On why Kennedy Ryan is now one of my favorite authors, or; Flow and GRIP Review part 1


I wouldn’t have missed this for my burrito.

Same, Grip, same.

I am going to try and do this as spoiler free as I can, it’s hard to do when I am overwhelmed with all the feels.

Let’s begin this magical fucking journey with Flow, GRIP 0.5 (so, your standard prequel- but it MUST be read before reading GRIP)-

In 8 years, Marlon James will be one of the brightest rising stars in the music industry. 

Bristol Gray will be his tough, no-nonsense manager. 

But when they first meet, she’s a college student finding her way in the world, and he’s an artist determined to make his way in it. 

From completely different worlds, all the things that should separate them only draw them closer. 

It’s a beautiful beginning, but where will the story end? 

“A rapper’s flow is like . . .” He chews his full bottom lip, jiggling it back and forth, as if the action might loosen his thoughts. “It’s like the rhythmic current of the song. Think of it as a relationship between the music and the rapper’s phrasing or rhythmic vocabulary, so to speak. You make choices about how many phrases you place in a measure. Maybe you want an urgent feeling, so you squeeze a lot of phrasing into a measure. Maybe you want a laid back feel, and you leave space; you hesitate. Come in later than the listener expects.”

This prequel novella is less than 150 pages, and I have 50 passages highlighted- I should just go back and highlight the whole damn book if I am being honest with myself. Kennedy Ryan has a way with words, her flow – if you will- is seemingly effortless. Either you have it, or you don’t and Miss Ryan has it. In droves. She knows how to make the right choices about phrasing, about placement of said phrasing and a way to connect you with the characters on a deeper level than I ever expected.

I knew going into this that it was a romance, but what I didn’t expect was the so much more that it is. There is a realness, an unabashed rawness in Flow (and GRIP as well) that takes you by the hand and makes you pay attention with the softest nudge.

In conversations like these, before we say our words, they’re ammunition. After we’ve said them, they’re smoking bullets. There seems to be no middle ground and too little common ground for dialogue to be productive. We just tiptoe around things, afraid we’ll offend or look ignorant, be misunderstood. Honesty is a risk few are willing to take.

Flow (and GRIP) are honest. There is no tiptoeing, just a conscious level of social awareness. If you feel like there was too much nonfiction in this fictional romance, then this story was not meant for you- or maybe it was, and you need to re read it. Again and again and again.

Marlon James is tasked with picking up his best friend’s twin sister from the airport, with a dated photo and a name he arrives at the airport and meets Bristol. Their meeting is filled with a bit of back and forth as Bristol was expecting her brother to pick her up. Eventually, over a meal they learn far more about each other through conversation that typically can cause much tension between people- not just fictional characters, but real people and Kennedy Ryan does it with such stark tenderness that it leaves you… left me enamored.  Enamored with Grip, with Bristol, with their honesty, and their connection.

With her coming where she’s from, and me coming from where I’m from, there should be a vast ocean separating us, filled with our differences and all the reasons we should never meet on shore.

Throughout the prequel you feel it, the pull. They have their reasons for resisting, and their souls come together in a silent explosion on top of the world.

I wish I could share with you all of my favorite parts of Flow, but it would defeat the purpose of you reading it for yourselves. It would eliminate the emotional connection weaved between reader and character in less than 150 pages that needs to be there to guide you through GRIP. While this is the beginning of their story, while Marlon and Bristol recognize in each other the other half of their souls, there is an uphill battle of self-sacrifice to overcome before anyone gets their happily ever after.

We know each other. Not in terms of hours or days, but something deeper. Something more elemental. I can’t deny it, but I have no idea what to do with it.


Flow ebook is FREE on Amazon -So you really have no excuse whatsoever to read it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s