Pub. Date: 24/02/2015
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)/ Sphere
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.As such I really like the idea of switching the perspectives of novels because, as the blurb says, there are two sides to each story. Especially in romance I think this could be a really good idea because love stories are always between two people and it could be a great way to show some of the preconceptions that women and men have about each other. I hadn't read Stephens' first book, Thoughtless (Thoughtless 1), and I thought that this would help me in seeing the story in a new light. Although most of the romance books that I read are from the woman's perspective I really enjoy seeing the other side. Sadly, I didn't really enjoy Kellan's point of view that much.
Before I discuss what I saw as flaws I'd like to pick up on some things which I enjoyed. I liked Stephens' pace, she didn't linger too long on "big moments" which, when it does happen, tends to lead to the reader getting tired of the endless interior monologue. Stephens was very aware of that and kept the story going, moving it on and allowing time to pass. Although, of course, there was instant attraction at first sight I did get the feeling that the two characters actually got to know each other before completely falling for each other. There were also some funny scenes which showed that Stephens wasn't taking herself too seriously and this also helped the characters feel more real. I also thought Stephens handled Kellan's abusive past with care, not using it as an excuse for Kellan to behave terribly but allowing it to play a big role in his life.
However, unfortunately, I didn't enjoy Thoughtful very much. As I said above, I haven't read the original novel, which was from the girl's perspective, so I don't know how she came across there, but in Thoughtful she at times bordered on annoying and flat. She is perfect, has kaleidoscopic eyes and makes Kellan feel things in his cold heart, which isn't half as cold as he'd like to pretend. I found Kiera impossible to relate to. This is besides the fact that all of these characters seem to live with relative ease, playing in a band, waitressing and having fun while never worrying about who's going to pay the electricity bill.
And Kellan himself is presented as a bad boy when, from the first few pages, it is clear that he is not one. He actually comes across like a genuinely good person until, in a drunken rant, he crossed a line for me. I don't know whether this counts as a spoiler but, in an internal rant, he says some things about Kiera which I thought were simply not on. I understand the downward spiral and feeling like the whole world is against you, but I would have wished for Stephens to refrain from using certain words in regards to her main female character, especially when they are presented in a way that make the use of them seem justified. His own philandering ways, which I had no problem with, are never judged and almost make him, at times, seem like he's suffering rather than enjoying himself. In a society that is so intensely critical about women's sexuality I felt that Kellan's raging against Kiera were unacceptable, especially since there is no remorse for it and no judgement on it. It was a shame to be let down by the author in this way and unfortunately I think it's something that happens in a lot of NA books.
Overall, I give this book...
Although it is not a terrible book I simply didn't really enjoy it. It felt a bit too long, despite the pacing being good. What put me off was the attitude towards women. Whether this is something that was added by Stephens since it's 'from a man's perspective' or whether I am too quick to judge, I don't know. But it wasn't one for me.