Willow's Reviews > Thoughtless

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens
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May 08, 12

bookshelves: contemporary, love-triangle, romantic-drama, series, super-steamy, young-adult, wtf
Read in May, 2012

This one is difficult to review. It was terrible. I couldn't put it down. I got so frustrated, but I needed to know what happened.

That's the thing about books, isn't it? Not to get too deep, but if it stirs a reaction in me then I consider it worthwhile. I like what I like, but I like being pushed, and staying up all night reading. That is, until the next morning, but regardless, there's something to say about a story and a voice that pulls in and refuses to let go.

That's where I was with Thoughtless until about...70% in. Then it became work to finish it. Let me explain.

I didn't like Keira, and I didn't enjoy being in her head. I didn't understand her, but worse, I didn't believe her. I don't always need my heroine to be ass-kicking, name takers. I'm down with the vulnerable girls too. The ones who don't know, are closed off, and sometimes it takes a boy, a summer, a moment to break them out. Those girls are just as real as the ones bursting onto the page with So Much. Look at a lot of Sarah Dessen's protagonists. They're usually shy, studious girls, but never, ever are they...weak. There's a strength in being a fully developed character who makes things happen.

Keira didn't make things happen. Things happened to her and she reacted. She couldn't make a decision and she cowered when her time of reckoning came. It was difficult to be in her mind, seeing as this was first person, when so often her life was measured by the man she was with. This is a girl who applied to colleges that were near where her boyfriend was trying to get internships. This is Felicity. And let me say, that I didn't hate Felicity. Spontaneous and crazy, yes, but there was growth. Keira spends the first few pages going on and on about how attractive her boyfriend Denny is. She can't imagine being away from that smile, and ohmygah he's so sweet and handsome. Does she love him? Sure, but, man, he's so cute. These are valid reasons to pick up and follow someone across the country. I love romance, I love the excitement of it, and I can deal with a girl being adventurous, but I never got motivation from Keira that wasn't boy-related. She's in college, has been for a year, what does she want? What are her interests? What are her dreams? Does she have passion outside the bedroom? Because I never got that. Not once in this book.

I liked that this book, like some other e-books I'm discovering, was based on people in their early twenties. I enjoy this age between high school and mortgages. The sexual chemistry between Kellan and Keira is also nothing to shake a stick at. There's a physical ache to it. The sex happens and the remorse is there, but there goes Keira again running to her safe place. This is a girl terrified of the unknown, but is willing to play with it when she knows she has a safety net to crawl back into when things get too scary. It's touched upon, sure, but the selfish nature of this girl was almost jaw dropping at times. Boyfriend leaves and she's curling up to his roomate because he's so comfortable and she needs comfort with Boyfriend being gone, and this isn't inappropriate at all? No. Of course not. Let's keep it innocent! Just don't touch my no no places. I wanted to shake her. I wanted to tell her to own herself and her actions, and be a woman about things. Is it scary? Do things happen? Can a person be in love with two people at the same time? I think these are all valid things to explore, but with Keira at the helm? When things got serious she rejected reality. She curled up with denial and proclaimed that she couldn't live without her addiction. Her addiction being the roommate. Remember the Boyfriend? The one she couldn't live with just a few pages ago and followed him then guilted him into dropping a spectacular opportunity? A relationship is easy and fun and sexy when the boy lives across the hall and you get to play house, and hang out at the bar and watch him be a rock star. It's served on a platter. Who wants to leave a vacation and live in the real world where Boyfriends who love us and are busting their asses for our future have to work and Make Things Happen. That's stupid.

I just hit my wall when they started to paint this relationship between Keira and Kellan as love. The end dragged on and on, but now after finishing it, I sort of liked that. They needed to go through some Hell. I needed to see them fall apart and attempt to build something real to have any sort of satisfaction with a happily ever after. I'm down with broken boys with sultry stares and the girls who wreck them. But this? These two? I don't know. Keira was a sinking ship. Kellan would say no, she would freak out at being left behind and plead with him as she touched and kissed, he would cry then stay, and then she would throw the brakes and get mad at him. I got tired of being teased. I rooted him on through his threesomes, because seriously, bro, don't think this girl is worth it. Everyone else is seeing something I'm not. She was easily offended, so quick to judge and assume, and yet was doing some pretty horrible things.

The beginning was frustrating but completely readable, so make of that what you will. There's a voyeurism with books like this. These completely dysfunctional relationships between pretty people who grope and slam each other up against walls in their crazed heat. You get to hang out at the bar alongside them, because that's what this is. This is the day in and day out of their relationships rather than actual Events. There are friends with quips and an invitation to be in on the gossip. Unfortunately, for me, it starts to fall apart when it moves past the gossip and sexy intrigue to the "No, but seriously. I'm SO IN LOVE with you! I'll DIE if you leave me!"

The girl who cried love should pack it up and move back to Ohio.
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