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★★★★★ BOOK REVIEW ~ Bright Side by Kim Holden (Penny Lisa)

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Synopsis 3


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.

5 Pennies
I’d seen the cover of Bright Side flash on my feed off and on for the past six months.  A couple of friends had mentioned they read it and loved it but for some reason it never made it on my TBR list.  So this past week when two author friends started raving about it, I thought I best find out what lies beneath this cheerful orange cover.Once I started, I had a really hard time putting this book down.  It held my attention from the first chapter and if it would have been possible, I would have called in to work to read it cover to cover.  As luck would have it, we had a power outage at our plant today and I was able to spend an hour and a half sitting in the dark reading while the transformer was being repaired.

Kate was a powerful character.  She was a breath of fresh air compared to most female leads.  The book was aptly titled.  Progressing through the story, questions began to pop up.  Each question drove me to keep reading, even past my bedtime.  This book is that good.

The people she encountered in the story were very real.  I found myself creating voices for the character’s dialog.  Romero’s argentine accent started that trend and it continued as new characters were introduced. Clayton’s innocence and excitement jumped off the page.  It was easy to hear Gus, Keller and the others too.  Kim wrote them all to be very engaging.

Kate’s relationship with Gus was lovely.  They supported one another unconditionally and worked hard to be there for each other regardless of what was happening in their lives.  It was a friendship for the ages.

Going into the book, I knew it had a sorrowful component.  The term Ugly Cry had even been thrown around.  After reading some pretty powerful ugly cry books, it just didn’t seem like the story would get there.  But it did, beginning around November 27th.  Leaky is how it started, and not just the eyes, the nose a bit too.  When I made my way to the restroom after the power had been restored at work, I saw just how leaky had affected my makeup.  Thank god I don’t wear eye makeup to work.

When I got home, I grabbed a box of tissues before I tackled the last 15% of the book.  I knew it would be a bumpy ride, and my swollen and bloodshot eyes are proof.  My husband and son would ask me if I was ok.  They’ve seen it before, they know when it is one of those books.

But then the end came and it was a beautiful ending for a beautiful book.  I knew I couldn’t and shouldn’t wait to write my review, because I needed to feel the raw emotions the book left me with to capture the true spirit of the book.

There were many lessons to be learned in this book.

“Life should never be a who’s got-it-shittier competition.”

“Take time to watch the sunset every once in a while.  Bonus points if you do it with someone you care about.”

“She doesn’t just look on the bright side, she lives there.”

“Do epic.”

Kate brought out the best in everyone she encountered.  Her spirit was kind and beautiful and she was fearless when it came to doing the right thing.  I wish I knew more people like Kate and perhaps could emulate her more myself.

Kim has firmly planted herself on my must read more by this author list.  Bright Side was an powerful read.


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Author Bio
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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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