Riven was a was a mixed bag for me. It started poorly for me because the purple prose was out in full force. This author loves her words and she loves to use all of them at the same time. What could be said in 4 words, she uses 20. It kept pulling me out of the story and by 15% I was thinking about dnf-ing this. I liked the overall plot enough to push through and by the mid way mark it either got better or I became numb to it.
This story is about Theo who is a huge rock star. But he hates it. He hates everything but the actual music itself. He hates touring, the business aspect, the attention, the lack of privacy, etc. He feels guilty for hating it though and tries to push himself to appreciate what he has. One night while he's walking around NYC trying to clear his head, he hears music that captivates him and he finds himself walking in to a hole in the wall bar. There he finds the source of the music is ex addict and ex jazz/blues musician Caleb. The two men have an instant connection both emotionally and sexually. What starts as a smoking hot one night stand, leads to a budding romance.
It is part a romance and part a story about them figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Theo needs to find a way to be happy and stop putting everyone but himself first. Caleb needs to find a way to stay sober but incorporate music back into his life.
Their story is told in alternating points of view. I adored Theo. I loved the chapters told by him and I connected with him immediately. He was a great MC. Caleb on the other hand was a struggle. I imagine his trials and his fears were probably very realistic but he exhausted me. And every time he made Theo cry (which was more than once) I wanted to punch him in his fictional face. Thank goodness the author chose to do alternating pov's because if I struggle with Caleb this much while reading how he felt, I probably would have hated him if I'd only gotten Theo's pov.
I had high expectations for this after seeing other reviews and having a few friends love it. Unfortunately it was just average for me. The overall plot and the MC's had potential to be great but I couldn't get past the flowery writing style. It's just not for me. I imagine this won't be an issue for a lot of others though.
Two tortured musicians inspire each other to risk their hearts in this edgy and emotional novel.
Theo Decker might be the lead singer of Riven, but he hates being a rock star. The paparazzi, the endless tours, being recognized everywhere he goes—it all makes him squirm. The only thing he doesn’t hate is the music. Feeling an audience’s energy as they lose themselves in Riven’s music is a rush unlike anything else . . . until he meets Caleb Blake Whitman. Caleb is rough and damaged, yet his fingers on his guitar are pure poetry. And his hands on Theo? They’re all he can think about. But Caleb’s no groupie—and one night with him won’t be enough.
Just when Caleb is accepting his new life as a loner, Theo Decker slinks into it and turns his world upside-down. Theo’s sexy and brilliant and addictively vulnerable, and all Caleb wants is another hit. And another. That’s how he knows Theo’s trouble. Caleb can’t even handle performing these days. How the hell is he going to survive an affair with a tabloid superstar? But after Caleb sees the man behind the rock star, he begins to wonder if Theo might be his chance at a future he thought he’d lost forever.