Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gus by Kim Holden

How I Heard About It:  I first heard about Bright Side by Kim Holden and then learned there was a sequel to that story.  I so enjoyed the first story of Bright Side and Gus.  I was quite curious to continue their story with this second installment.  I will try to summarize without giving too much away from either book.  

What It Is About:  This story continues right where the first one left off.  Gus is trying to deal with his life after what happened with Bright Side.  He is scheduled to go on tour with the band and he isn't sure he can handle it.  While on tour he deals with "life" by using drugs, using alcohol, and using women.  Gus believes this will help him deal with Bright Side, but soon finds out none of these are the answer.  He is assigned a personal assistant named Scout.  She is a no nonsense type of woman and she and Gus don't hit it off.  Both of them just want to make it until the end of the tour without killing each other.  Once the tour is over, Gus heads home to rest in San Diego with his mother.  Through a series of strange events, Scout ends up working for Gus' mom and moving into their home.  She eventually brings a younger relative to stay with them also.  While living together, Gus and Scout try to start over and build a friendship.  They begin to each share their past stories, their past relationships, and past issues.  The two of them help each other heal.  Gus introduces Scout to Bright Sides friends from Minnesota and she realizes how much Bright Side meant to all these people.  She wonders if she will be able to find a spot in Gus' life.  

What I Thought Of It:  After finishing Bright Side, I was emotionally spent.  I wasn't sure I could handle continuing the story of Bright Side and Gus.  I gave myself a bit of time before heading back into their world.  I was disappointed in Gus' choices at the beginning of the novel, but I think that was the whole point.  He went through a really tough time and the author did a tremendous job of describing this time in his life.  The whole story was great, but overall not as intense as the first book.  The continuation of friendships that Gus had were heart-warming and touching.  There were so many characters that I was thrilled returned to this story.  Some elements of the story were a bit much and the author spent too much time on the "romance" scenes for my taste.  I'm glad I read this second book, but it wasn't quite the same caliber as the first novel.  

Who Should Read It:  Obviously if you have read Bright Side, then you certainly should read this novel.  If you haven't read the first part, then I recommend that you read both books.  The audience should be a high school reader and/or adult reader.  This second book was much more graphic in nature than Bright Side.  I do have to say that Kim Holden did a phenomenal job of drawing the reader into the lives of these very interesting characters.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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