My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.
The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.
At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.
You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.
And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.
I get it. I get now why there’s so much hype surrounding this book. And I have to say that that hype was earned. Drive was beautifully written, complex, and engaging. The story about Stella and the two men she loved hits you right in the feels as they say. It really does. It was captivating.
I love how heroine-centric this story is. I tend to prefer dual POVs because I like getting the heroine and hero’s perspective. I did not miss the male POV in this book. Why? Because Stella is such a compelling character and her voice is so strong—or should I say the author’s voice is so strong in that character—that it grabs you from the get go and you just can’t look away. Evocative would be the right word to describe how this character tells her story. I fell in love with Stella right along Reid and Nate.
Another thing I really loved about this book is Stella’s relationships with the other women characters. I mean as much as I loved reading her complicated feelings for Reid and Nate, her relationship with her sister Paige and her best friend Lexi stood out to me. The latter wasn’t perfect, but it felt like the most authentic sibling relationship ever. The former was simply goals. Or should I say best friend goals. I loved how they pulled each other up from the depths of hell they both fell into. Like I said Lexi and Stella’s love for each other was GOALS.
I liked how Ms. Stewart used the music and the carefully curated songs for this book without using it as a crutch. It never felt like the music was used as an excuse not to flesh out the characters. There were times where she would evoke a lyric or a line of a song, but I didn’t feel like it was substituting character development. I liked that.
This was a solid 5-star for me until the last 20 or 15 percent or so where it kind of fell apart for me. And it wasn’t because I didn’t agree with Stella’s choice because either way, I would’ve agreed with her choice whether it’s Nate or Reid because the author did a phenomenal job in developing the two men and their connection with Stella that I would’ve been happy with Stella choosing either of them.
My main issue was how her choice was revealed in the book. It wasn’t in the moment. It was after the fact. It also didn’t help that I thought the prologue was about that certain man only to find out that it wasn’t. It didn’t help when I realized that during that time, in the prologue, she already made the right choice, but I read the book thinking that wasn’t the case. It was, to be quite a honest, a “huh” moment. I’m not saying that huh moment was bad, I’m saying it was anticlimactic. It’s like finding out that that the last piece of the puzzle didn’t quite fit right. It left me feeling unsatisfied because the story was set up so beautifully and I was kind of expecting a more dramatic finish.
I liked how Stella and the man she chose found each other again but I wish I had witnessed it instead of being informed after the fact. It was unfortunate. Of course, it may just be me nitpicking that. But yes, the ending was a bit of a let down for me. Otherwise, this book was perfect.