Drive by Kate Stewart
Contemporary Romance Standalone
NOTE: The blurb tells you NOTHING about the story. I usually try not to go further than the blurb in my review, but most people have heard some of the aspects of the story and may be scared away, or may want to learn more. While I am not giving away anything important, I am telling more about the basic plot, so read at your own risk (I am not giving away any more than other reviews, I checked). I went in blind, and I’m glad I did. If you decide to not read this review, come back after you read the book, and tell me if your thoughts match my own!
I usually wait a few days to write a review. I like the book to sink in, plus I have 5 reviews ahead of this. But I want to get my feelings out there now, while the emotions are so close to the surface, because I hated Drive by Kate Stewart – but I think it was the BEST BOOK I READ ALL YEAR!
So now you are probably wondering if I’ve been hitting the crack pipe. How can I hate a book and have it be the best? Drive had my thoughts and feelings ping-ponging back and forth the entire time! I didn’t really hate it. I hated that I couldn’t make up my own mind, so imagine how Stella felt.
Two amazing men, one fantastic girl who loved them both. No cheating. No bad guy. One EPIC musical romance that kept me glued to my kindle.
“Because music is the heart’s greatest librarian. A few notes had the ability to transport me back in time, and to the most painful places. Take any song from the Rolodex of your life and you can pin it to a memory. It translates, resonates, and there it will remain.”
Told mostly in flashback, Drive is the epic journey of Stella. Music is everything to Stella and it was an integral part of her character, and of the book. It’s the soundtrack to Stella’s life. Do yourself a favor and get some headphones to read this book. Each chapter (the chapters are fairly short) starts with a song that links to spotify. I can’t listen and read at the same time so I listened to each song and looked up lyrics before the chapters. It added so much to the book, and the few chapters that I couldn’t do it because I forgot headphones made me sad.
So Drive took me longer than usual to read. At first, I felt like it was taking too long, usually a sign that I’m not as in love as I should be with the book, but no, it’s just long, especially adding the songs in. And though it starts a little slow, once it hit it’s stride about ⅓-1/2 through it became completely addictive, and I was happy for it’s length, because as much as I wanted to know the end, I didn’t want to get there. Because I didn’t think I’d be happy either way, I loved both the guys.
“I used to think I was cursed for having fallen in love with two men. But, in hindsight, I realized what a gift it was. They were my lovers, my teachers, my best friends, and I would love them both until I took my last breath.”
Stella moved to Austin with the goal of becoming a music journalist. She has her sights set on working for Austin Speak, an up and coming publication, run by Nate, a gorgeous young entrepreneur who was intrigued by every quirky, spunky, musical inch of Stella. Stella, just dumped by another musician, has sworn off musicians, until she meets her sister’s best friend Reid.
Reid is the broken, broody drummer of a band on the verge of stardom. He’s a loner. He is angsty. He is hitting rock bottom. The two come together with such a forceful passion, with such emotion, with such desperation you don’t doubt their love.
“You have to wait one minute past desperation…”
But a spark that burns that bright often extinguishes just as quickly, and this did. Unfortunately, with Reid gone, the spark in Stella dimmed, but never truly went out. Instead, a new fire burned. One with a man who loved everything about her. A man who lights up a room. A gorgeous, angst-free man who is literally perfect in every way.
Sigh….I freaking LOVED Nate. But when I see the spark with her and Reid, I loved them as well.
Have you ever been in a relationship or had friends in a relationship that was so intently passionate that they were almost toxic together? That was how I felt about Stella and Reid. There was just so MUCH between them. Stella and Nate were blissfully happy. He loves her fascination with Xanadu and he is just all-around swoonworthy. Maybe it’s the mom in me, but I was totally Team Nate. Except when she saw Reid, because damn…there is an undeniable pull between them, and I became Team Reid, until the second he was gone, then I was back to Nate. Gah! If I couldn’t choose how could she?
Drive is the perfect illustration that it is possible to love two people at once (without physically cheating). Reid had a piece of her soul that he never gave back. This story took place over years, but that piece never fully grew back despite how happy she was.
Does she make a choice? Is she left with neither? Does she go with someone else? You need to read this book, but don’t expect quick answers! Kate Stewart had me flip-flopping right till the end.
- A stand alone!
- The playlist. Such an eclectic list of songs. Some were new to me, and some I sang right along with. But they all added to the story.
- It proved me wrong in many ways. I have been avoiding new adult, rock stars and love triangles and this was all of those things to an extent.
- Drive will definitely be a book that sticks with me for years to come, like some of the ones I read 5-6 years ago when I started this blog. *Note: this has been compared to Thoughtless and Beautiful Disaster. I see the overall feel being similar, but that’s it. Kiera from Thoughtless was sneaky. She was a deliberate lying cheater. There is none of that here.
- The realism of the up and coming music business.
- It took it’s time telling this story. Over 400 pages.
- I loved all the side characters.
- Stella was bright and quirky and fun, she was a wonderful heroine.
- I loved both Nate and Reid in their own ways, but Nate….SWOON… (Reid would have been IT for me when I was young though).
- The way Kate Stewart made my heart and mind play ping pong. One minute I am totally sure about Nate, then it’s all Reid.
- I loved Ben & Lexi.
Dislikes (not really dislikes, but things I wished were different):
- I don’t think it was really explained why her sister was SO upset with them.
- The beginning moved a bit slow.
- I kind of forgot it was in flashback and I wish we were reminded of why she was driving again towards the end.
The Down & Dirty:
I don’t care if you don’t like love triangles, young characters or rock stars, READ THIS BOOK. Drive by Kate Stewart is a perfect example of why I started this blog. I want EVERYONE to know about and read this book. Not into music with your books? That’s OK, this is amazing with or without the music, it just enhances the story. Drive left me heartbroken, yet my heart is full. I know many are worried about the love triangle aspect, but there is no bed hopping going on. She is not cheating physically, but her heart is, and maybe it always would, because she will love both of these men forever.
It’s amazing how Kate Stewart manipulated my heart in Drive. I was so sure I felt one way, than BAM, I flip the other way. It kept me glued to the book and tuning out everything but the book and the songs. I think Drive will end up on an all-time favorite list of mine, it’s just that good. I usually won’t even think of giving 5 stars to a book with anything in the dislikes, but I feel so strongly about this one that I’m still giving it 5+++++ Stars.
Rating: 5+++++ Stars, 4 Heat