- File Size: 1054 KB
- Print Length: 370 pages
- Publisher: Do Epic LLC (May 19, 2015)
- Publication Date: May 19, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00XZA2XJI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,203 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Gus (Bright Side Book 2) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Alex Kydd is a Tri-State Area-based actor specializing in contemporary and classical theater. His passion for performing began in his early teens and has progressed into a lifetime motivation. Classically trained, Alex attended The William Esper Studio in New York City.
Lidia Dornet is a Brooklyn-based artist who specializes in voice-over and dance. She is heavily addicted to yoga, karaoke, and all things made of chocolate. Lidia is also obsessed with the Talking Heads, David Bowie, and the Clash. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Taking Gus's journey in coping with Bright Side's death is not just agonizing. It is heartbreaking. His loss is more than evident in this book. I expected him to go off the deep end. But he went beyond that is this book. I wondered how Kim was going to bring him back from the dark side.
With all of the love and loss in this book, I couldn't seem to put it down. I lived and breathed Gus's story. I prayed for him to find the peace he desperately needed.
If you are looking for a sweet and romantic read, this is not it. I don't care what anyone else tells you. It is sad and at times it's dark. The journey of loss is never pretty, no matter what light is brought in. This is an overly emotional roller coaster. I am really glad I didn't read both books back to back. I don't think I could have handled that.
Shel: I'll admit I was a little hesitant because of the emotional toil I was anticipating but I cannot imagine that any Bright Side fan will be anything but in love with Gus and his journey from utter sadness to complete joy. Court: I think that it is easy to love him because he was a great character initially...but now we get to know him so much better. He has an amazing life, and really struggles to cope with everything that happened with Kate. It was so real, and realism in this story is completely and 100% necessary.
Shel: The first part of this novel felt emotionally empty and distant and numb--which I think is what Holden was aiming for? I think it mimicked how Gus was feeling--the only way he could cope with the raw pain of losing Kate was to shove it down and distance himself from feeling everything. After some really epically poor choices while on tour, Gus makes one fantastically brilliant move concerning Scout (aka Impatient) and as he begins to finally accept and settle in to life after Bright Side, we get to see the Gus we saw glimpses of before..and this is where the novel just lights up from this bleak world, to one of living and vivid color. It doesn't happen in the span of one page but slowly over time and the pacing of his transformation felt right. Court: It is a beautiful thing. The journey is not always easy, but I like how the writing style really allowed us to follow the first year "after". That word is such a scary thing, and Gus' world was really different to what he'd known his entire life. Scout really, really surprised me. She had this whole other thing happening in her life, and these two you will come to find will just blow your mind.
Shel: While this is truly Gus' journey to reclaim his happiness, it would be completely crazy to overlook the contribution Scout had to his story. She frustrated him and distracted him. She made him laugh. There was a since of mystery about her story and who she was. She was honest and real and good; all things that Gus needed. So while this story was his, it was also hers. We got to know Scout and discover her story and love her for all that she was and all that she gave to Gus and his mom. Speaking of Gus' mom, I loved how Kim Holden included all of the secondary characters from Bright Side (and a few new ones!) and allowed us to know them more and to see how they were doing. (And I can't help but hope that a few more characters from this series get books...I can think of THREE right now that I'd love to know more about). Court: I am not sad that Franco is already out and I just bought it, so that I can jump right into that! BUT, yes. There is so much room to expand on this series, and still hold on to Kate's legacy in their lives - but also see a new and really beautiful side to Kim's writing... She can go literally anywhere with these characters and there is so much potential. I am in awe of her.
Shel: I'm so glad I found this writer and this series--I've somehow managed to find them at the exact time I needed to read them. The wisdom and hope and thoughtfulness that is woven with such care is what will push me to read and recommend them again and again. Thank you for these characters and their stories, Kim Holden; I wish I could adequately find words to convey my appreciation and gratitude for what you've given me in these reads but since I can't...I'll just try to embrace the philosophy and do epic. <3 Court: Do epic. Yes. let's do that. And I may've went with the old adage "this too shall pass, like a kidney stone, but it shall pass" when I thought of sitting down and actually reading this but now that I've done it I realize I had no reason to be scared. Shel number one doesn't steer me wrong, and Kim Holden has our back as well. Read this, and live it. Beautiful boy, and beautiful book. In awe. Still.
Spoiler-ish, so if you haven’t read, stop reading.
That said…what can I say? It’s Gus. I fell in love with Gus in Bright Side and fell even harder for him in this book. I’m not going to recap the book because it’s been done hundreds of times, but I will say that Holden did an awesome job of conveying Gus’s way of mourning what he lost in the first book (I’m trying to stay spoiler free, though if you haven’t read the first book you really need to stop and read it first. Not only does it help make sense of this book, but it’s just a great book as well).
