The Most Important Love Story of the Year, #GripStol


How do you write a review for something that no matter what anyone says it will not do it any justice?

Grip defies defining

The story of Grip and Bristol was recommended to me more than once, but it took the passion (and peer pressure) of Imani (of Enamored Reads), to have me pick it up and have the characters forever etched into my heart, my soul- my very being.


I’ll be there.

Through thick and thin.

Ride or die.

You can count on me.

The promises people make. The vows we take.

Assumptions of the heart.

Emotion tells us how we feel, but life…life has a way of plunging us in boiling water, burning away our illusions, testing our faith, trying our convictions.

Love floating is a butterfly, but love tested is an anchor.

For Grip and Bristol,

Love started at the top of the world

On a Ferris wheel under the stars

But when that love is tested, will they fly or fall?

I admit I am afraid to write this review, I fear a redundancy within my thoughts and feelings because of how this story has a way of resonating with anyone who reads it (even if just a little bit).

STILL is not just a sequel, but a resounding voice that needs to be heard.  If you have read STILL, or are gearing up to read STILL, you have already read FLOW and GRIP and are aware of the relationship that draws you in, holds you captive, keeps you reading- but you are also aware of the ever important topics, real life talk as I like to say, that are the very glue of the story- holding it all together. Because without the realness, without the hurdles this couple has to jump over (and sometimes smash their way through) you wouldn’t have a story, truly.

If you have read GRIP, you would know that both Grip and Bristol are individually very strong characters, but they also have fabulously realistic flaws- making them that much more relatable, despite being fiction.

These two brilliantly written characters do not have a perfect relationship, but what they do have is a love without walls. Yes STILL is as sexy as ever, with scenes so emotionally and sexually charged you’ll peek over the book, just to see if anyone notices the faces you are undoubtedly making. However, in STILL their love is tested too (even more so than in GRIP), it is tested by family, by friends, by things out of their control and by each other. Through every trial thrown at them, every proverbial sucker-punch that they are hit with, they fight together, and for each other. If ever there was a couple (fictional or not) that you were to strive to be, not just be, but encompass- it would be Grip and Bristol.

The watch may have finally stopped working, but we still work. We’ll always work. In a world of pieces that never seem to fit, we do. We work. We make sense when nothing else does…

“I’m your home Bristol.”

He’s so certain. He never wavers in his love for me, in his certainty that we belong together no what anyone ever says.


We feel the things we need to know instead of saying them. With my chest pressed to his back, forgiveness, love, understanding, and tenderness transfer noiselessly between the layers of our clothes, and emotional osmosis through blood and bone, through hurt and fear. I don’t know how I realized this was what we needed, but I did. It’s hard to touch when you’re fighting. The anger is like a force field, keeping your bodies as far apart as your opinions. I knew if we could feel each other, my breath syncing with his, my heartbeat seeking the rhythm of his, my nose buried in his neck, his hands hooked under my legs- if we could get back here, touching, we could right ourselves.

And we have.

It is difficult not to just quote the entire book to you, to fill this review with endless prose written by Ms. Kennedy- because it would be so easy to do. The characters come alive, off the pages (or screen) and into your hearts immediately. And not just Grip and Bristol- but their family, their friends, each relationship is part of the bigger web that IS Grip and Bristol. I care about them as much as I care about our main couple- even when I don’t want to at times (I’m looking at you Qwest, and you too Jade..).

In a time when the book community is clamoring for more diverse reads, Kennedy Ryan has given you the very definition of a diverse book. You will hear, over and over, how real and raw this story is (and by story, I mean as a whole, beginning with FLOW and ending with STILL)- and that’s because it really really is. I have not read anything else that can compare. Full of a unabashed honesty about things that are (always) relative topics that are sometimes difficult to broach (racism, bigotry, social injustices), but Kennedy … for lack of any better phrasing… gives no fucks in the all the best ways possible.

“And I will have uncomfortable conversations with you. I’ll confess embarrassing things so you understand me. Whatever it takes. Listening to [DH] tonight helped me understand that even if I find bias in myself, if I am ignorant in some way, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It means I don’t know.”

Kennedy has given us prose to open up lines of communication, to find the courage to confess embarrassing things, to admit our ignorance and bias but to also learn from it, by it, to regard things with opened eyes.

The best part about Grip and Bristol, is their story will always be here for us to come back to, evermore, even after.

“Still?” she asks with a watery smile.

“Yeah.” Always. Evermore. Even after. “Still.”


Read STILL Today!

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Read GRIP Today for only 99¢!

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