Author: Kim Holden
My Rating: A+
Genre: New Adult
Series: Bright Side #2
Main Characters: Gus and Scout
Release Date: May 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
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?”
Bright Side was absolutely one of the most beautiful, most heartbreaking, most heart wrenching, uplifting books I've read this year. I read it two months ago and it's taken me that long to be brave enough to pick up Gus (although my reviews will probably post close together...I read Bright Side in July, Gus in Sept).
And if you haven't read Bright Side, you need to stop reading this review right now because it will contain spoilers...oh, and you need to go buy it because these books are FABULOUS and contain such an incredible message about how to LIVE and love life. They are both PHENOMENAL. But they need to be read together and Bright Side has to come first.
So...Gus. It took me so long to start this book simply because I wasn't ready to read about Gus without Bright Side. I had to have my mourning period, too. But this book picks up the day of Bright Side's funeral...and it's just as hard to read as I thought it would be.
But just like Gus is slowly healing throughout the book, I, as a reader was slowly healing, too. Just like Bright Side, this is a book about happiness, and living life to the fullest, and DO EPIC. And the entire story is just that...Epic.
Gus is broken...so broken...and I'll be honest, it hurts to read about his pain. In fact about the first 25% of this book is filled with that pain. But Kate was everything to Gus...of course it's going to hurt. But slowly, Gus and his mother, and even the glimpses of Keller and his daughter show them all getting up, still sad, but learning how to move on and embrace life...just like Kate taught them.
There is so much to love about this book, but at the heart is that same theme...Live. Do Epic. It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but it's worth it. Life is worth it. And that's a theme that speaks to my heart and left me with a smile on my face as I turned the final page. The conclusion...seriously, so perfect. I wanted to read it out loud to my husband but I had too much emotion clogging my throat to do that.
And I probably should mention Scout, because she's a phenomenal character...broken more than a little bit, too. She has her own incredible growth throughout the story, but this book belongs to Gus...purely his. And I don't want to focus on anything but him. BUT I should note...I love what happened with Gus's mother and their family at the end...again, perfection.
I adored this book just like I adored Bright Side. I don't think any story could reach the level of perfection that Bright Side did, but wow...Gus is a close second.
Read them. Read them both!