Title – Gus
Author – Kim Holden
Publication Date – May 20, 2015
Series – Bright Side #2
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?”
When I finished reading Bright Side by Kim Holden, I felt like my whole world was torn apart and I’d never be able to pick up all the little slivers of my heart. There is something about this author’s writing that makes me want to feel pain, sadness, joy, love, and just about every emotion on the spectrum. After finishing Gus, I have an even stronger resolve to do epic, and I must say that her writing was just as fantastic as in the first book.
“How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?”
I felt like I was on a journey throughout the entirety of Gus. This wasn’t just a romance or just a new adult novel. It was, at its core, about a man who lost himself with the death of his best friend. Gus needed to discover who he was without his Bright Side and I quite honestly loved being a part of that battle. I appreciated that he made bad choices (even when they made me cringe) or lost his fire. This book was about his redemption in so many ways. The most precious thing was the way that Holden wrote it; I didn’t just bear witness to it. As a reader, I found myself feeling like his inner voice cheering him on or scolding him. I feel like I developed this unique, special relationship with a character from a book, as odd as that may sound.
“Some people wear their scars on the outside. Others wear them on the inside. Same difference.”
Scout was one of the strongest, admirable heroines and everything she represented and embodied was incredibly special. She wasn’t just a woman lacking confidence because of low self-esteem. She had true scars on the outside, but also on the inside that really molded every single one of her choices. She was guarded and cautious, but it never felt to be disingenuous to who she was supposed to be. I sometimes felt like I was looking in a mirror and hearing my conscience when she would speak, particularly about her insecurities. The best part of the novel was seeing her blossom and find herself. When she came into her own skin, she was a fierce complementary character for Gus who provided just what he needed. Together, they were able to rekindle flames within themselves that made them better and stronger, both as individuals and together.
“And I’ve fallen in love with epic. It’s the only way to live.”
Kim Holden is a phenomenal writer who I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get enough of. The first book broke my heart, but Gus was the exact amount of soothing balm it needed. Whether it was the moments with the band, or memories of Kate, or just he journey of a comeback that readers witnessed, I never felt sidelined. I was so present in this novel, which felt appropriate given a lot of the life lessons that Holden inserts into her writing. If you’ve read Bright Side, then you definitely need to pick up Gus ASAP. And if you haven’t read Bright Side, prepare for one heck of a ride, but be sure to have this book handy for the moment you finish!
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Don’t Miss the Other Books in the Series!
Bright Side (Bright Side, #1)
Franco (Bright Side, #3)