Sometimes, forgiveness is selfish. We give it not because it's earned, but because it's what we need. To find peace. To be whole.
Let's be honest, we all loved Tangled because of Drew. His arrogant, borderline offensive, misogynistic point of view delivered his and Kate's cliched. mediocre love story aboard a golden carriage being pulled by six majestic unicorns. There's not enough egotistical AND funny male POVs in contemporary romance and true, it is a tricky act to pull when you're not Neil Patrick Harris. Not to mention the insane hype around that book when it came out.
Emma Chase made a believer out of me.
So no, this isn't the opinion of a CR hater, I really am a fan. Okay maybe the wasted potential of a Steven-Alexandra in college book set in the early 2000s as the second book in this series factors a little in the disappointment because COME ON! How can that be anything but awesome?! But Twisted does offer something new, something ballsy that will make any fan of this author excited: how does the happily ever after look for someone like Drew?
Said no one ever after reading Tangled.
Unfortunately, this was Kate's narration of their relationship being put to the test by the most cliched and ridiculous misunderstanding that calls to attention how the collective sum of their age based on maturity is probably less than ten.
Who are these peoples’ shrinks and why haven’t they been medicated yet?
I’m playing favourites, yes, even if Drew was a complete idiot on that aspect, more on that later.
I suppose it was meant to illustrate the importance of communication in a relationship, how it's up to the couple and the amount of work they're willing to put in to make the ever after happy in a day-to-day basis... but must it really be told from Kate's POV? I do appreciate that this tried to step out of the box by giving the heroine a chance to prove herself, well, worthy of (and I say this with fondness) an asshole as big as Drew. But what difference would it really be if it was Drew doing the talking? For one, possibly getting a higher rating from me, because the best part for me was the epilogue.
I remember very little about Kate from Tangled, I like that this gave a rough idea on what kind of past Kate had before coming to New York. However, after all the realizations and reflections their conflict afforded her, I found her choices and decisions in the after bizarre and pointless. What lessons could she possibly learn from living apart from Drew when he's still pretty much in her orbit? When they're still dependent on each other? Which I have no problem with except it contradicts her supposed purpose and negates everything that boring stretch of self-discovery I had to suffer through. It all felt half-hearted to me.
And speaking of half-hearted, Kate did come across like an underdone Drew: mildly funny in the narrative but with the same amount of ADHD. The former I didn't mind much (I now have added Smegma Eater in my lexicon of insults, thanks) but the flight of ideas and memories ("I remember when I was...") only works when the vignettes are entertaining. Kate's perspective offered nothing new to the table, not even the barest minimum. She didn't even have to be funny, she only needs to be relevant to the discussion.
I'm not even going to dignify the ridiculous lengths Kate and Drew's conflict went to but I must say Drew certainly came out the better half in the end. It's unfair really, because him being a pompous, territorial douchebag is pretty much a given so there's really nowhere else to go but up. I like that there's change in him without compromising who he really is heart: A DICKWAD. It might take him twenty more books before his behavior catches up with his age, but I like that there's a direction in his character.
Personally, all things considered, I think this would've fared better as a novella. And despite the godawful delivery of the story, I feel like I'm still the kind of reader who can see the good intentions despite the failed and cliched efforts. The sneak peek at the end for Tamed makes me feel Chase is heading towards Kristen Ashley territory: recycling storylines and characters ad infinitum.
PLEASE DON'T GO TO THERE.
But she's proven me wrong before, and if only she'd give Steven and Alexandra some thought (yes, I'm nagging you Emma Chase if you're reading this), I know she'd prove me wrong again.
You have to fall down, scrape your palms and knees, before you know you have the ability to pick yourself back up. So don't worry about me. I'm going to be just fine. Eventually, I'll be great. We'll be great.
ARC provided by Gallery Books thru Netgalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Quotes may not appear in the published edition.