Bright Side by Kim Holden

October 10, 2019     Elle     , , ,

Bright Side by Kim HoldenBright Side by Kim Holden
Publication Date: July 4, 2014
Series: Bright Side #1
Genres: Romance
Pages: 429
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My Rating : four-stars

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.

THIS BOOK IS: New Adult | Ugly Cry/Emotional | College Romance

This review is probably going to contain spoilers. If you haven’t read it and don’t want the plot to be ruined I wouldn’t read my review. I will try and keep it as spoiler free as I can, but some things won’t be able to stay hidden. You’ve been warned…

Bright Side is a book that I wasn’t expecting. I knew it was going to be emotional based on what other readers have said, I just didn’t realize how much sobbing I was actually going to do. Now, the whole book doesn’t make you sob, only the last 15% or so, so don’t hesitate reading it based on this little tidbit. It’s sad sure, but the messages that are displayed though the entire book are truly inspirational and worth the tears at the end.

Bright Side is a book about love obviously, as it is marketed as a romance novel. However, the romance doesn’t really bloom until about 50%. The first fifty percent we follow a girl named Bright Side. Okay, her real name is Kate, but Bright Side is so much more fitting as you can see through the title.

Bright Side is a woman who just wants to live life. She wants friends, happiness, and really just to be surrounded by beautiful things. We learn of her passions, her wants, needs, desires, and everything you can think of. Surprisingly, Kim Holden pulls all of this off within the novel and readers feel deeply connected with her character. I’ll admit, I think the book started off really freakin slow and I almost stopped reading it because I couldn’t see what was so sad about her story. And then it hit me right in the face.


Bright Side has cancer. Not the cancer that can be operated on, not the kind of cancer that can be cured by chemo or radiation, but the killing kind that leaves her merely months to live. Bright Side loves life, she’s smart, happy, and lives everyday as if it’s going to be her last. It’s breathtaking. She doesn’t want love for obvious reasons (who would want to get close to someone when they know their end is near) but when she meets Keller in a coffee shop she can’t help but be drawn to him. Soon enough the two are spending a lot of time together. She learns of his deep secrets and he hers. Neither one of them were looking for love, but when it sneaks up on you and consumes your heart and soul it’s hard to say no. So what happens between these two becomes an epic romance- one that will make your heart sour, your soul cry, and swoon all at the same time. It may not be a long relationship, but it’s one that will touch anyone’s heart and soul. You’ll have to read it to experience and trust me, it’s worth it.

That all being said, I did have a few issues with the book so I’ll lay them out here. First and foremost, why the HECK would someone write a book with this amazing character only to kill her in the end. This blows my mind! I had become so connected with her and then I learned she was dying and it ripped my heart out! Gosh! I know this book is as close to some peoples real lives as it can be and I commend Kim Holden for writing it, but I just didn’t want this to happen! I hate getting close to someone and only losing them when it’s not deserved! And Kate (Bright Side) didn’t deserve it (cue sobs here).

Next, the first half of the book was extremely slow. As I mentioned above, I almost stopped reading it because the book didn’t seem to be going into any kind of direction. Thankfully, I read on hoping something epic would happen and it did. It just didn’t end the way I would have liked (still sobbing).

Finally, I need to know what happens with Keller. Am I missing something? Does he have his own book? Because I have no idea. An epilogue would have been nice if he doesn’t have his own book. It ended too quickly and I feel like there is so much more to say on his behalf. Yes, I am INVESTED in his character and I need to know he and Stella get their HEA. PLEASE!!!!!

All in all, this is a beautiful story. The words of wisdom passed through Kate are wonderful and I think many readers can find some sort of kin ship with her because of them. If you’re looking for an emotional read, I certainly recommend this one. Just make sure you have tissues on hand.

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