Ryan Ester may not know who she is, but she sure as heck knows who she doesn’t want to become. As she tries to navigate scandal, heartache, and the unbearable pressure to look and act perfect every waking second, she resents being pushed by everyone who wants to decide for her. For the sake of her own sanity and the hearts of those she cares most about, she will have to find a way to forge her own path.
RYAN REVISITED is the story of a young woman’s search for identity. For serenity. For the perfect landing spot for her aching heart.
Author’s Note: RYAN REVISITED is also suitable for Mature YA readers as it does not contain graphic sexual situations.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author and with participation in this tour.
+++Slight trigger and content warning: violence, assault, drugs/alcohol
- Ryan’s trauma is crippling. It takes over her life in waves of depression and helplessness. Ryan struggles to figure out who she is and how to fix what she perceives as broken and not good enough because of a horrendous relationship with her father. Ryan’s thoughts and emotions are all over the place, a heady mix of sadness and heartache. Ryan’s pain is raw and brutal. She questions every action, every choice, trying to fit into a stereotypical image that wars with her moral conscience. Sometimes Ryan is beautiful, kind-hearted, she sees the world as a place that can be honest and light, where people can accept and be loved at face value. Other times, Ryan is so consumed with her own issues that she lashes out, she hurts, and tramples people’s feelings to cushion her heart. There were many times where Ryan’s blunt honesty was like a knife, gutting and painful. She thought only of what she needed to get off her chest and ignored how it impacted others. As a girl torn between two different worlds with no idea how she fits into either, Ryan’s harsh reactions, her emotions bottled up tight, her willingness to react before she thinks, and yearning for sisterhood makes perfect sense.
- Ryan Revisited reads both like a diary and two different books. The storyline is connected but as a person, Ryan is divided. Capturing the contrasts between worlds and Ryan’s tug towards both was really well done and unique.
- Each sorority sister, every character had a hidden depth and painful story. Everyone was going through something that changed them, that made them transform into the people they were. As the puzzle pieces began to fit together, key character insights and secrets were revealed. Each character was memorable and had distinct personality. Goody was hilarious, an outrageous, excessively Southern little fireball. I adored her. Tyler was the quintessential flirty frat boy who had a soft side under the playboy. His shameless flirting was incredibly cute.
- Manny is the full package. An athlete, sensitive artist, charismatic romantic, friendly, a guy that everyone can’t help but love. Manny is scarred by his past, by the loss of his father that devastated his family. Manny’s fear of history repeating itself is heavy and weighs down on him. He lives by the life lesson of if you love something let it go. Manny can’t lie to Ryan, he forces her to reevaluate, to really look at herself, to see what he sees. Manny is a bit of a tortured soul that doesn’t let his past hinder his joy and willingness to live life in the now. Sexy, deep, Manny and Ryan share moments that happen to be smoldering and sweet at the same time. The emotional connection is always at the forefront.
- Sometimes Ryan’s emotions were suffocating and felt a little excessive, borderline manic. Her constant bursts into tears and near catatonic fits grated and sometimes made the plot drag. Ryan’s fragility, her pain is one of the things that makes her so easy to identify with but at the same time, I found myself struggling to understand her panic attacks, even with knowing her entire back story. Why she reacted so spastically and made the choices she did were puzzling.
- The whole story is based on Ryan’s struggle to find herself, who she wants to be, and what she wants out of life. Throughout the book she lives on whim and random ideas, she never stops to question what she wants, I felt like that crucial moment, that pause when Ryan should have sat down with a pen (literally or mentally) and jotted down some ideas was absent. For someone who was trying to figure things out, she went in with a tiny idea and winged it, there was no planning. It felt odd for someone whose sole goal was to sort herself out.
- There are a few scenes where Ryan is at the center of physical altercations and gets injured. Some scenes involve aggressive male contact, basically assault. Ryan’s fear is potent, her confusion more so, how things can flip in an instant startles her. After quite a few of these situations, Ryan continues to brush them off, basically shrugging of the precarious situation because she doesn’t want to cause issues with the frat. This infuriated me. Ryan drifts between too perceptive and oblivious. She closes her eyes to what’s important and sometimes her choices left me enraged. How do you associate with/let your guard down around someone who won’t take no for an answer and uses force?
“If you’re so disgusted with my choices and you think I’ve changed so much, then why do you
even keep talking to me?”
“Because I keep thinking …” Manny looked into my eyes. “I keep hoping I’m wrong.”
your other one.”
anywhere and everywhere. She loves to eat, Jillian Michaels (in that order), Nutella, going to the movies, the written word, Jesus, Auburn football, Ron Pope, Big Sky Country, and every kind of person.