July 12, 2015

Book Review: Gus (Bright Side #2) by Kim Holden

Gus (Bright Side, #2)

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Judging from my blubbering-mess state and messed-up emotion few days ago, I didn’t think its sequel would outscore Bright Side's poignant story. Kim Holden proved me wrong with Gus.
Same pattern, though, during a few first chapters, I had to stop my urge to put this book down several times because honestly, that part of the book where Gus went through worst wrecked emotion, it's too dark to my liking. There were drugs, booze, and women involved and I couldn’t help feeling disappointed to Gus for taking that self-destroyed path. But then things slowly got better and better. And now, this book made its way to my favorite ever after book list.
For me, personally, it's always an inspiring and sacred moment to read or watch people's journey of going through five stages of grief and rebuild their life when everything that left is just remaining pieces of their heart and an unhealed scar. How they go through each phase, angry, denying, bargaining, depressed, and then when layers of all those pathetic moments covered their heart, they let them cease by accepting the bitter reality because losing someone doesn’t mean we have to stop living. Instead, losing them means we are now in mission to continue life where they left off. It would be a repeating cycle because once it's our turn to go; people who love us would be the one to continue life where we left off. Bright Side was the lighthouse for Gus's ship. She was the destination he always headed to. So when the destination was no longer in sight, his ship lost direction and just took off wherever the wind and waves dragged him to.
The majority of this book is focusing on Gus 'after' Bright Side. Even though this book is told in dual perspective, I could see that Gus' emotional recovery is the main thing that the author focuses into and I love that. I love that the author doesn’t do the 'new-love-would-heal-all-the-old-wound' kind of cliché. Instead, she takes a neat step of focusing on Gus' internal wreckage first before involving the 'L' word with new heroine, Scout, in another phase long long time later. Instead, Scout takes part in helping Gus under friendship label. Their connection isn’t just one-way, but two-way street where she and him help each other. It's so beautiful when finally we get to see Gus starting to heal and return to his old self, his kind-hearted and sincerely sweet self. He makes it so easy to fall in love with his character once he found his way back to the right track.
Gus's character is very well-developed. His 'down' moment might mar months of his life but not his heart. It's so good to see he has such loyal friends who always there to remind him his own true color. One comment about how reckless he lives his life is enough to boost his intention to change for better. Scout is the kind of girl who's been living under people's one-eye judgments of her physical scar, which led her to have an emotional scar as well for over 12 years. But Scout is a tough girl who hates people's pity. Her only weakness is her need for sincere love and understanding of her issue which she hasn’t found yet. Until a broken rock star in healing makes her understand that to make people see our worth, we have to see our worth first.
‘I guess sometimes all you need is a little inspiration. And sometimes inspiration is a smile from the right person at the right time.’

(Monday, December 4; Gus)
I love them together so much. Their romance was built up step by step steadily. I love a romance where when you fall in love with someone, at the same time you help and support each other to be better. Ms. Holden gives me that through Gus and Scout. Two people with flawed past but together they build a perfect future.
I love that this book has a lot of lovable characters, both main and side characters.
I wish there are more people like Bright Side, Gus, and his mom in real world.
I wish a lot of people who's been drowning in dark waters would take the same path Clare and Sugar have taken in the end.
I wish there are a lot of people who's saved by touches of love like Scout and Keller's dad.
I wish there are a lot of loyal friends in the world like Franco, Jamie, Robbie, Clayton, Shelly and Duncan.
I wish there are a lot of lovers out there like Keller. (*kiss kiss*)
Then I bet every day on earth would definitely be all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns.

There are a lot of surprising twists near the end of the book. A lot of things that never mentioned before come to the surface and unravel themselves one by one. I love it so much when this book teaches us that perfect things, whatever they are, are not perfect because everyone says so. There's not even a standard of perfection exists in this world. Perfect things are perfect because with them we feel enough, we feel happy, we feel content, and we don’t compare them with others'. Perfect things are perfect because we say so.
Really, this book teaches me a lot of great lessons of life. A lot of wise thoughts and opinions that I could use to base my act and decision on in real life case one day.
I'm really glad I put up with the heavy part in the beginning because it's really worth it in the end. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who's in search of good quality contemporary book. Because this book isn’t just good… it's EPIC!
And I've fallen in love with epic ;)
‘I’ve come to the full realization that my happiness, my life, falls squarely on my shoulders. No one’s gonna do it for me. I’m the one who makes it or breaks it.’
(Saturday, October 20; Gus)
Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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