by S.C. Stephens
Purchase on: Amazon, iBooks,
Add to: Goodreads
A new novel in the Thoughtless series from #1 New York Timesbestselling author S. C. Stephens!
Every story has two sides, and in this new book, the epic love story between Kiera and Kellan is shown through his eyes.
All Kellan Kyle needs is his guitar, and some clean sheets of paper. Growing up in a house that was far from a home, he learned a hard lesson:You're worthless. Now his life is comfortably filled with passionate music, loyal band mates, and fast women...until he meets her.
Kiera makes him ache for more. Makes him feel for the first time that he'sworth more. But there's one problem - she's his best friend's girl.
Just when Kellan thought his emotional defenses were rock solid, Kiera's indecisive heart wreaks havoc on his soul, changing him forever. Losing Kiera is not an option.
**I’d like to put a disclaimer before I even start this review: S.C. Stephens is an amazing author and she is one of my favorites. Nothing I say below has changed my opinion of her as an author….I just wanted so much more because I know how awesome she can be.**
Did she realize I screamed my heart out in my lyrics? Did she understand that my life left me feeling vacant inside? That I was so fucking lonely I almost couldn’t stand myself? << Love this line.
This hurts me to say, worse than any of you can imagine but….this book was so unnecessary. It’s exactly what I thought. I shouldn’t have read it and, in the end, it took some of the magic away from book one of the series. I can’t help it, though. I needed this book. BAD. And here I am, disappointed. But what right do I have? I requested it and was just positive I would get denied. I played Russian Roulette and found myself on the receiving end of the bullet. But, even more than that-I wanted this book to be glorious. I wanted to experience all the same emotions as I did with Thoughtless, Effortless, Reckless….it’s not possible. Not for me, anyway.
Kellan Kyle is one of my absolute favorite book boyfriends. It’s something anyone close to me is more than aware of-I adore this guy. Thank God, though, my opinion of him hasn’t changed like it did with Travis from the massacre Walking Disaster. Some things should just be left sacred. I’m sorry, but some books and series should be left the fuck alone. This is one of them.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy certain parts. I’ll admit it-I’ll admit that! I could NEVER HATE my favorite scenes in the history of holy hotness-The lime scene, the coffee stand scene, the dance club scene, the RAIN SCENE for fuck’s sake!!! But I just…I don’t get it. Why did he fall for Kiera in this book? How? And it makes no sense because we’re in his head and he’s sitting here telling us why he loves her, but as with ALL male POV re-dos…Kiera just wasn’t Kiera. And oh, here we go, I hear all the boo-hisses from all those who loathed her, but guess what? I liked her. She fucked up-Royally. She really did. And, yes, she really annoyed me when I read Thoughtless two years ago. But, the fact remains, I still liked her. I did. She made a mistake-no, she made mistake after costly mistake. But Lord, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-I can barely even choose where to eat lunch!! How in the ever loving fuck am I supposed to choose between two hot, supportive, amazing guys? That’s the question, though, isn’t it? You shouldn’t get yourself into that position, anyway. But, would I be able to hold up under that pressure after I thought my forever-love had abandoned me for his career?? I. Don’t. Know. I’d like to think so, but I’ve never been, or put myself, in that position. I don’t condone cheating an any cost, but this is fiction, people! And I’m circling my point-I didn’t feel even a fraction of the angst, emotion, or heartache that I did with it’s namesake. I didn’t. When authors switch sides, we lose all that depth and all that hard work that was put into the main female character. We know her now, sure, because we read that book. But guess what-This book is not the same book. I want to see it all again. I want to see him fall in love with a real person, not a stand-in or a mannequin of the girl we are supposed to know. This Kiera, she wasn’t a betrayer or an adulterer or even a confused young girl anymore…she was, simply put, just another piece of paper. That girl that I was angry at and cried for was not here. I know people wanted more Kellan and that was the whole point, but….is he supposed to be the only character?
I’d seen anger, jealousy, bitterness, and resentment. Love equaled pain in my world. And I generally tried to avoid pain.
