Review Post: Gus by Kim Holden


Gus by Kim Holden

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The journey that began in top-rated, best-selling Bright Side, continues …

This is the story of Gus.
Losing himself.
Finding himself.
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?”

My Review

*****5 Gus is Epic Stars*****

Exactly one year ago I read a book, and it changed my life. That book consumed me. It made me think and wonder and question. It made me feel, and live, and experience. It allowed me to feel hope and healing and happiness and pain and vulnerability all in one glorious unforgettable package.

It changed my life. It changed the way I felt about things, how I saw the world, how I saw my life. It changed me.

That book was Bright Side. I’d never read a book like that until I read that one, and exactly one year later, almost to the hour, I finished the follow up to that book. Just like its predecessor this book made me feel and think and wonder. It consumed me just as much, and I have a feeling it’s going to change me a bit too.

You don’t read a book such as this one and not have it change you or move you in some way shape or form. The words of this book are too good, too meaningful, and too life changing to not change you or move you, and it honestly doesn’t get better than that.

Today I read Gus by Kim Holden, or really I experienced the magnificence and perfection that is Gus by Kim Holden. I read this book almost an exact year after I read Bright Side, and while I feel slightly moronic for waiting so long to read this book, I can’t say enough good things about what I got from reading Gus.

Gus 1I feel like I almost needed to read this book today, a year after Bright Side. I think it made reading Gus even more meaningful because I felt like this day, this anniversary of sorts belonged to the world of Bright Side. Two utterly superb books two years in a row isn’t too shabby, in fact I think it’s everything.

Gus is a story about what happens after. It’s about what happens when you lose one of your reasons for being, and where you go when your life is thrown so off course from where you thought you’d be. It’s about figuring out how to get out of the never ending tailspin that threatens to consume you. It’s about feeling. It all. Even when it hurts, even when that anguish threatens to overtake you, even when you don’t think you know which way is up.

This book is also about fighting. Fighting through those feelings, and coming out on the other side. It’s about fighting to find that healing, that thing that makes it better and starts you back where you want to be, and fighting to find what will make you you again. It’s about fighting and pushing and giving it your all, even when you want to give up and give in to it all. Gus is also about pushing through all the bad stuff to find the good, giving it your all no matter what, and living.

Gus is about love too. So much love. The love you have for your parents. The love you feel for your friends. The love you feel for your other half. Even the love you feel for the people you meet and come across in your daily life. It’s about the power of that love. The encompassing, all-feeling, consuming nature of that love and what it can do for you. It’s about how love can fill you, change you, move you. It’s about jumping in heart first to that love and seeing the extraordinary places you can end up because of that love.

This book encompasses what it means to live. To truly live. Epically. Fully. Every day through every moment. Feeling and breathing and experiencing it all. Taking the bad with the good, making as much sense of it as you can, and seeing where you can go from there with the second chances that life gives you. It’s about not wasting one second of the precious life you’re given, and using that life to your advantage to help the world, help others, and in turn help yourself.

As you can see Gus is about a lot of things. A lot of wonderful and truly unforgettable things, and even though I’ve listed so many things that it’s about, this book is truly about so much more. I can’t even begin to fully encompass what this book is about and what it means to read and experience the magnificence of this book. My words just aren’t good enough for that, but you know whose words are good enough for that? Kim Holden’s. She made Gus into an enrapturing, immensely meaningful, and beyond satisfying read with her words. She gave me it all in this book, and I gladly took it because when you’re reading literary amazingness like Gus, you take it all.

You take every wonderful, all-feeling, intense, visceral, vulnerable, and real bit of it because when put together it is everything. I’ll say that again. This book gives you everything. Everything that makes you feel every ounce of what this story and its characters have to offer. Everything that fills your heart and mind and soul with so much varied emotion and feeling, and with characters you love whole heartedly. Everything that makes a book truly exceptional to read.

Gus 2

Gus by Kim Holden gives you everything.

If I could only use one adjective to describe this book it would be fulfilling. This book was perfectly fulfilling. It fulfilled every hope I had for these characters. It fulfilled me with its extraordinary level of feeling and emotion that was so real and visceral at times that I felt as if I were actually living through this book. This book made me laugh and cry and smile and hurt and shudder and feel, and I loved it all because that was just one of the phenomenal aspects showing me how connected, how invested, how involved I was in this story.

It showed me how much I loved these characters. How much I needed them to find their ways. How much I rooted for them, cared for them, and adored them. Gus showed me again and again why I love the world of these books because of the people who make up that world, because of the feelings and connections they so fiercely give me, and because of the fantastic little intricacies that make that book world what it is.

Gus fulfilled me in ways that I didn’t even know I needed to be fulfilled, which made me love it even more. Gus truly and utterly fulfilled me in every humanly way possible. It gave me a story that was shear perfection in every way. It have me characters whose wonderful distinctiveness leapt off the page filling my heart with their literal amazingness. It have me Gus and Scout and Franco and Audrey and Paxton and everyone else that makes up the indescribable world of this book.

It gave me so much of what made me love Bright Side, but it gave me more too. It gave me Gus’s distinctive dynamic. It gave me a new set of characters to fall head over heels for. It also gave me some of my favorite characters ever again, and let me spend more time with their highly awesome selves. It gave me meaning and complexity and emotions and feelings. It gave me life and death, hope and pain, and all the other intensely wonderful things that make up life.

Reading this book felt like coming home. Reading Gus felt as if the world of this book, its characters, and everything they bring with them were welcoming me with open arms. It felt right. It felt good. It felt like everything all wrapped up in an all-feeling and seriously meaningful package.

I could use so many more adjectives to describe Gus and Kim Holden’s out of this world phenomenal writing. I could use any and all of the positive adjectives I could think of and I still would not come close to encapsulating what it meant to read this book. I wouldn’t even scratch the surface of the literal amazingness of Gus, the meaning laced so thoughtfully through every word, and what it was like to be in Gus’s head, and Scout’s, and to fall in love and be with all these characters once again. I wouldn’t even come close.

Gus 3

So you know what you need to do? You need to read this book. You need to experience its power, its meaning, its feelings and emotions. You need to live it. You need to take it all in and let it mesmerize you. You need to experience it fully, and the only way you can do that is by reading this incredible book.

Like I said, a year ago I read a book that changed my life. 365 days later I read that book’s follow up that I know will have the same unforgettable effect. I loved every single breathtakingly emotional, all-feeling, and superb word of Gus.

I loved this book. I lived this book. I breathed in and felt every ounce of this book, and it truly doesn’t get better than that.

So please, read this epic book. Let it move you, let it change you, let it give you every amazing thing it has to offer.

Live this book. Love this book. Read this book.

Let it leave you in awe with its epicness.

It would be wrong not to.

Buy The Book


See where it all started in Bright Side….


Amazon   Barnes & Noble    KOBO     iBooks

Read my 5 Star Review of Bright Side


Check out more on Kim Holden and her books at the following links:

Facebook     Website      Goodreads



One thought on “Review Post: Gus by Kim Holden

  1. Pingback: Top Reads of 2015! | The Never Ending Book Basket

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