Kate loves her coffee. It's ambrosia.

I have never read a more annoyingly perfect MC as Kate. All of the "good" people were too perfect and of course everyone is a super model. All of the "bad" characters are so one dimensional with absolutely NO redeeming qualities. I can get some enjoyment out of a lame story if the characters are well written and developed but these people were so unreal I couldn't care about them one bit.

The irony is when Kate says she likes the character Sydney Carton from Tale of Two Cities because "he was full of flaws. But, he was the most human of them all, you know? People are fucked up, so he was believable to me..." Exactly! People ARE flawed unless you're Kate and her friends!

I'm so sick of books where the only point seems to be to make the reader cry. How much more tragedy can we dump into this girl's life? It doesn't matter because she's so perfect and positive that rainbows and unicorns fly out of her butt anyway! No matter what happens or how people treat her she's still perfect. She's working part time at a flower shop, gets excited about being able to afford coffee when she finds five bucks but she'll unquestioningly write a $500 check for an aunt that treats her like shit? Please!

Nothing came as a surprise either. The story behind Kate's sister...not surprising...pretty much figured that out right away. Kate's big secret? Well you could see that coming as soon as she visited the doctor the first time. Do these writers think we're stupid? And I'm not saying it's the lack of surprise that kept my eyes completely dry either. I recently read a book that I KNEW one of the main characters was going to die and I was preparing myself for it the entire time I was reading. I could even tell WHEN it was going to happen when his point of view stopped in the table of contents and I STILL wept big sobby sloppy tears over him when it happened. That's caring about a character and Kate is too damned perfect to be believable and I can't cry over a fantasy.

The meteoric rise of Gus's band is just as unbelievable as Kate's perfection. No band that has only JUST released their debut CD gets a headlining tour and sells out shows in an hour. It would have been more believable if they had a half hour opening set on someone else's tour.

I REALLY need to start reading samples and some one star reviews before I buy books. The $2.99 I spent on this one and the hours of my life that I spent reading it are gone and now I need to find something really good to "wash" this one out of my brain.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Andie .
260 reviews373 followers
May 31, 2016
I decided to pick up Bright Side after hearing many gushing reviews and being recommended as a tearjerker. I was in need of a good cry so this was a no brainer. But it's SO much more than that. This story has moved and inspired me. I'm not going to talk about the plot whatsoever because that's for everyone to discover and enjoy on their own.

In all honesty, I was moving pretty slowly at first. I wasn't sure where the story was going, if anywhere. Then close to halfway... BAM! Everything is put into perspective. What and where the story is leading and why we had the lead up that we did. Bright Side is Kate's story. A girl made of sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. She's an extremely positive, live in the moment, fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl. She doesn't just look on the bright side, she lives there. And girl is BRAVE ! No one can help but fall in love with her. The lead up and all the details are so vital in the end. By the time I finished the book its wasn't just a story anymore. I felt like I knew each of these characters as if they were my own friends and family. I felt right along with them.

The love interest, Keller is a wonderful character and fits with Kate beautifully. As much as Kate didn't want to get attached to anyone, Keller was just as good for her as she was for him. But the real star of the show here is Kate's lifelong best friend, Gus. I'm so thankful for all the build up to get to know his beautiful soul. I can't wait to read the follow up, Gus soon.

If you're looking for a hit you in the feels yet highly uplifting read, I urge you to pick up Bright Side . And if you find yourself questioning the momentum of the story like I was, don't give up! I promise it's all worth it in the end.

Do like Kate and do epic !
Profile Image for Pikolina.
744 reviews206 followers
April 24, 2017
Uffffffffff qué conclusiones tengo de ésta historia?¿?

La primera mitad del libro, tengo que decir que me pareció un poco lenta y con poca chispa, me parecía demasiada info del día a dia sin realmente nada nuevo que aportar, pero una vez que empecé la segunda mitad del libro, no pude dejar de leer ... la historia te atrapa, te engancha hasta que la terminas.
Ha resultado ser una historia con un poco de todo ... mucha positividad, mucha energía, mucha amistad, mucho amor, pero a la vez, mucho drama, mucha tristeza, muy dura ....
Quizás ha sido uno de los libros que más me han hecho llorar, pero que merece la pena leer, mucho.

4,5 *
October 29, 2014
The heart of this book is to never take anything for granted. Enjoy every moment...every hug and every kiss, bask in the good and lessen the bad. And you never really realize the impact you have on those around you.

And the heart of this book is all things Kate. She epitomizes everything I just said...and that's saying a lot. She's had a horrible childhood but her saving grace was her sister, Gracie, and her best friend, Gus. Now, she's moved to Minnesota for college and to get a fresh start.

(Thanks Jeanne for the gif!)

In the beginning, the book is s-l-o-w. It's written in a day by day format, so it takes a while for things to start happening. At first, it was a little boring but then I realized that we needed to really know Kate and what she was about. Also, there's a lot we don't know and that drove me crazy.

