Book Review – Drive by Kate Stewart

by Maryse on October 20, 2017 · 23 comments

in My Book Reviews

WOW. Okay first. 5 STARS PLUS. FIVE. STARS. PLUS. I already gave another book that score a few weeks ago (and I still stand by that), but how could I NOT give it to this one? It had EVERYTHING I LOVE in a love story. This book was highly addictive, incredibly agonizing (but in the best of ways) and angsty as all get-out. This is the real deal when it comes to our HUGE love of realistic love stories that may… or may not… end well. ;) Depends on who your heart’s with.

And once the recommendations started coming my way…

Heather: OMG Maryse. You NEED to read this book. I can’t even formulate words. The entire premise is genius. The book is freaking magic. There is NOTHING else out there like it. I’m a huge fan of hers and this one is just. . . my God. EVERYTHANG!

Maryse: eek Eeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!!

Lisa: All I can say is WOW!! I did not come up for air until 1 A.M. The best book I’ve read in a long long time!! Thank you so very much for the recommendation…..geeze what a perfect lil’ gem!

Donna: Drive by Kate Stewart was AMAZING one of my all time top reads EVER!!

…I KNEW I could NOT go one more day without jumping in, and living IT.

Maryse: I’m reading this one as we speak, and I. AM. HOOKED!!!!!! Oh it’s gonna hurt!!! eek Who’s reading it with me?

Angie: Squeeeeeeeee! Omg! I was just wondering how you were liking it.

Maryse: I already feel the “feel”… and this is TOTALLY awesome old-school angsty, heartache, tumultuous romance. YAY US!!!!! ….Every thought I’ve ever had, chastising myself over crushes and heartache and mistakes… here. I’m already HER. The writing is excellent.

Angie: The writing was absolutely beautiful. I could not get over how strong her writing was. And yes, all the feels were so on point. She just nailed this book.

Cheryl: Started Drive and I agree it has the feels like Room 212. It starts present day so you have an idea of where things are headed, but not exact details. Not sure who I want the h to end up with yet; however, I know it’s going to hurt.

Nay: Ok, Maryse–all I had to do was read, “old-school angsty, heartache, tumultuous romance” and that was enough, but when I see that a book makes you identify so much with the character, I’m all in! I’m starting Drive right now!

Amy: Holy moly…just the prologue alone last night had my heart aching. And her relationship with music and memories is SO relatable for me. Maybe that’s why I’m already aching for her even though I don’t know the whole story yet. This, from the prologue:

“The lyrics sometimes set the tone for my day, and as a slave, I followed. But some songs were like a sharp fingernail poking into open-wounded thoughts. 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 of places.”

GAH!! A sharp fingernail and open-wounded thoughts is RIGHT! That is totally me when I turn on one of my iPhone playlists and instantly I’m right back in an emotional time period…or (more often) one of one of our beloved books. ;)

Leslie M: *side eyes everyone who was reading Drive and didn’t tell me it was a love triangle* I just found out this is love triangle and gave Nay a tongue lashing on GR.  I assumed this was depressing/Marmy/anti-Leslie read with the way you all have been talking. Love triangle angst is definitely my thing!!!

Maryse: Leslie M. Drive. DRIVE!!!!!!! :D !!!!!!

Amy: Oooooooh!! I am SO mad at Reid. Who the hell does he think he is?!? *looks at clock* Crap! I’m going to be late for work if I don’t get moving. Stupid real life getting in the way of an addictive book…

Maryse: I LOVE THE STUPID ADDICTIVE BOOK!!!! Still reading it, and I think I’m where you’re at, Amy. ;)

Nay: Amy & Maryse–sounds like we’re at around the same place. I’m at **% now. My guts are all twisty!

Amy: YAY for our stupid addictive books!!

Nay: I’m at **% annnnd I’m bawling my eyes out…again! Stupid, annoying, addictive, angsty book with dumb, irritating. sexy guy(s) in it! …Drive is a wonderful angst-fest!!

Amy: *waves groggily* Morning all you chipper chipmunks. I’m running on four hours of sleep because I stayed up way too late so I could finish Drive and then couldnt fall asleep ’cause I kept thinking about it. Definitely a contender for fave of the year for me.  *yawns and stumbles toward coffeemaker*

Nay: Drive is definitely NOT low angst. Only read it when you’re ready for tummy-twisting, gut wrenching fun! …Once I read a book like this, I don’t want to stop! lol

Maryse: I’m with Nay on this one. IT IS INCREDIBLY INTENSE. But soooooo exciting!!!!