I had a huge fear that as Gus became attached to another woman that he would lose the love he had toward Kate. I’ll admit, I really wanted to see Kate and Gus together in the first book, but as more of their history is revealed in this book, it reminded me of just how deep their relationship ran.
I loved the way Kate was still a part of the story, as well as Keller and Stella. It felt natural, but so did the way Gus developed feelings toward Scout. I loved (here I go with the love again, sheesh) the antagonistic relationship they started with and the sexual tension that resulted between the two.
The story is told in a dual POV from both Gus and Scout’s perspectives. I liked this especially where Gus was involved because it made his pain all the more palpable. I don’t want you to think this book is depressing because it’s not at all, but it is emotional to see Bright Side still a part of Gus’s story.
If you loved Bright Side, read Gus, simple as that. Now, on to Franco, whom I, you guessed it…love!
Top international reviews
“Grief. Anger. Grief. Anger. Grief...Anger.”
After you have read something as perfect as Bright Side you are always going to be nervous reading the sequel, I mean, how can something so perfect ever be matched or even topped? Well, I needn’t have worried at all. As soon as GUS landed on my kindle I was all in from the first to last word. Kim Holden does Gus proud in this book and she has given us a story that was honest, real, emotional, intense and so heart-breakingly genuine that you just fell in love with these characters all over again. Kim Holden has once again touched my heart, I felt it all, the grief, the desolation, the turn around, that eureka moment and all the happy that follows. This book was perfectly balanced and I was so thankful that it rang true to life, losing someone that you are extremely close too is not something that you get over easily and it was never brushed aside, it was raw, but it was perfect.
Gus as you could imagine really struggles in the beginning and this is where I felt Kim Holden really hit her stride. As I said above, I felt his pain, I felt his emotions, and I felt his devastation. Gus really struggles to find himself. Bright Side was his other half, his soul mate, how could someone possibly go on when one half of them is missing? I have to say I was really worried about Gus, I knew that this was going to hit him hard, but to see how vulnerable and broken he was, was soul crushing at times. I always knew that he would have to hit rock bottom before he could start his painful clamour to the surface and the way this book was written made that journey all the more honest, genuine and unequivocally believable.
“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 humour, 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.”
Gus in the beginning was a shell of the man that we loved and knew, he couldn’t write, he couldn’t play, he just existed and even then that was up for debate at times. I wanted him to watch the DVD, I wanted him to see what and who he had become, Bright Side wouldn’t have wanted this, he needed to know, he needed to be told but he just wouldn’t listen. He needed to work through his pain and even Bright Side herself had anticipated it, it just went to show how bone deep their connection was, it was beautiful. Stunningly beautiful.
“I don’t know to be Gus without her, dude. I’m effing lost as s***.”
We finally get that little sliver of light in the form of Scout, I am not going to say too much about Scout but she was the wake-up call that Gus needed. He made her life hell, but she gave back as good as she got. The journey that these two went on was honest and real, no insta love, not even instant friendship but none the less a beautiful, sometimes hilarious read that will have your emotions all over the place. In the beginning these two were by no means perfect together, but they worked, they worked well, they were just what each other needed, they were there for each other, the right place at the right time. The way Kim Holden develops their relationship before your eyes was inspiring, that character connection resonates deep within and once again we have another character that you cannot help but love.
“He doesn’t live life, he feels it. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen grief strangle him. And I’ve seen happiness make him glow with a brightness so intense it’s almost blinding. That’s what makes him so special. It’s not his talent or his looks. It’s how much he feels.”
Once again though Bright Side is not forgotten, this book was a celebration of her life, how life became after Bright Side but no-one would ever forget, forever at the forefront of people’s thoughts and memories and forever uttering or thinking “what would Bright Side do”? Every time she was mentioned the tears came, I just couldn’t help it and my thoughts would wander back to that orange book that decimated me last year.
It was great to catch up with all the characters, no-body was forgotten in this book, while this book is predominantly all about Gus, Gus’s journey would never be complete without his friends and they are all there as one big happy family, even Keller. This is what I loved, Kim Holden brought them all together, they were a unit, they may have lost the anchor that held them tethered together but those friendships were for life and life means life.
This was one emotional journey, but it was a necessary evil, the good far outweighs the bad and the journey that Kim Holden takes you on to get there was well worth the tears and the tissues. You have to sit back and salute Kim Holden, the woman is a genius, Bright Side was EPIC, Gus was EPIC, this author is just EPIC. This woman knows how to nail character connection; she brings these people to life. She knows how to nail emotions, she makes me cry even when not intended but most of all you live and breathe it all and that is what I love in a book. I want it to be an experience and this is one experience I will never ever forget. I totally and utterly loved Bright Side but I can honestly say I loved Gus just as much.
“Not good things...but epic things. And I’ve fallen in love with epic. It’s the only way to live.”