Add to the mix a great group of characters...some of my favorites are:

Gus is her best friend and has grown up with Kate. They have a lot in common and you soon find out the depths of Gus' feelings. It's hard not to pull for him but...it's complicated. I really enjoyed him but I was going to scream every time she wrote about him smoking...enough already!

Keller becomes very important to Kate. I loved seeing how their relationship developed but he has some secrets of his own. My heart went out to him though to have to go through it x2.

("It's showtime.")

I wish we had gotten to know more about Shelly? She also has some secrets but I loved how Kate was chipping away at things.

Clayton was a real sweetie. I felt horrible at the things he went through but I was glad Kate was there for him. And Morris was too.

So what about the romance and the steaminess? Well, I can only tell u a bit about it...just suffix it to say there is some. I would've like a lot more but it is what it is. I do think having the different POVs helped to get more understanding of the feelings involved.

And that leaves us with this:


or maybe this is you...


then again, you might just feel like this...


But I think most people will get at least a little teary eyed.

Overall, I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it if you want an emotional read. There is another book coming out in 2015... I won't say who it's about since it was a spoiler for me but I'm definitely looking forward to it!

Favorite quotes:

♥ "Dude, you haven't been replaced. No one spoons like you do."

♥ "Facebook is the decline of civilization as we know it."

♥ "Goddammit, Bright Side, I think the big boy pants worked."

♥ "You are brave."

♥ "Do epic."

♥ "She doesn't just look on the bright side. She lives there."

♦ BR w/the BR group!
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,924 reviews35.4k followers
October 10, 2019
Kate grew up believing that she needed to take care of everybody...[her mother, sister, friends, strangers],...
She had an exceptional disposition about life... with no regrets. Tragedies included.

A 20 year best friend relationship, a passionate ‘in-love’ relationship, college friends,
music, and values on life,
are at the heart of this story.

Sappy - sweet - sad -
- intimate storytelling!

This is another one of those books where I can understand high rating reviews — and low ones.
Readers can choose to see the bright side of Kate’s attributes —
readers could possibly feel she was too upbeat to be unbelievable.

I’m choosing the bright side.
It’s not often I read about a main character who is sincerely selfless as Kate was.
One of her greatest gifts, was that she was genuinely interested in listening to others.

Kate knew how to make other people feel great about themselves....a gift I deeply admire in others.

Easy listening Audiobook...
It’s not rocket science.
It’s a chick read.

If you hate sappy - don’t choose this book.
Me... I like a little sappy from time to time!
....Besides it was a side-tribute to ‘black’ coffee. Ha! For a tea drinker - I understand this from Paul - ‘a black’ coffee guy, too!

Thank you, Gina!
You’re a sweetheart ... and it was nice being with this book - thinking of you!
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,493 reviews3,634 followers
August 18, 2017
4 Stars

Overall Opinion: I started this one as an audiobook. I have to say that the female narrator was freaking awesome!! I really enjoyed her narration when I normally am put off by the female POV for some reason. She sucked me in enough that I had to know what would happen so much that I downloaded the text version of the book to read faster...so kudos to her!

Then I barreled right through the remaining 60ish% of the book...AND it wrecked me! I knew going in that someone devastating was going to happen (yep, I read the spoilers), but it still wrecked me! I loved this h and her relationships with the H and all the side characters so much that what happened was truly devastating. I really enjoyed the dialogue and pretty much everything about the h!

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Kate and Keller's story. I'm going to keep this brief in hopes of not ruining the story. Kate is starting over in a small college in Minnesota. She makes new friends and she meets Keller one day at the new coffee shop that she found. They are both instantly attracted, but form a friendship because neither of them are interested in a romantic relationship at first. The more time they spend together the stronger their feelings become and they fall in love.

POV: This alternated between (mainly) Kate and Keller's POV.

Overall Pace of Story: Good. I never skimmed, and I thought it flowed well.

Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings.

H rating: 4 stars. Keller. I really liked him! I loved that he could've been a manwhore but wasn't, and he was loyal to those he cared about.

h rating: 5 stars. Kate. I freakin' loved her! She was probably one of the best hs I've read in a long time.

Sadness level: High. I needed tissues with this one!

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Good. They have some good tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not many scenes and not so much it takes away from the story, and I'd say it's more about the emotional connection than the physical act.

Descriptive sex: Kind of. Not super descriptive, but also not fade-to-black.

OW/OM drama: Not really

Sex scene with OW or OM: No

Cheating: No

Separation: No. Once they're together they stay together.

Possible Triggers: Yes *BIG SPOILERS*

Closure: This has closure in a way, but I would've liked a farther glimpse into the future. I would not call this a HEA

How I got it: The audiobook version was part of my scribed subscription, and the kindle edition was part of my kindle unlimited subscription.

Safety: This is probably Safe with exception for most safety gang readers
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