Before I Let Go By Kennedy Ryan Is My First Book Of 2023

I started 2023 off by reading “Before I Let Go” by Kennedy Ryan and I’m glad that I did. In all honesty, it’s going to be pretty hard to get another book to top this one. The words on the first page danced and I knew that this was going to hit differently, it was going to have me in my feelings. The language in this book is poetic and addicting. I drowned myself in this book. I curled up in bed, stayed up late, and immersed myself in this story.  This story is realistic, healing, funny and raw.

Here is a little summary of “The Hookup Plan”:

Their love was supposed to last forever. But when life delivered blow after devastating blow, Yasmen and Josiah Wade found that love alone couldn’t solve or save everything.

It couldn’t save their marriage.

Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart, but she’s is finally starting to find joy again. She and Josiah have found a new rhythm, co-parenting their two kids and running a thriving business together. Yet like magnets, they’re always drawn back to each other, and now they’re beginning to wonder if they’re truly ready to let go of everything they once had.

Soon, one stolen kiss leads to another…and then more. It’s hot. It’s illicit. It’s all good—until old wounds reopen. Is it too late for them to find forever? Or could they even be better, the second time around?

My Thoughts (Spoiler Alert):

I loved all of the characters in this book, the sisterhood, the conversation of co-parenting and divorce. We see how loss affects a marriage and a family. I loved the sexual tension between Yasmeen and Josiah. I rooted for them since the beginning of the book. I understand how losing a child can tear a family apart. I can only imagine how they felt. I myself would not be able to get out of bed for a whole entire year.  Yasmeen experienced the loss of a child and I believe she went through postpartum depression too. The process of grief is different for everyone but Josiah and Yasmeen loved each other. They tried to date others, co parent, run a business together, but they loved each other. The love danced on every page. It is shown through the book. I needed them to get back together and work through things. 

I also loved the conversation on therapy. Therapy is a stigma in the Black Community so for Kennedy Ryan to highlight therapy in this book as a means of healing is beautiful. I am a huge advocate for therapy myself. I cried the first 5-10 minutes in my first therapy session. No words, just tears, because I needed it.

‘“Grief is a grind. It is the work of breathing and waking and rising and moving through a world that feels emptier. A gaping hole has been torn into your existence, and everyone around you just walks right past it like it’s not even there. But all you can do is stand and stare.”

Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan

Yasmeen, Josiah and their son go to therapy in the book. Josiah hated the idea of going to therapy but decided to go to therapy himself to show his son how therapy is. He believed that a therapist, a “shrink”, would not help him at all. It was evident in his first therapy session. He tried to fight against talking about his feelings by putting up a wall and a tough exterior.  He did not trust the process. His therapist appeared to be familiar with Black men having this struggle in talking about their feelings and asked the right questions to get Josiah to settle in and talk about them. I loved that. We see firsthand how therapy works and is important in the healing process.  I needed Josiah and Yasmeen to rekindle their relationship and work together on being in one household. They genuinely loved each other and that is rare. 

Okay, I think I spoiled enough of this book. I can go on for hours talking about how beautifully written this book is because the book is deserving of praise. We need to give Kennedy Ryan her flowers on this. This book is worthy of  5 stars. Happy Reading Folks!

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