This book is not a romance and it is legitimately painful to read, but it is oh so necessary. Kim Holden is one of my favorite authors and human beings; Bright Side is a book I recommend more than any other, over and over, so even though this book is basically completely opposite of my regular recommendations I'm sharing my love for it here because the content is important and the story is beautiful. Like so many, I too struggle with anxiety and depression from time to time. When I was a teen, I too contemplated suicide. This story will take you down a dark and hopeless path, but then like only Kim can write, it will shed light on the other side... the bright side. I wept for Toby, I cheered for Toby, I prayed for Toby probably more than any fictitious character I've ever read. If you struggle with internal darkness or know someone who is/has, this book is for you.
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If you're right, you don't yell about it until you're red in the face and someone believes you. Volume doesn't change minds, it closes them.
But the thing is, you don't have to go back to who you were before. Time passes. People change. You just have to decide who you want to be today, and if you're not sure who that is, time and sobriety will help you decide.
The nerves are there to remind you that you're doing something that matters.
There are two sides to every story.
The surface reality that’s presented to the world…
And then there’s the other side.
The real one.
The one that matters.
Seventeen-year-old, self-proclaimed asshole, Toby Page, is alone.
He trades maintenance work in exchange for room and board.
Every day he fights demons no one else can see.
Every day he wants to give up.
But he can’t.
When Alice Eliot moves in downstairs, she offers Toby some light in his dark world.
At a crossroads and barely hanging on, it’s hard to have perspective.
It’s difficult to see your own worth when you’re the villain in your story.
Luckily for Toby, Alice brings things out in him that no one else ever has.
As the two sides of Toby’s story are revealed, and the full reality comes into view, truth is gained, unlikely heroes emerge, and improbable alliances prove that kindness is fundamentally human.
The question is, Will it all be enough to save him?