It’s so hard to explain and people most likely won’t get it, but I need two complex characters. Two characters that make me rip my hair out and who fight each other and who LOVE PASSIONATELY even as they live in sin. I love Kellan so much, more than anyone could know….but this story didn’t do him justice. I liked a little mystery to his character. I liked his smokey looks and secret glances her way. Being told he’s doing such things takes all the breathtaking imagery away and hands me a formulaic script for what I already know: Kellan loves Kiera. God, don’t I know it. But I wanted to see them fall in love all over again-from his eyes. And if you take all the mystery, the angst, the ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen’, and the heated conversations, you stunt what was already an amazing (albeit controversial) book. Tell me….what do you have left?
With less inner dialogue it would have changed the story, in a good way. Hearing a play by play of every little conversation is where it all went downhill. Telling instead of showing and hearing instead of seeing really halted the flow. A lot of times we were left hanging and days would pass. That’s fine, sure, but don’t say ‘over the last three days, Kiera started to give me evil looks-I needed to talk to her about that.’ That’s not an actual line, but it gives you the gist. I just didn’t care for this and I never have in any story.
I’d never experienced anything like this before. It was beyond all expectation, all reason. It changed me. I would never be the same after this. We would never be the same after this.
I do have to throw in some positive, though. I never am this harsh and even with that harsh reality of how I really felt about this book, there were still moments that made me smile and reminisce. The absolute best scene(s) in this story was when the shit hits the fan. Oh yeah, you all know that part-when everything falls apart. THAT was the most emotion I felt in the whole novel. Pretty much anything that happened to do with the unraveling of it all was the best. I cried a little for the airport scene and I felt pain when Kiera realized what she’d done….to everyone. It was just…it was everything I had wanted for the whole book-too bad it was so late in the story. I loved being in his head for just for the simple fact of how and why he does what he does with other women. It was touching in a way I never imagined possible, because I felt like it would be hard to read about him having sex with other women, but it was okay, for me, because I saw what it did for him. It was about that one moment of connection and how it made him feel alive, wanted, complacent…if only until his climax when he is discarded just like he does with his condoms. It was heartbreaking. But, on that same token, if you don’t want to see the illustrious Kellan Kyle have sex with someone besides Kiera-this book isn’t for you.
Maybe what we’d done was wrong, but we’d loved with all our hearts, and no one could take that away from us. Not Denny, not fate, not life.
So, to all my friends who have been asking me if they should read this? No. I do NOT recommend this book if you held the Thoughtless series dear to your heart, like I did. For those who just want more Kellan? Go for it. And for those who don’t mind monotonous accounts of his everyday life as he waits to see Kiera again, filler scenes that feel dull and lifeless, generally repetitive thoughts and accounts of what had already happened, and shameless obsession (we know he loved her to the point of obsession, but seeing it play out and just knowing it by our own knowledge is completely different. It ruins it when we’re forced to hear it every page) that makes you feel just plain sorry for him…then this is your book.
There will always be nostalgia with this story and I will always get those little butterflies-But it wasn’t what the story could be. S.C. Stephens-you sold yourself short….and I’m so damn sad.
**ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
Wellll…something amazing has happened. It seems fate has reached out and decided FOR ME whether to read this or not-while I am STILL super nervous to read this book that could potentially ruin one of my all time favorite series ever, I have been given an ARC!!!!!! So, it seems, that I am about to read a book I am very apprehensive about….but also so excited about that I might pee my pants. So, eh, I’ve never been that smart anyway. lol.
To read, or not to read??
I don’t know yet. I have seen this bouncing around on GR and I don’t know if I can put myself through another FAILED male POV. Do I take the chance and possibly ruin one of my all time favorite series….? Or just leave it be as is and accept that I was happy enough with the story as Stephens left it.
After the massacre also known as WALKING DISASTER (Which irrevocably changed my feelings and ruined my outlook about one of my other all time favorites Beautiful Disaster) I am skeptical as to whether I’m willing to put the Thoughtless series at risk.
But Stephens is a better author than McGuire…..so I’m still 50/50. Guess we’ll see.
******OH! Another example of an epic fail in Male POV is Come Alive by Karina Halle. It ALMOST ruined my outlook on the series….but book 8 came back strong and became another favorite of mine….