Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens
There is cheating in Thoughtless. A lot of it. The first time Kiera and Kellan hook up is when Kiera and Denny are on a 'break,' so I was like, 'Okay, I can kinda accept this.' However, Denny shows up the very next morning, having given up everything so he can be with Kiera. How does Kiera respond to this incredibly selfless gesture? She goes out of her way to convince Kellan that they can 'just be friends' and then, in a way, juggles both boys. Kellan and Denny are mostly decent men, although it's clear Kellan has issues. Kellan allows her to play him, hoping that she'll eventually break-up with Denny, and Denny is living a life he doesn't particularly want, just so he can unknowingly stay with a girl who's emotionally and physically cheating on him.
When Denny does find out, he blames Kellan. Not Kiera, not both of them, Kellan. Because he told Kellan to stay away from Kiera and Denny knew Kiara wouldn't be able to resist Kellan if Kellan hung around her. Here, read for yourself:
He cut me off. “I was so angry at him for that.” He looked up at me and then back down at his hands, still holding one of mine. “Like I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist his charm, so it was up to him…and he failed.” I started to look down, right as his eyes looked up, and we met in the middle. “I think that’s why I asked him to stay away from you at the airport. I didn’t think you’d stray, not really…I trusted you, but only if he kept his distance.” He shrugged. “He gets every girl he goes after, and I knew he’d get you, if he really tried, and I just couldn’t compete with that.”
I find that so incredibly offensive on so many levels. Denny didn't really trust Kiera in the face of temptation, he didn't trust Kellan not to poach his girlfriend, and these were the people he was closest to. And when Kiera does exactly what he thought she'd do, he doesn't even give her the courtesy of being pissed off, he just pats her on the head and says, 'well, you couldn't help yourself.' Don't get me wrong, I think Kiera is the true bad guy here, but she certainly knew what she was doing was wrong (as she says, or thinks, a hundred times). Denny's remarks are just a rationalization to protect his own ego.
I'm not rating this book because cheating is a big thing for me and I did know there was going to be some unfaithfulness when I started the story, but I wasn't expecting the angsty, incredibly psychologically screwed up, love triangle that I got. In any case, I'm unable to hold back my personal feelings long enough to objectively judge the text. I will say that if you liked the whole Bella/Jacob/Edward thing, in New Moon especially, and wished for more angst on top of that, you will probably enjoy this book.
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