I Absolutely Loved It!
I don’t even know where to start with this review. Ryan’s Bed by Tijan is a powerful, emotional, and beautiful story that I could not put down. The feelings that I felt while reading this book were raw, and I got so wrapped up in it that I forgot everything else going on around me.
In Ryan’s Bed we meet Mackenzie hours after finding her sister Willow who has just committed suicide. She mistakenly finds herself in Ryan’s bed (hence the title) and after that it’s the only place and he’s the only person, she seems to find solace in. Throughout the book we find Mackenzie go through a lot of emotions, but we don’t see her truly handle her grief. We see her try to take care of her brother Robbie, watch her parents drift away, and see her think she’s going crazy as she hears Willow’s voice guiding her through the summer and starting a new school. The only thing keeping her grounded is her relationship with Ryan and how he understands the pain she is going through since he’s experienced a loss of his own a few years ago as well.
My heart broke for Mackenzie over and over in this book, I hated that she wouldn’t deal with her grief, and the loss she went through. Not only did she lose her sister, but her family as well. She was all alone, and she was not dealing with anything for a while, but.. she did find strength in herself through this experience. When she saw injustice happening, she spoke up. It may have been her dealing with her grief, but how she would go after Erin and Stephanie and anyone who would try to bully her or anyone made me proud of her. She wasn’t going to deal with it, and instead of shrinking into herself, she pushed back. Granted, she really didn’t let many people in except for Ryan, but as the book goes on you see her start to let others in, and after the real breakthrough we get to see her truly embrace the people that really want to be there for her.
I loved Ryan’s character in this book, and how strong he was for Mackenzie and how much he adored her and how much he cared for her and took care of her. No matter what Mackenzie did or how she acted, he knew what she needed and was there for her. He didn’t care that he was the most popular guy in school, or that she was the new girl, with a lot of things going on, all he cared about was her and that she needed him. He became her rock, and he helped heal her, but in a way, she helped heal him as well. When she couldn’t stand up for herself, he did it for her, and when she needed solace, he was the one to provide it for her. I truly loved and adored his character and everything he did for her in this book.
This book deals with an extremely real and difficult subject, and it’s not to be taken lightly and I believe Tijan did a beautiful job of dealing with the subject matter. I felt the raw emotion of Mackenzie dealing with her twins suicide, the unanswered questions, and the turmoil of the people left to pick up their lives afterwards. Ryan’s Bed is a beautifully told story of grief, and trying to move forward, and I truly loved Mackenzie‘s story, and after reading the epilogue.. well all I can say is, some things definitely make more sense now. I can definitely say this book is one of my favorite books of the year, and will be one I will definitely be going back to re-read and be recommending to all of my friends. I highly encourage everyone to read this, as it is a powerful story and one that needs to be read!