Cristina:Hey everyone! Happy Friday!!!!!! I finished Drive about two days ago, and like most, it is probably one of my top three (could be #1) books of the year!

“Living for a man is the quickest way to get lost.”

“Even in hindsight, with all of your mistakes disappearing in the distance, the things you got right are there alongside them. I’d made the mistake of only looking for the hurt. Because why do we have to be perfect?”

There is SO MUCH about this book that stuck with me, but those are two of my favorite quotes. Of course I love it when our hero finally wakes up, but I LOVE it when our heroine has those self-actualization moments.

Maryse: And yet… there are two heroes in this one. ;) Which one?? *my lips are sealed*

Tessa: I’m already reading one you all recommended, Drive. I want to know stuffs, but I’m far from where I could possibly know stuffs.

Maryse: TESSA!!! DO NOT SPOIL THIS FOR YOURSELF. PROMISE ME. You will want to… even I wanted to, I was so distraught… so confused, so IN LOVE. DO NOT do anything but ride it all out with her. Go on this drive with her. ;) Tee hee! See what I did there?? No, but seriously. Don’t stop, and don’t skip ahead.

Jean:  I want to read Drive…. have a love/hate relationship with love triangles because they make my stomach hurt (but I always end up loving them).

Maryse: JEAN!!!!! Read it. I. PROMISE.

Grey: Drive, huh? I love my triangles… I haven’t read a really good one in a LONG time. Like a long time. Maryse, shoot me straight, on a scale on 0-Arsen, what are we talking here?

Maryse: Grey!! Angst-scale? A good ol’ 8-10… depending on your angst-tolerance. Tee hee!!! This totally DID IT for me.

Kandace: I can’t stop reading.

Donna: Drive is my top read of 2017, so glad you loved it too x

Oooooooooof!!!!! I feel like I lived two whole lifetimes in this book… two whole incredibly romantic, emotionally tumultuous lives. And loves. And the whole thing, entirely through the eyes (and mind and heart) of the heroine, keeping my own heart engaged the entire way through. It was beautiful, and raw, and honest, and INTENSE, and bound for heartbreak, and I loved each life (love), as if it were my own. I’m telling you right now, my friends, if you love an “old-school” indie love triangle, THIS IS FOR YOU!!!!! And even if you avoid them (but love a good love story), this one will make you feel every single step of the way. And you’ll question your own allegiance in this one.

Cheryl: I just finished it today. I LOVED it- maybe even my favorite of the year. It also had my favorite ending-ending. Usually I’m saying I loved the book but wished for more of an ending, but have to say this one had everything and it even gave me pause and I wanted to throw my kindle, but then I didn’t. ;)

“Tell me that life magically starts to happen.”

“One minute past desperation, baby. I promise.” *sigh, my heart*

Nay: Amy–addictive is right. and Reid is SO pissing me off! This book is breaking my heart and I’ve been crying ALLLL morning. Where are you %??? (I’m at 61%). Maryse–have you finished?

Amy: *sags against pillows and closes Drive* That…was perfect.  PERFECT.  The last 30% had me so mixed up, I didn’t know WHAT I wanted for her…and the turmoil was delicious. And things ended exactly as they needed to.

Cait: Drive was amazing!

At a certain point, I was blinking away my tears (<— actually that happened a lot), in an utter panic, literally rocking back and forth in place furiously, while reading. Didn’t even realize it until I started cramping and had to readjust. Yeah. It sucks you in THAT hard. What I love about it, is that she GOES there. It’s ugly at times, and wrong, and yet… so right.

My face was burning, my chest on fire. Get a grip, Stella.

I unbuttoned my tweed coat, suddenly in need of more brisk air. I wanted to be covered in it. I wanted to numb myself, but even in sub-zero temperatures, I knew I would still feel the burn.

So what’s it about?

I’m going to tell you honestly… as fun and clever as that blurb is, the book and actual story is SO MUCH BETTER. Sure the blurb intrigued me, but I didn’t quite get the right “feel” of what I was about to embark upon, when I read it. It was the reader reactions (the old school OMG BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!! LOVE TRIANGLE AT IT’S BEST!!! freak-outs) that had me realizing I WOULD be able to connect to this one, just right.

