Writing style: 6/10
Character building: 7/10
My Opinionated Review
Bright Side is an emotionally gripping book that shows the importance of loving life even when it is difficult to find a reason to. It is a story about life through the eyes of one special girl who finds a silver lining in every situation. The book is beautiful, sad, unfair, and real to the core.
This book is written in two perspectives, although for the majority of the story we get to see everything through the eyes of Bright Side – the heroine of the story. This contemporary romance features extremely delightful characters, concentrating on the simple beauty of love and romance, but never putting it above family and friendship. Kate, or Bright Side, is a girl who moves away from California, leaving her best friend Gus behind, who is on the road to becoming a rock star, and is never forgotten throughout the book. She moves to Minnesota to attend college in hopes of becoming a special needs teacher. There, she meets many people who are in need of this girl’s help to face their demons, get out of their comfort zone, and to take chances. One of the people that she meets is Keller, a guy who instantly develops a connection with Kate, but who hides some important details of his past. But secrets surround Bright Side as well, and the reader embarks on the journey of finding some painful elements behind Kate’s world of sunshine and rainbows.
There are a lot of great things that I can say about this book. First, it is not a sappy epic love story. I thought that the portrayal was very realistic, characters’ connections were beautiful, and the pasts that they were hiding – emotional but believable. I really liked the romance in this book, especially since it was not the main focus. A lot of time was dedicated to friendships, the fact that I absolutely loved. This book featured a truly unique and delightful connection between two people in quite a platonic sense (although not fully). Nevertheless, it was delightful to experience it. Gus and Kate’s friendship was the core of this book, and more connections like this should exist, both in fiction and in real life.
Moreover, the main character Bright Side was just wonderful. Her easy-going persona, addictive positivity, chatty personality and strong opinions made her one of the most delightful female character that I have read about. She was much different from the overly used innocent good girl, Bright Side really had a strong personality.
I really liked the story behind the book and even shed a few tears in the last couple of chapters. I thought that the story was done wonderfully, making the reader connect to the characters, and then breaking their hearts. I really think this book is worth reading, since it does make you care.
However, I did find quite a few really mediocre sides of this story that are impossible to overlook. First, I did not think that the length of the book was really necessary. I get that the author tried to make the reader care about the characters before introducing some emotional themes, and focusing on so many different relationships needed quite a lot of time. Nevertheless, I feel like this book got a bit boring at times, and shortening it would have worked in favour of connecting the reader to the story even more.
Secondly, I just did not get the reason behind introducing the dual POV until the very end. In the first half of the book, we only got one chapter in Keller’s perspective, and I did not understand why it existed at all. You either do two perspectives or one, but not one unnecessary chapter in between one character’s perspective. I did get the point of it at the end of the book, but not before.
Thirdly, the overused thrope just really killed the book for me. There were so many different directions that the author could have taken, so the big cliff-hanger came as annoyance rather than a shock. I would have loved to see more concentration on Kate’s past, because all the traumatic experiences seemed to be brushed away under the rug.
And lastly, even I know that I said that I really liked the main character, again I find a problem with her being a little bit too perfect for my liking. I want flaws and complexity, not rainbows and sunshine.
All the negatives aside, I still think it was a decent story that is superior to quite a number of books in this genre. It is emotional, hopeful and really heart-breaking. It concentrates on love, and friendship, and family, and loving yourself. It is a beautiful story, even though I wished some elements were a bit altered.
- Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life
- Ben Harper – She’s Only Happy in the Sun
- The XX – Angels
- Sophie Zelmani – Ready
- Birdy – Skinny Love