Amazing job Kim Holden, you should be so proud, not only did you do Gus Hawthorne justice but us the reader too. You gave us a raw, emotional, yet uplifting story that will have mended many hearts. But I can’t reiterate enough how much I respect the honesty in this book, it made it for me. It was real, it was believable, dude...it was EPIC.
Gus has made me feel so, SO much and I think so many different emotions that it has almost been like a rollercoaster ride that I didn't want to end. At one point I didn't think he was ever going to get his sh!t together or come to terms with losing a huge part of himself. But then he met girl Scout and her post its!
There are books that intimidate you before you ever pick them up due to the reaction they have had with other people or the just the way they are talked about. This series is just that. The idea of getting THAT emotionally attached to a book and it's characters? Well it's one of the scariest feelings in the world! But I would go through it all again in a heartbeat just to spend time in Kim's world again.
Remember people, Do Epic!
Most of you who are reading this have most likely read Bright Side and are wondering whether or not your heart is able to bare yet another emotional onslaught, well I can assure you Gus is the book for you to help you heal.
At the beginning, it's raw, it's fresh, it's devastating and you will feel everything Gus feels too, right alongside him, as Kate was our friend too right?? I loved/hated how he was wrecked, truly wrecked at the start as that's exactly how I felt too.
I LOVED how he remembered Kate x Every. Last. Detail.
I loved/hated how he comforted himself on Rooks first tour! That totally gutted me. I was wondering what on earth Gus was playing at?? His interaction with Clare, God how I loved/hated Clare, but to truly reach rock bottom, it was the kick in the teeth that he so desperately, desperately needed.
Moving on, I loved Scout immediately. I loved Gus and Scouts Post It note interactions and the steady development of their relationship. I loved how they became good friends. Of course it wasn't forced, it steadily grew into something real and ultimately beautiful. I loved how Gus was there for Scout and just built her up. I loved how he supported her in her time of desperation and need, and it was handled realistically.
But both Gus and Scout needed time, and Kim Holden gave them (and us) that time. They shared a real slow burn relationship. Slow burns are my ultimate favourite kind ever and I loved how their passion became so prominent and eventually just leapt off the page.
There were many moments that had my heart in tatters. But for me, the most devastating part where I felt utterly shattered, devastated even, was when Gus told Scout that he had been in love x Twenty-one years ... and three days!!! Sobbing!!!
I loved the background stories of all the supporting people in the Bright Side family. Oh and I loved Mrs. Randolph. I especially loved how Gus and Keller interacted. I'm pleased with what has happened with Keller and Stella.
I loved all of the banter, it seriously had me laughing out loud. The banter between Gus and his band mates, especially Franco, between Gus and Keller and also between Gus and Scout. I loved that in the fantasy world of books, this was written so realistically, and just kept real.
I loved how all the Beta's were mentioned so reading about them was just epic.
Ultimately I loved how it healed me x I loved how it felt real to me x I loved how Kate was honoured x
I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.
'Kate Sedgwick. That name holds so much power over me. The best kind of power: inspiring, encouraging and respectable. It's a name that I've always associated with badass bravery. It's a name that always meant anything was possible.' Gus Hawthorn
Gus is that sequel that can either make or break a series. I'm a true believer that Bright Side is one of the best books out there. It blew my mind. It hit every nerve, played on every conceivable emotion, and still lives with me today.
I fell for Gus, the aspiring and talented rock star best friend who harboured deep love and respect for the girl who was his world for a long time. Letting her walk away was the hardest thing he ever did. Watching her fall in love with Keller was difficult, but he accepted it. But being there, witnessing taking her last breath so young to cancer is not something he was ever going to accept. Losing Bright Side made Gus lose a part of himself, and that is where this book and Gus' character really come into its own. Yep... Kim Holden NAILED IT!
We are introduced to a few new characters in this book, while still reconnecting to some old faces. But our real heroine here is as lost, broken and scarred as Gus, and it wouldn't have worked any other way.
Scout MacKenzie is a dark horse and I loved how her character was almost a whisper, non-existant and elusive, fading into the background upon her staged entrance. Quiet yet professional, she is hard to read, but it's obvious being the new PA to a wayward rock star was the last thing she wanted, as they get off on some very wrong footing. But like anything, Scout, aka 'Impatient' has her reasons and looks can be deceiving...
As far as love stories go, this is a slow burner, because it is primarily one of healing and acceptance. There is no denying it, the first half of Gus is destructive, the theme grief...anger...grief...anger, and there isn't much let up. It's upsetting but necessary, because as time goes by, and new friendships are formed, you realise that Bright Side is still there, whispering in the shadows, still so fully alive in the hearts of all those she touched, that they have all become better people for knowing her. Honouring her memory is nothing short of uplifting. Inspiring.