*ahem* But I digress. This is the “what’s it about section” and I’m gonna give you only a hint. Because the synopsis IS somewhat convoluted, and this is for a reason.

Stella, raised in a wonderful household with a fun and loving family and wonderfully secure childhood is venturing out on her own. Always considered the wild child (emotionally overstimulated at times, or…what her father called “passionate”, and encouraged to be herself), moves in with her older, more stable sister. She’s jumping into adulthood with both feet, her dreams (and confidence) running wild and has it all mapped out. She’s addicted to music, and wants to be a writer… a music journalist. She wants to tour the world, and write articles about bands that she loves, or discovers, or both.

And then she meets her sister’s best friend, Reid. Brooding and jaded, and her sister warns her… DO NOT FALL FOR HIM. But openhearted Stella realizes he needs a friend, a little understanding, and some help, too, and despite their less-than-friendly start, they eventually forge a different kind of secret bond.

“All your secrets are safe with me,” I promised. He slowly nodded as I walked out the door…

Then Stella realizes he’s the drummer in one of her newly discovered indie bands, and she falls head over heels.

“What would I love?”

“He’s going to meet up with his band.”

Goose bumps covered my arms and hair stood up on the back of my neck. “What band? He’s really in a band? I thought he was joking. Why didn’t you tell me?!” Paige looked me over, brows drawn. “Uhhh, because maybe you two don’t like each other?”

I rummaged through my tickets and shoved the cash and credit slips into her hand.

“What’s the band’s name?”

“Dead Sergeants.” My eyes widened.

“He’s the drummer, or will be again when he gets out of that cast. Wait, where are you going? Stella, don’t run after him!”

But I was already out the door.

And so do we.

Trust me… this entire book flows so wonderfully. No step is skipped, no stone unturned, and the author indulges us every step if the way. There’s no rushing in this book. The purest of slow burns, but tantalizing the whole way. Coupled with the funny parts, the laughs and snuggles, so heartwarming, and uplifting.

But you know how it goes when you fall in love with an up-and-coming, young and yet already wearied rock star. Upheaval. Despair. Confusion… and then, possibly moving on.

After all, when we think we’ve found the love of our life, do we ever really move on?

What was it about a woman’s psyche that refuses to let us ignore the old aches, the ancient pains, and the memories of the men we bind ourselves to?

I used to think men were experts at forgetting about the past and moving on, but I was finally old enough to know better. Their memories were just as vivid, just as painful. They were just better at letting go.

*hrmph* *sneaky smirk* I’ll let you work this one out for yourself. ;) And trust me. You will have NO idea where this is going. And you’ll love every single angsty moment of it. This book gave me the warm and fuzziness, and also made my blood run cold.

By the way… my heart is still broken. And yet, totally whole. How can that be?  I never wanted it to end. And yet I couldn’t WAIT for it to end. So I could know. Have that relief. Let myself go, once and for all. And boy did I.

5 stars PLUSSSS!!!!!!! I WILL NEVER forget this one, and will cherish it like I cherish my forever favorites from a few years ago. This one is one of those!!! THIS is what my kind of book love-stories/”romances” look like. No. Read like.

P.S. I just realized I’ve been rocking back and forth again writing this review. Yikes. I’m obviously still overstimulated. This one did a number on me. Well, at least I’m burning calories. ;)

P.P.S. Thank you to the author for sending me this review copy. MORE PLEASE!!!!

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kooloo October 20, 2017 at 8:34 PM

Great review Maryse! Makes me want to buy like 100 copies and give them to all my favourite people… and I didn’t even read it yet!

Cheryl October 20, 2017 at 8:39 PM

“I never wanted it to end. And yet I couldn’t WAIT for it to end. So I could know.”—> Exactly how I felt Maryse! Loved this book!!

Maryse October 20, 2017 at 8:41 PM

*hug* to Kooloo!!!! Awwww. And you need to read it!!! First and foremost. :D

Maryse October 20, 2017 at 8:42 PM

YES Cheryl… I wish I could just get right back into their story right now, I miss them all so much.

My heart aches but in the best way. I hope there’s novellas or something to continue their story… or even backtrack into a few of the “reveals” and go deeper. I am so hooked.

