The journey that began in top-rated, best-selling Bright Side, continues …
This is the story of Gus.
And healing along the way.
“ … but the honest-to-God truth is I don’t even know how to function anymore. Bright Side wasn’t only my best friend; she was like my other half … the other half of my brain, the other half of my conscience, the other half of my sense of humor, the other half of my creativity, the other half of my heart. How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?”
Oh, dear sweet Gus! If you’ve read my review of Bright Side, which was an incredibly inspiring and emotional read for me, I mentioned that I was going to have to take a bit of a break before getting to Gus’s story. He’s really been on my mind lately, so although long overdue in reading, it was time to see how he dealt with Kate’s untimely death and put my mind at ease. Kim Holden’s, Gus, is a story of loss and healing, and this follow up in her Bright Side Series was yet another heart-warming and inspirational read!
Gus is lost and heartbroken. He has lost Kate, his one true love, his other half, and really just lost himself. Constantly battling his sorrows, he pushes away his memories of Kate by drowning himself in drugs and alcohol to numb his pain. The problem is that his band, Rook, has really taken off and become successful, and as the lead singer of their band, they need him at his best for their tour. Will he ever be able to find himself again?
Kim Holden did an incredible job in writing such a genuine character like Gus, and there were so many things to love about him! His heart was just huge, and the man was literally bursting at the seams with so much love to give and life to live. Outwardly, he was so accepting and caring of others with such an easy-going attitude. I think that is why the pain he suffered with the loss of Kate just pulled at every one of my heartstrings. He desperately needed someone from the outside to help pull him up out of his despair and put himself back together again, give him hope, and help him find his music again.
That someone was Scout MacKenzie. She had a tough as nails exterior and didn’t hesitate to call Gus out on his destructive behavior. However, Scout carried her own scars both on the inside and out. Although they were struggling with different kinds of pain, they could relate to each other and formed a rather unlikely bond together. I really enjoyed their friendly and not so friendly banter early on in their relationship. They were really fun and playful with each other, and I loved their sticky note communication with each other, which brought them even closer together!
Maybe I initially took Scout’s insecurity as lack of personality, but I wasn’t really sure of my feelings toward her. She was so hot and cold and just didn’t seem like a likely match for someone as charismatic as Gus. However, I was relieved when her personality began to show more as their friendship blossomed and grew. There was also a little gap for me where they transitioned from friends to lovers to totally in love. I think it took so much of the story for their relationship to come together that it just happened too fast toward the end. So, where I didn’t really fall in love with Scout myself, I’m glad that she found a way into Gus’s heart of gold and they found happiness and peace together.
‘Bright Side helped make me the man I am, Scout helped me remember who that man was, helping me become my own person.’
I really enjoyed Gus’s story, and I just can’t get enough of Kim Holden’s writing! She has an incredible way of incorporating such feeling into her characters and surrounding the reader in warmth. I love how she incorporates the importance of family and friendship in her stories, and her characters’ personalities really come to life with her witty and fun humor. I thought Gus’s close relationship with his mother was so incredibly sweet, and I loved his friendships with Franco, his bandmates, Keller, and of course how much he adored Stella. I was so happy to see this tightly woven group of friends again, many of which were brought together by Kate, who are still in touch and look to all share a future of lasting friendships.
I just love Kim Holden’s inspirational and heart-warming stories, and I am looking forward to reading Franco’s story next!
‘I’ve come to the full realization that my happiness, my life, falls squarely on my shoulders. No one’s gonna do it for me. I’m the one who makes it or breaks it. It’s a choice. A choice that demands action in exchange for reward. Idleness and complacency lead to mediocrity. Sometimes action is really fucking hard fought, but that’s when the payoff’s the highest. That’s when great things happen. Not good things…but epic things. And I’ve fallen in love with epic. It’s the only way to live.’
*** 4 Stars for Me! ***
Have you read Bright Side yet? YOU MUST!
About Author Kim Holden:
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 and tell me what’s up in your reading world.
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