book review

Grip by Kennedy Ryan

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It had hip-hop and Neruda. And that should’ve been enough to make me love this story. But Kennedy Ryan gave me so much more.

I received Flow (the captivating prequel to Grip) when I bought Grip off Amazon, and Kennedy Ryan couldn’t have picked better titles for this spin-off of her Soul Series. The story, told from both Bristol and Grip’s points of view, unfolded beautifully. I wasn’t expecting to love this story so much, but my inner poet just devoured every bit of it.

Goodreads description:

Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out. I know. I’ve been doing it for years.

I may not have a musical gift of my own, but I’ve got a nose for talent and an eye for the extraordinary. And Marlon James – Grip to his fans – is nothing short of extraordinary.

Years ago, we strung together a few magical nights, but I keep those memories in a locked drawer and I’ve thrown away the key. All that’s left is friendship and work.

He’s on the verge of unimaginable fame, all his dreams poised to come true. I manage his career, but I can’t seem to manage my heart.

It’s wild, reckless, disobedient. And it remembers all the things I want to forget.

Things I loved about this spin-off:

1. Solid hero and heroine. Likable and relatable, both characters’ solid back stories set the stage up for a riveting journey. It felt real and I bought it.

2. The flow. One of my pet peeves about multiple PoVs is replaying the exact same scene all over again. Thankfully, this story carries you back and forth between Bristol and Grip’s points of view so fluidly and seamlessly, it gives readers a glimpse of how each character felt about the same situation without dragging out the same scene.

3. The vibrant and lyrical writing style. There’s a certain poetic feel to Kennedy Ryan’s writing style. The way she elevates “you’re beautiful” into “you’re a freaking prism,” makes my heart soar. It’s subtle and effortless, but it gives a more vivid picture of each character’s thoughts and emotions. It goes without saying that I will be quoting a lot of lines in future Thirsty Thursday entries.

4. The chemistry. Holy smokes, I’m still fanning myself. Steam City! Just hot hot hot! Gotta love the push and pull between the two characters. It wasn’t just the interaction between the two characters, but their individual internal monologues about lingering looks, nostalgia, and longing, makes you hurt so good.

5. The poetry/music. It doesn’t just talk about the character’s music like most Rock Star Romances out there. It puts you smack dab in the middle of Grip’s concert, you can almost hear how Bruise and Top of the World are supposed to sound. And those words — they shape Grip’s character even further.

6. It transcends your traditional love story. This is more than your typical boy-meets-girl. It brings gender and race to the forefront, and explores its role in different kinds of relationships. It was absolutely a breath of fresh air in the saturated market of formulaic New Adult/Contemporary stories.

I could keep going on and on about how beautifully written this story is, but you should really do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Nothing I say will ever top the experience of sinking your teeth into this book. What a book hangover!

Rating: 5 stars

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