Monday, July 25, 2022

REVIEW: Reverse by Kate Stewart



First things first: if you haven't read Drive, you absolutely need to read it RIGHT NOW or Reverse will not be as meaningful and of course, you'll know all the spoilery things if you don't and then decide you want to read it later. Additionally, because these books are so intimately connected, I undoubtedly will have spoilers about Drive in this review, so be forewarned and read no further if you don't like spoilers. 

Reverse is the story of Nate and Addie's daughter, Natalie, and Stella and Reid's son, Easton and just as Drive was a love triangle between Nate, Stella, and Reid, Reverse is also a love triangle of sorts. Except in this case, rather than it being a conflict between lovers, it's a conflict of love between lovers and love between families. As you know from Drive, when Stella and Nate end things, there is still love between them but with Stella and Reid being together, there's no way any sort of friendship will prevail and so they all walk away to live their respective lives as far away from each other as possible. So when Natalie begins meddling in things from the past, causing a meeting with Easton that then evolves into an intense weekend between them, we are to assume that disaster is looming. When a weekend turns into something more which turns into a hidden relationship, all hell breaks loose when Natalie and Easton end up secretly married and Nate and Reid find out, ripping them apart in some sort of Romeo and Juliet family fuckery. Does this sound like a night time soap opera? It does, doesn't it? Keep reading.

You may be asking yourself, why though? Why after all of these years would Nate, Reid, and Stella care if their children end up together? If they're all content and happy in their marriages, why does it matter? I, too, had that question and I had it for a very long time. Like 80-90% of the reading. Even after the secret is revealed, I didn't get why it was that big of a deal, other than it was a major plot point and the book couldn't have been what it was without it. There was a moment at the end, though, that finally made it make more sense and even though I finally 'got' it, I still thought that it was a little over the top and a little overbearing on the part of the parents. But, once you get to know Natalie and Easton and the relationship with their parents, it makes more sense. They were both sheltered and groomed for the lives that they grew into and those protections, while coming from a place of love, created an environment where their parents felt they had a right to react the way they did. 

While their parents' histories were a major part of how Natalie and Easton met and the major source of conflict between them, they approached things so differently that that also caused a lot of friction and hurt feelings on both sides. He'd want to bulldoze things and she'd want to take more time to consider all the angles and people involved and it just really caused a ton of issues. Both of them felt unheard and unsupported at times, obviously not good for a budding romance. 

So between their parents, miscommunication or the complete lack of it, plus their careers exploding at the same time, Natalie and Easton were headed toward heartache, which meant we were headed to it too. No lie, the conflict and angsty bits were both infuriating and heart pounding. I'd get SO MAD (mostly at Natalie) and then when I finally felt like I could breathe they'd do something AGAIN to get me all riled up again. And because this book is really long, those angsty bits seemed to go on for a lot longer too. The rollercoaster did not end until the very end--so hang on because once you hit it that first loop de loop, it just keeps going. 

All of that to say that while there were some parts that I could've lived without, I love when a novel gets me all sorts of crazy and these characters definitely did that. Also, the music, the inclusion of characters from Drive plus the new ones in Reverse, and the epilogue all worked together to get me through some of the things I struggled with (I had a really hard time liking Natalie, some unanswered questions about Easton, and I detested the way the parents were so overreactive) and by the end I enjoyed the crazy ride that it was.

Looking for a angsty, rock star romance that spans the course of two generations, is hotter than hades, and really showcases a love of music? Pick up Drive and Reverse today.



From the bestselling author of The Ravenhood Trilogy comes a angsty, steamy journey filled with love, loss, and self discovery.

Thirty years ago, my father became the other half of a broken love story.

A relationship he’s kept hidden for decades.

Upon unearthing his secret through a series of emails in our paper’s archives, I began my search for the truth. Haunted by my father’s love story, and in my quest for answers, I never imagined I would discover a love of my own. Or that my love for Easton Crowne would be key in discovering the reason behind what split our parents up.

Doomed from the start and knowing the havoc our relationship would inevitably wreak on our families, I could never have prepared for the toll it would take or the cost of the truth.

But in order to find our ending, we had to go back to their beginning.

My name is Natalie Butler, and this is my star-crossed love story.

The Bittersweet Symphony Duet
#1 Drive
#2 Reverse

*Both books in the duet must be read in order.

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