I finished this book well contented, and euphorically happy. Gus, in all his bad ass rock star get up, really is a mirror image of the girl he called best friend. She would be so proud of him, as he breaks through and comes out stronger the other side, allowing his heart to be filled along the way.
The broken man becomes the saviour, hero and lover in this story, as you watch him grow, shine and rock the world of a broken girl and a lonely 17-year-old boy.
His heart is so big, he even has time for an 80-something year old woman with a love of Bingo and... Arsenal. Yeah, you really need to meet Mrs Randolph, she is THE BOMB!
I don't want to give too much away with regards to plot but it is written in double POV in diary form, so you can get a feel for timelines and how in the space of a year, the darkness can make way for light in the form of sticky notes, peanut butter saltines and grape juice, followed by a good dose of motherly love.
I loved Bright Side, but now my book loving beating heart feels complete after reading Gus.
Scout and Gus are unbreakable, undeniable, and I am so proud of Rook and the guys. Franco is a gem. I would love him to get his own book.
Another resounding success for Kim Holden. Emotional, raw, and uplifting; Gus is quite simply... EPIC, Dude!
'I've fallen in Love with epic. It's the only way to live.'
This book picked up right where Bright side left and followed Gus .....
He had lost his everything, his other half..... He fell in to the dark side of life and didn't know how to get it back.....
But right when he needed her most ..... She walked into his life and disliked him.....
This story continued to take me on a emotional journey as Gus re learnt how to be him minus Bright side..... and found someone epic along the way.....
Again .... this book is packed with all the feels and will take you on a emotional roller coaster ride as you route for Gus's happy ending .....
This book was just want I needed after bright side .... it left me with a whole and happy heart .....
I can't wait to see what this author gives us next and be prepared for yet another emotional ride because she sure knows how to use words to draw out the feels .....
In Gus we are introduced to some new characters but primarily to Scout who shares the POV with Gus. Scout is very self loathing and hateful of pretty much every one around her as well. She however is a very interesting character with clearly a interesting past.
It was great to carry on with the story straight from where Brightside left off and to rejoin their world. Now I can't wait to start Franco but will be gutted when I finish it.
Kim Holden is an author I can't wait to read more of.
When he first met Scout he wasn't too sure about her and vice versa but fate seemed to intervene and they grew so close. It was lovely to read about, she had her own things going on and they both seemed to support each other and grew closer because of it.
It was great reading about all the characters again, Franco is so funny! Keller is great and Stella is absolutely adorable!
I loved this book so much, I savoured it and enjoyed the story and it deserves so much more than just 5* If you loved Bright Side but are scared to read this then I say don't be, this will definitely make your heart happy again. Loved it!
Favourite part of the book was definitely this:
Scout: "have you ever been in love?"
Scout: "how long did it last?"
Gus: "21 years and 3 days"
Yeah that's right. Bright side was born 21 years and 3 days ago. He's in love with bright side. And yes I cried like a baby when I read it.
I've been waiting for Gus, and he was worth waiting for. The pain he was in and the way he (didn't) deal with it is how many people grieve, and huge kudos to Kim for not glossing over his pain and making it insignificant.
Scout was a welcome addition to the brightside family, closed off and unsure her relationship and friendship with Gus was REAL - she didn't just drop her panties because he was a rockstar, she made him work for it and she didn't shy away from telling him he could be an ass.
Read this book. It will make you happy
I am so glad I did. My heart has been uplifted and I couldn't have been left more content.
Gus'' takes us on a journey of earth shattering grief and the road to finding yourself after it guts out. We watch him heal and watch as he finally finds his 'Redemption'. It's emotional, it's heart stopping. But by god it's beautiful.
I love this book. I love this author. And I can't wait to read a lot more of what she has to offer us.
My heart is finally happy again. Thank you Kim. Thank you so bloody much.!!!
This had me crying big ugly tears again. I FELT so much whilst reading this.
It was such a brilliant story. I was smiling, laughing out loud and had silent tears pouring down my face in alternating emotions throughout this story.
This is more than 5 stars without a doubt.
Kim does not rush the story to move past the loss of Kate and develop Gus and Scouts story, but develops the friendship as part of the healing. Just beautiful.
Thank you. For this Epic story and I look forward to rereading in the future as well as whatever the future brings for Kellar???
I fell in love with Gus in Bright Side, was absolutely heartbroken for him when he lost her. Seeing him, in this book, happy again, for a little while, at least, was lovely. It was so nice to see things from his point of view. I honestly didn't feel I was reading the same story at all because, although this book obviously includes interactions with Bright Side, it goes much further than that as well.
I loved the fact we get to see more of Keller and his lovely daughter again in this book too. I would love to read his story next from the author.
I fell even more in love with Gus throughout this book and I was so happy he got a happier ending than before.