Kandace Milostan October 20, 2017 at 11:07 PM

I loved them all: Stella, Nate and Reid. They were all perfect. Stella never once annoyed me. I’m not sure if I would classify this as a true love triangle. She loved each boy passionately, deeply and at different times. I didn’t know until the end which boy was meant to be her HEA! I loved Stella’s growth throughout the story. Man… I haven’t felt this giddy about a story in a long time.

Kimberly October 21, 2017 at 7:52 AM

LOVED!!! Wish we could go back to the days when books like this weren’t so few and far between. Gave me old school angst ridden indie feels where I devoured every page but at the same time dreaded the end. I was even hoping for a cliffhanger as the page count dwindled since I didn’t want the story to be over. So, so good!!

Tessa October 21, 2017 at 10:38 AM

Loved it. Just finished last night and LOVED it. …I was rooting for *, so … Still 5 stars plus.

Christine October 21, 2017 at 10:45 AM

Great review Maryse! Just started it today because of everyone’s reactions and I do love me some angst! I have so many things to do today and it’s SO HARD to step away from it!!! GAH!

Maryse October 21, 2017 at 11:27 AM

Ditto Tessa. ;) Me too.

Tessa October 21, 2017 at 11:48 AM

:D I’m glad I’m not the only one!

Nay October 21, 2017 at 12:29 PM

Great review, Maryse! You said it perfectly!

Jean October 21, 2017 at 1:27 PM

Reading it now so skipped over your review. With all those reactions and comments, how could I not read it?!?!

Preparing for the stomach pains….

Amy October 21, 2017 at 6:30 PM

Spot-on review, Maryse…SPOT ON.

It was so clever and beautiful and gut wrenching and tumultuous and so much more I can’t even put into words. And what I thought was so unique was how even though she ended up with one, she never minimized her love for the other.

And by the way…I ended up being late to work that day. *snort*

Ela October 22, 2017 at 1:33 PM

Join the buddy read on Good Reads!

Ela October 22, 2017 at 1:34 PM


Kooloo October 22, 2017 at 5:34 PM

Finished it yesterday… it was Perfect *****

Ela October 22, 2017 at 7:31 PM

I finished today and it really was awesome sauce!

Ash October 23, 2017 at 5:19 PM

Loved so much. Bought it last night and stayed up until 1:30 to finish. Couldn’t stop! And, still to work on time. What are the odds we will get Ben and Lexi’s storY? TAKE ME BACK TO THESE PEOPLE PLEASE!!!

marina October 24, 2017 at 12:53 PM

I just finished Drive and absolutely, loved, loved this book. You were right Maryse, soooooo intense, so much angst. Ugh, I am so sad that it’s over. How do you recover from this book? Really, truly I feel like starting another book right now would be betraying it. And could never live up? Such good writing too. I need to look into the author’s other books. I’m not sure if this has been brought up, I’m sure it has… the angst reminded me of Thoughtless but so much of it too reminded me of the feels from How to Kill a Rockstar. So many feels. Ugh, how to move on???

Janet October 24, 2017 at 6:51 PM

Great recommendation – just golden! I’m with everybody on everything said! This one’s staying with me for a long, long time!

Rebecca October 25, 2017 at 4:19 AM

WOW !! Fantastic read !!! I just finished this book and WOW!!!!!! awesome read this one is perfect ! Leaves you wanting MORE !!!!!!

Dianne October 25, 2017 at 4:40 AM

Oooh I am so excited for this read!
I so love “love triangles” even though it leaves me a mess…
Thanks guys for the reader reactions and Maryse for the review. I cannot wait to start.

MichelleS November 9, 2017 at 3:49 PM

I am SOOOOOO excited that I am back to reading, getting to visit your blog, catch up with my ladies AND get a 5 star recommendation? I mean, seriously!!!!

Yup. I am alive. You can call off the search party. What? No search party? Well, fine….

I have been so so so busy with life. And I haven’t hardly read a thing. I do know every single pore on Anderson Cooper’s vampire like face though, or at least I should if he had any, because I think I own stock in CNN now. Got. To. Stop. Watching. News. UGH!

So…. I will be reading this pronto, and hopefully get to catch up. I hope all is well with all you ladies. I genuinely have missed you and all the shenanigans. I just said shenanigans? I am outing myself as an old hag. Whatever, I can hang with the young, hip, cool women on this blog.

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