When you don’t have any idea who you are, how do you decide who you want to be?
Who is Ryan Ester? The Southern-belle-in-training her estranged father wants her to be? The laid-back Montana girl she became after her parents’ divorce? Or someone she has to discover on her own?
When Ryan’s only shot at going to college is on her father’s dime, Ryan leaves Bluffs, Montana to return to the antebellum South she once called home. As if the move wasn’t hard enough, Ryan’s first love, who recently left her a broken-hearted mess, has a scholarship to none other than Ryan’s destination, the University of the South.
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.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Red Coat PR via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Torn between her Southern roots and Montana dwelling, Ryan was a character I really hoped I could relate to – at least partially due to my own upbringing far away from the place in which I was born. However it unfortunately wasn’t the case as our dear protagonist was really hard to like… I mean REALLY hard to like – right from the beginning of the book she struck me as very indecisive, to the point where it was almost painful to read the prologue which rarely happens whenever I read books – especially with the books which I was as hyped to read as this one due to their outstanding reviews on sites such as Goodreads… I just really didn’t like the fact that she seemed to break hearts left and right without really giving it much thought… and I have also had the same problem as some other readers in believing that there were that many hearts that she was given to break – I mean the girl wasn’t exactly the epitome of kindness and I was just surprised to find so many guys (nice guys I may mention) were willing to fall in love with her, some in a very short period of time…
So whilst the heroine herself wasn’t exactly pleasing, a lot of other things about this book luckily were, and I guess it was those things that helped to stop the impending disaster which I thought this book was going to turn out as.
One of the aforementioned things was the writing style… Davis’ writing is one of the most beautiful I have had the chance to read – the choice of words was exquisite and the story would have flowed beautifully had some scenes not been dragged out a little too long… whilst only 403 pages long, this book seemingly could have easily been two full-length books albeit I am not sure if it would have solved the issue of the book’s pace.
Another thing that really, really helped me get through the story were the supporting characters. I absolutely loved Goody and her Southern charm – some of the phrases she used made me chuckle and wonder if there are actual real, live people who exclaim phrases such as
“I could scare a buzzard off a gut pile”
“Well, tie me to a pig and roll me in the mud!”
as though they are normal vocabulary, but her ever-present, positive state of mind was refreshing to say the least, especially when Ryan herself was having a whiny moment… which was most of the time.
Another character whom I thought was a good addition to the story was Geoffrey, he was as Ryan herself stated perfect… yet somehow our protagonist kept pining for the guy she broke up with (I never understood her motives really when it came to Manny)… I felt incredibly sorry for him after Ryan all but stomped over his beautiful heart, and could only hope that he found exactly what he was looking for at Harvard.
Overall, this book was neither a disappointment or a blessing. It was definitely one of those books which I think I would have enjoyed much more had I something in common with the main character, so I would recommend it to college (or university as we call it here in England) aged readers, who are perhaps a little lost in life and need to feel less alone – I think this book might just help you do that.
MY RATING: 3/5 Stars
“Truth is black and white. It is, or it isn’t”