New Review – BRIGHT SIDE by Kim Holden

You just really need to read this book. Go see why for yourself. No spoilers.

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Secrets.
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.

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I’ve had this book sitting unread on my kindle for so long, and I’m glad that the wonderful followers of my blog finally pushed me to read it. The characters were easy to love, the dialogue was fun and quirky, and for 3/4 of the book, it was a really solid 4 star read for me. There were a few minor editing needs, and by 9% I knew the basics of what had, and was going to happen, I just didn’t know the specifics, and I was too caught up in the story to try to work out what they were.

But once I hit around 75%, that is where Kim Holden really showed her talent as a writer. Dammit, I was so sure I wouldn’t cry. So absolutely positive that I would make it through, and even though I knew it would be sad, I was ready to say once I finished, “It didn’t break me.” But it did. I was wrong. My throat was tight from fighting it. My heart hurt. My sight blurred. And I cried.

It’s not just one single event that causes the intense emotion in Bright Side. The whole feel of the last 25% of the book was rich with the kind of deep emotion that meant tears were liable to fall at any given minute. And they did. Oh boy, did they fall. Just when I thought I’d composed myself, I’d be hit with another wave of fresh tears.

Now, as I sit here, on the 1st of January, 2015, I can’t help but think of News Years resolutions. And after reading Kate’s story – living, and seeing life threw her eyes – it’s so easy to see the changes that need to be made. Not just for the year, but for life. The way I want myself, and my children to live. To actually live life to the full. To strive. To love without reservation. To make life how I want it to be, instead of sitting by and letting life lead me. To be brave…

And so, my New Years resolution? For now, and forever?

Do epic.

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BRIGHT SIDE – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | UK Paperback | US eBook | US Paperback

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