Tuesday, March 5, 2024

REVIEW: This Could Be Us by Kennedy Ryan


This Could Be Us has to be one of the most anticipated new releases of 2024, with good reason. Kennedy Ryan is a force, as evidenced by everything she's ever written; her novels immediately suck you in and hold you in their thrall until the very last word, and even at that last word, you find yourself hoping for more words, more pages, more chapters, more everything because you aren't quite ready to leave the world she's created. 

In the case of This Could Be Us, we get the story of Soledad and Judah--two people who would seem to never work, if for no other reason than how they find themselves entangled, but work so very well. But before we even get to know that, we get to know them...and that's one of the many reasons why I love Kennedy Ryan's novels. We get to really know Soledad and Judah; we get to see them develop, to see what they like and don't, to see how they work as themselves, by themselves, before we ever see them working together. By the time we see them together together, we love them and are dying for them to be together. DYING. 

So what's so special about these two? Judah is the most amazing father, ex-husband/co-parent you can imagine. He's very involved in the care and loving of his children, considerate of the needs of others, and gives zero effs when it comes to things like the opinions of people who don't mean anything to him. He's strong and compassionate and just a completely evolved human being. I can't think of one thing I don't love about him. Likewise, Soledad is also an amazing mother; she's willing to do what it takes to secure normalcy and continuity for her daughters (after her scum of the earth husband/ex-husband does them dirty), while also treating them like humans--not shielding them from all the hard things, but not tainting them with ugliness either. She knows when to give and when to take. She listens and explores and ponders and takes the time to really know who she is and what she wants. She's strong and loving and empathetic and wonderful. She and Judah are really the perfect counterparts and I have no idea how Kennedy Ryan does this--she keeps creating the most perfectly imperfect, and therefore believable and loveable, characters. 

In addition to all of the wonderfulness that is Soledad and Judah, we get to check in on the characters we met in Before I Let Go, which is always a treat. We get to imagine the awesomeness that will be Hendrix's story while also reveling in the updates of the characters we got to know in the first book of the Skyland Series.

And of course, Kennedy Ryan is always so well researched and knowledgeable about the representation in her novels. While I have only tangential experiences in real life with some of the backgrounds and  experiences of that of her fictional characters, I appreciate how she continues to give us characters from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences and strives to write them realistically; Ryan's novels are truly the epitome of literature being a mirror or window and I love having the reading journey I do when I pick up her novels. She's also masterful at leaving us wanting more and I can tell you right now, you're going to want her next novel in you hands as soon as you finish The Could Be Us

Before I Let Go is a five start read and I cannot wait for everyone to read it. 

BUY IT: https://amzn.to/48DrUJ3


Soledad Barnes has her life all planned out. Because, of course, she does. She plans everything. She designs everything. She fixes everything. She’s a domestic goddess who's never met a party she couldn't host or a charge she couldn't lead. The one with all the answers and the perfect vinaigrette for that summer salad. But none of her varied talents can save her when catastrophe strikes, and the life she built with the man who was supposed to be her forever, goes poof in a cloud of betrayal and disillusion.

 But there is no time to pout or sulk, or even grieve the life she lost. She's too busy keeping a roof over her daughters' heads and food on the table. And in the process of saving them all, Soledad rediscovers herself. From the ashes of a life burned to the ground, something bold and new can rise.
But then an unlikely man enters the picture—the forbidden one, the one she shouldn't want but can't seem to resist. She's lost it all before and refuses to repeat her mistakes. Can she trust him? Can she trust 
After all she's lost . . .and found . . .can she be brave enough to make room for what could be?

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