Bright Side (Bright Side #1) by Kim Holden

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...I don't even know where to start with it, other than to say, read it. Don't be fooled by it's plain and innocuous cover. This book will both restore your faith in humanity, while simultaneously ripping out your heart and stomping all over it. Kate is one of those characters that only comes around once in awhile. The kind that grabs a hold of your heart and buries themselves in it. She is both ordinary and extraordinary. She's "one of those people." You know the ones - who always see the bright side, the silver lining; who inspire you to be better, to have confidence in yourself; who are selfless, giving; who you secretly want to punch sometimes because you can't believe that anyone can be that optimistic, but at the same time you love them for their ability to see past their current circumstance. That's Kate, and you cannot help but love her from the very first page.

Nor can you help loving the band of misfits that she takes under her wing. She truly one of those people that makes your life better simply because she is in it. She's not perfect, nor is she a saint, but she is a genuinely good person. People like that deserve a happy ending, but this story does not have a happy ending. But it is a beautiful story, nonetheless. Life isn't perfect, and we don't always get happy endings, but that doesn't make our stories any less wonderful. This book is epic on so many levels.

To say that this book made me cry is an understatement. It definitely made me ugly cry, verging on sobbing uncontrollably. It is not a book you want to read in public, unless you are comfortable with losing it emotionally in front of strangers. Whatever is beyond a book hangover, that is what I was left with after reading this book. I would liken it to the desire to curl up in the fetal position and rock back and forth. This story is so beautifully tragic and special that it is not a book that you will soon forget.

2015 Reading Challenge: A book that made you cry (ugly cry, is more like it)

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