Bright Side by Kim Holden


To Kim Holden, I can honestly say that despite my many tears but because of you and your book…..

“Today, my life is awesome.”

Sometimes life gets in the way and although I had bought Bright Side I hadn’t  actually read it but it was raved about by a friend and yesterday I picked it up to see what all the fuss was about.

…. I get it now!!

I know why she was singing your praises and why she left me with no doubt that I had to read your book - because you don’t just read Bright Side you experience it.

Last night was a long night and has left me tired and bleary eyed but delighted that I am now able to say I have finished what was possibly my  favourite book of 2014 so far and that is not a statement I say lightly because I have read so many  books but Bright Side is that good, it will stay with me for a very long time.

The book follows Kate and is written as if it is a real time relay of events. The story ebbs and flows across the pages, seeping its way under your skin and penetrating even the hardest of hearts.

The range of emotions that it touches upon are quite simply staggering, I don’t think I have a nerve that has not been shredded.

But much like Kate in the book, the whole thing is epic.

Kate will sweep you off your feet, she will pull you along with her on her journey to the inevitable but she will have you laughing with her all the way. The way she is written, the fortitude and character that is portrayed are ones that I would hope to have if I was in her position but in my heart I know that I could never be that strong.

The book will devour you as it draws you deep into its soul, but I have to say that this should not be a quick read, please do not cheat yourself, take your time and absorb each word, let the humour envelope you, let the friendships endear themselves to you and let the love that is found show you that no matter the circumstances living for the here and now and loving and enjoying what you have always is always enough.

This book reinforces to be the old saying “Be thankful for what you have”

In Kate’s words, did the author Kim Holden “Do Epic”, you bet your arse she did... she took epic off the charts and I’m not sure when I will find something as epic again.

I have one word for Kate, EXCEPTIONAL!!.

The product of a less acceptable upbringing, she learnt early on not only how to care for herself but her sister Grace. But without the help and love of her best friend Gus and his mother, Kate wouldn’t be the woman she is, they insured that both Grace and Kate knew what it was to be loved unconditionally.

Gus was everything that Kate needed whenever she needed it, just as she was for him. There was a love deeper that words between the pair of them, something that bonded them at a chemical level and was destined to hold their hearts together. The way they spoke to each other, the love and tone that their expressions and conversations held was simply beautiful. I would kill to have a friend like Gus, rock god or not!

But Gus is not the only stellar friends that Kate brings to the party – she introduces us to a whole array of fabulous people, all of whom make not only her life but ours all the brighter for knowing them.

I loved Clayton and thought that the author did a great job of showing the cruelty that is homophobia, hate in any form is not only abhorrent but it is destructive to all involved and it was bold to see the fact that not only Kate but all those around Clayton were willing to stand tall for him.

Shelley was an absolute scream; I adored her and  when she let loose she was joyous.

The other characters, Pete, Rome and the other guys from Gus’s band Rook were just as essential to the story, every single one of them had some depth to add to Kate and her journey. It was delightful that she was loved in that way.

Kate lives in the moment, never knowing when it will all end, but knowing what her end will be. She never had to look on the bright side – because like Gus says, she lives in the bright side and she makes everyone else’s life brighter for having her in it.

Super smart and musically gifted, she uses her positive outlook to reflect on others just what they have and to make the most of it. Determined and single minded she sets out to experience life her way and along the way she did just that. Like the sun rising each morning she brought light into the lives of those around her and made sure that they knew she loved them all.

But when it came to her heart it belonged not only to Gus but to Keller, the man who loved her like no other, the guy who gave her his heart and his life and trusted her not to break him. The man that shared his biggest secret with her and was thankful that she revelled in it, the man that she gave the strength to stand tall and be the person he wanted to be and the man that would carry her with him for eternity, she made him a better man just by loving him.

Every girl wants a Gus in her life, the perfect best friend. He loved her not just as his best friend but for all of her. They were almost synchronised with each other to the extent that they were only fully complete when they were together. In another life they would have been an ideal couple but fate had a different tune for them both to sign along too.

Gus is the lead singer and guitarist of Rook, a newly signed band, who have a bright future ahead of them but Kate is his inspiration, his muse you could say. Playing together they were magical but Kate’s fortitude lay behind the scenes and while she played on a couple of their tracks she never sought any recognition. Her job was to be his best friend and to make sure he achieved everything he could and she did it all with a smile on her face and his very best intensions in her heart.

This book is one that you should experience for yourself, you should get to know the characters and let the emotion of the story carry you away. I have loved every word on every page and I think I have finished the book with an enthusiasm that I didn’t have before I began.

To the author, I congratulate you – this book is quite simply exquisite!!! I hope to hear more from Gus and the rest of the guys from Rook and I would love to find out what becomes of Keller and the others.

There is a rich vein of characters throughout the book that I am not quite ready to say goodbye to yet.  PLEASE!!