Book: Effortless (Thoughtless book 2) by S.C. Stephens, Simon & Schuster Audio, Dec. 4, 2012
Book Info: Contemporary Romance, purchased Audiobook. Running time: 19 hrs, 35 mins. Read by: Rebekkah Ross. Also available in paperback, 496 pages from Gallery Books.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
The Thoughtless series is one I picked up when I started my New Adult reading spree. Once I read Easy and Beautiful Disaster it wasn’t long before the NA path led me to this trilogy. If you haven’t started this series, be aware there are light spoilers ahead for Book 1 Thoughtless, so start there if you’d like to remain completely spoiler free.
Like Tina Reber’s Love series, these are long and angsty books. While the Love series is about an actor/regular girl romance, the love interest in the Thoughtless series is a Seattle musician on the road to being a full-fledged rock star. The story begins with a tortuous love triangle in Thoughtless, with the pair trying to make it work as a couple in Effortless. But when your relationship begins with lies and betrayal, it’s hard to trust your partner under the best of circumstances, and outside forces make it even more difficult for Kellan and Kiera. This series is new to paperback and audiobook formats through Simon & Schuster, after being a self-publishing success.
I have to say I liked Effortless even more than the first book. Thoughtless was all about getting to know the characters and through the love triangle. You’d think Effortless would be a cakewalk in comparison, though in fact there are still some rough waters ahead. S.C. Stephens seems to revel in torturing her characters, and she has a knack for angsty, emotional scenes that you feel in the pit of your stomach.
Though the vibe of this series is more contemporary romance, there is definitely a case for calling it New Adult. Kiera attends Univ. of Washington, and we do see her attending class and thinking about careers, when she’s not stressing over Kellan that is. There is a big romance element to the story though, so the focus is more on relationships than a “what do I do with my life” college book. Kiera has a lot of insecurities, and infuriates me in this series by making some of the same mistakes over and over.
Kellan is a breath of fresh air, and charming and sweet. He makes some errors in judgment just like Kiera though and they both have a lot to learn about communication. I liked seeing the development with his band and the challenges his career success brings to his relationship with Kiera. I’d love to see chapters written from Kellan’s POV for a change of pace. Sometimes I need a little break from Kiera.
After listening to book one Thoughtless, I read the print version of Effortless. I was addicted to the characters at that point and the audiobook was not available yet to listen to. Later on though I did pick up the audiobook for a reread/listen to brush up for Reckless, the third book in the trilogy. I don’t usually get to compare the reading vs. listening experience but there were positives to both formats. At first I did miss the audio narrator because she is so good with the voices, but reading the book actually was quicker and still enjoyable. I think it did take less time to actually read the book and I could read at my pace rather than relying on the narrator’s pace. Reader Rebekkah Ross conveys all of Kiera’s changing moods with ease, while at the same time delivering a convincing Kellan, and even delivers a an authentic sounding womanizing Griffin. Ross has become one of my favorite narrators, and when you are listening to a long book like this it’s nice to have a capable narrator like her behind the wheel. I don’t think you can go wrong with the print or audio versions.
This series won me over, even though it’s a little more dramatic than I usually prefer. The author makes some bold choices so that I never know what she’s going to do to her poor characters. She makes me nervous but she does do angst very well. I don’t know where she’s going to take the story in the final book, but I know I’ll be along for the ride.
Reckless, the final book in the Thoughtless trilogy, will hit stores March 5th. You can read the first two chapters and some fun bonus scenes now on author S.C. Stephens’ FB page. And if you like New Adult books like the Thoughtless series, check out Maryse’s What to Read After Thoughtless book suggestions.
And, there’s an awesome New Adult audiobook giveaway going on now from Simon & Schuster audio, where you could win the Thoughtless trilogy and a bunch of other great titles pictured below.