#1 New York Times bestselling author S.C. Stephens brings us the next book in her Thoughtless series!
The spotlight doesn't only shine. Sometimes it burns.
Being the bad-boy bassist for the world's hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife, Anna. The one thing it hasn't brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.
Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he's caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos. One that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he's seen an ache in her eyes--and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers...
We wish to thank Little Brown Book Group for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I will start this review by saying that I know this will be difficult to write. I went into this book fully expecting to be impressed and to adore the story, but sadly, I closed the book with a sigh and disappointment.
I'm a huge fan of the Thoughtless series. I still go back and re-read or re-listen to scenes that I love when I need cheering up, and it always does the trick. I had high expectations of this book because I adored Griffin as he was portrayed in Thoughtless. He's a crude yet lovable arsehole, an entertaining and comedic character. I was stoked about this book, and was lucky enough to be sent a copy.
I need to be honest - because this is The Honest Bookclub after all - Griffin, to me as a loyal fan of the series, was entirely out of character. Never in the original trilogy was he this bad, and as of Untamed, he is the worst decision maker I've ever read about. I thought America Singer was bad! People would even advise him to help, offer help and he'd just be such a jerk right up to the point of blowing off his own wife and family.
Every opportunity he was given, he messed up. And most of the time, his decisions had me rolling my eyes.
Even Griffin, the resident comic relief, never got this ridiculous in the previous books. I found him way too over-the-top, by far more rude and nasty to the people he cared about, and on a bit of a prolonged ego trip. In Reckless, when the band were at number 2, everyone was a little disappointed, but Griffin was thrilled just to be number 1. Why would he be so adamant about being a bigger part of the band now, after the happy conclusion he got in Reckless? He's never seemed to have this issue before - not to this extent. Sure, he wanted to play the guitar once or twice, but that was about as far as Griffin aspired in the past. The band even gave him a chance at the start of the book. Which begs the question:
If Griffin is so determined to be a guitarist, why doesn't he just practice? Why is he so bad? You'd think that he'd want to prove himself, not to mention save himself a whole lot of embarrassment. In essence, this entire book could have been avoided if he'd just... practiced the guitar?
It was just too much drama for my liking. I didn't like how he treated everyone and how highly he thought of himself. This isn't the Griffin we know and love. He let me down. The whole book, he was just me me me me me the whole time. He didn't think of the consequences of his actions, nor how they would impact his wife and children, not to mention the consequences for his own band's future. Even he wouldn't do this so drastically. He truly angered me, and I actually hated him in parts of this story.
I truly don't understand what the point of this story was, and this saddens me. It was just pages of Griffin attention-seeking and being a massive fame whore, trying to fight his way into the spotlight and forcibly shoving the people with real talent into the background, only to have it all come back to bite him. People (ahem, Kellan) who did a lot to help the band actually make it, which is shown in Reckless, were the ones to suffer. Griffin was thoroughly ungrateful, and most of the time he was a fool, and that irritated me to no end.
It wasn't just Griffin I found out of character, either. It was pretty much everyone. Nobody seemed themselves, and it was just strange to read about known characters in such a foreign way. I felt like I was reading someone else's interpretation or reimagining of the series. To any fan, there are few bigger disappointments.
Matt has also changed, holy cow. The Matt of Thoughtless was a very different person. In Untamed, I found him to be a lot more harsh, blunt and nasty. Which seems to be the running theme. The things he said to Griffin were quite sharp, and I was surprised at the usually quiet Matt's sudden bite. But by the end of the book, of course, Griffin was a new man. And by new man, I mean completely new. He was channeling a modern day Mother Theresa, doing everything that was expected of this changed man with a happy and balanced new life.
The story also was quite long considering the absence of a story, and I did find myself losing interest quite fast. I think it was Griffin's horrid attitude that put me off. This, from what I've seen and heard, is quite a popular opinion at the moment. The Untamed Griffin is not easy to read about.
However, it was nice to be back in the world of the D-Bags, to see the old gang again. Although we got less of the banter between the boys, we were still reunited with them and their crazy, hectic lives once again. I will give it a star and a half because, even though the characters were off and the story was pointless, I still do enjoy S.C. Stephens's writing. I will always go back and re-read the Thoughtless series, just... not this one.
Thoughtful (Thoughtless in Kellan's POV)
Untamed (Griffin's book)
So, there you have it. I've read Griffin's side of the story, which continues on from Reckless, and I was left annoyed and dissatisfied. As a fan of the series, I'm not sure if fans of Griffin would like this one, but then again, this is just my personal opinion. I wouldn't stop anyone from reading this. Some people really did enjoy this. I just won't be counting myself among them. At all.
If you're a fan and you're going to read it, let us know. If you've not read the series yet, we do recommend you give it a go. You can either leave a comment or find us on any of the following social media. We'd love to hear what you think!
BOOK REVIEW: UNTAMED BY S.C STEPHENS
4/ 5Oleh The Honest Bookclub