My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After reading "Bright Side", I immediately went to Amazon and bought "Gus". I didn't read it right away because I needed time after "Bright Side". I was an emotional wreck. But I got to this novel and Kim Holden did right to her readers by concluding this story.
If you are thinking of reading this book first, don't. Read "Bright Side". Otherwise you will never get the full experience if you start with this novel.
As I stated in my review for the first novel, Kate was my hero. Gus and Keller and all of the other secondary characters were good, but they were not Kate. So reading Gus's story was a bit odd and weird for me. I really didn't like him at the beginning, but we weren't supposed to like him. We readers who read "Bright Side" knew what Gus was going through. We were sympathetic toward Gus.
But when Scout came in? God, I loved it. They healed each other, and that is amazing. Both were broken in two different ways, but together they helped each other get past the rough parts and make new, happy memories again.
There is the one part of the novel that had me cracking up. Cracking. Up. I have to share it for you. It doesn't have spoilers. It's Gus and Franco being themselves:
“…Scout’s cookies go with everything.” [said Franco]
“Sure you don’t want a glass of milk? I’m a dunker,” I say as I open up the cabinet and pull out a glass.
He laughs. “You’re such a fucking rock star.” That was sarcasm at its best, but after he watches me pour a tall glass of the cold stuff, he clears his throat. “Pour me one, too.”
It’s my turn to laugh. “You’re such a fucking rock star,” I mock. Then I pull open the drawer next to the fridge, looking for a straw. “You want a bendy straw, dude?”
His face lights up at the sight of the blue and white plastic straw. And then it fades quickly as he reins it in, because that was a lot of damn excitement for a grown man to exhibit over a straw. He clears his throat again. “Yeah. Sure. I mean, only if you’re gonna have one.”
I stick one in each glass and flex the tips. “Yup. Bendy straws are the shit, dude.:
He immediately takes a drink through it when I had him the glass. And then he smiles that shit-eating grin of his. “Bendy straws are the shit. Now let’s go do rock star stuff.”
Thank you Kim Holden. If I never met you in Chicago I never would have read your books, and that is a sad life. These books will stick with me forever and I will try to channel Kate as much as I can. I'll be looking out for more epic novels from you!
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