Grip by Kennedy Ryan

2 STARS

All I ask of those who choose to read this review is to remember that little saying – “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.” This is my opinion. Some of y’all are going to go away thinking I’m an asshole. Maybe even a bitch. Fair warning.

I’m still calling this one a loss for me and I realized why. This series wasn’t written for a chick like me. There are so many books on Amazon Kindle Unlimited that I should have been reading. There was zero reason for me to waste my time on a book that I knew would stereotype African Americans.

I don’t care to do a very long review on this one but it will still be pretty messy. Just like me!

First let’s here with the author has to say. . .

Synopsis 

Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out.
I know.
I’ve been doing it for years.
I may not have a musical gift of my own, but I’ve got a nose for talent and an eye for the extraordinary.
And Marlon James – Grip to his fans – is nothing short of extraordinary.
Years ago, we strung together a few magical nights, but I keep those memories in a locked drawer and I’ve thrown away the key.
All that’s left is friendship and work.
He’s on the verge of unimaginable fame, all his dreams poised to come true.
I manage his career, but I can’t seem to manage my heart.
It’s wild, reckless, disobedient.
And it remembers all the things I want to forget.

****************************************************************

I told y’all I didn’t really want to read this book, but I did after several of my reading peeps asked. I didn’t like the first book, so I made the decision to shake my hands of the series and call it a loss.

I am going to start by saying that the characters were written well. Both of the main characters had soul about them – I will give the writer that much. The story itself was kind of cute, excluding the times where black women were disrespected. The love between the MC came across very real and sweet.

There were a few touching moments between the two and that’s the ONLY thing that made me give this book 2 STARS.

As this book played up on soooooooooooo many African American stereotypes, you will find quite a few white American ones here in my review. I going to start with a Becky aka Bristol. Some of you may know what a Becky is and some may not. I’m not going to explain it to you because I don’t want to. So from here on out Bristol aka Bitch from Flow, will be referred to as Becky. I know the author gave you many terms that black Americans use but she left Becky out – no surprise there

Becky is the type of white girl African Americans often see hanging around black men. I don’t really care for Becky’s, they annoy me. I’d rather be around real white women than a Becky any day. Again – there is a huge difference between a Becky and white American women.

Who the fuck waits around for 8 years. Becky had zero dick for 8 years because she was so hung up on a dude who she shared a day or two with. Girl bye! Where were her friends at during this stupidity? I wanted to knock some sense into Becky. Her pussy wasn’t that golden where she couldn’t have a wee bit of fun with it. I mean shit, Grip was having plenty of fun with his dick during those 8 years. Idiot!

Maybe she was saving her secret golden pussy because she was so upset that what? Huh? I can’t hear you?

Oh, right. Grip was completely cliche when he got a young black woman pregnant? That must have been it. How can we not have a black men knocking up half of town? *Spoiler* The chick wasn’t even pregnant. Please excuse me while I jump off the cliche black men ferris wheel.

Just like in Flow, I hated how Grip felt the need to explain his blackness. I’m not explaining a damn thing. There are differences between black and white people so let’s not pretend like there isn’t. At the same time, don’t come looking at me for a history lesson because you sure as hell aren’t getting one. I didn’t even give one to my damn husband (He’s white. From Scotland. He had no true idea of what the African American was when we met.) He had to figure that shit out on his own. Granted he had more of a reason to as he loves me – this pretty little chocolate thang. LOL!!!!! Not to mention he has 2 black children and needed to understand the challenges that will face in life, especially his son.

Know and understand this much as said by Jesse Williams.

The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job. All right, stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

Let me take a quick break for a Bullshit Alert. . .

“If I judge all officers by the actions of one, how is that any different than them profiling us?” – Grip


Here’s my problem with this. I have a black son. He may be light-skinned because he is mixed but the world will ALWAYS see him as black. I have taught my 12 year old black son how to act around police officers because I want him to come home at night. I don’t want to bury my black son because some officer got “scared” of him for whatever reason they see fit. I don’t want my black son to become a martyr, I want him with me, forever. Until one person can guarantee that my black son’s life is not in jeporday because of the color of his skin by police officers, I will judge them.

By judge them, I don’t mean hate them. When I say judge, I’m referring to being cautious because at any given time his life could be at jeopardy. I don’t hate cops and I don’t encourage others to do so. What I do know is that black people have a long history as to why to fear them.

Love me or hate me for it. But know this before you decide to do so. . .the first time one my friends were murdered by the police was when I was 14 years old. This cop killing shit ain’t new. Black people have been dealing with it for years. Now the shit is just caught on tape. Note how I said the first time, not the only time. I don’t want my son to end up the same way.

I don’t want my son’s face on a board like this one. Unarmed and murdered because of his skin color.

My heart hurt reading Flow and Grip because I felt the black culture was made into a circus show. The love story was there, that’s a fact. The entire book I felt like Grip deserved a better woman, regardless of her race. He deserved someone who didn’t just say words that sound good coming out of her mouth, but in her head was still as closed-minded and judgmental. Over and over and over again black stereotypes were introduced and then given a reason why black people do it. From drugs, to prostitution, to rapping, to prison. It was just too much.

The day I start explaining my blackness and culture to someone I’m fucking is the day I will be ashamed of myself.

I hope Becky and Grip have a bright and beautiful future in the next book but I think I’m giving up on their story.

At the end of the day, this book was not written for someone like me, with my mindset and history. I should have never read it.

I know I got real messy with this one so it’s time for me to get pretty again. I’m just going to sit here and sip my tea while I read the emails from people who don’t like my review.

TTYL, lovers. . .

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21 thoughts on “Grip by Kennedy Ryan

  1. Rachelle Sassy Reader says:

    OMG!!! I already adore YOU!!! A blogger who doesn’t throw around 5 stars just because they know the author!!
    Your blog is definitely a breath of fresh air
    THANK YOU for being honest cannot wait to read more of your reviews 💜

    • prettygirlreading says:

      Thank you chica!!!! I’m definitely not going to sugarcoat anything. I find it irritating when blogs just hand out 4 and 5 star reviews for books that are shit. I see that a lot. Too much! 😉

  2. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Well Danielle as I’m not black I did not have the same “problems” you encountered in this one. I hated it for the first part because it was “hot and cold” like you said she waited 8 years!!! but I ended loving the last part.
    Excellent review messy or not 😉

    • prettygirlreading says:

      Thanks Sophie!!! That’s why I didn’t want to read this series because after Flow. I had a feeling. I’m glad you liked it though. 😍

  3. Goral says:

    Thanks for this honest review. This is why I don’t ready any IR romance written by Becky, its like she don’t even try to give us any humanity at all!! black men have been and always will be their BBC and nothing more.

    • prettygirlreading says:

      Crazy thing is she’s not a Becky. She’s biracial. But you are right, I don’t read IR’s by Becky’s either. There is only one that I’ve read that didn’t bother me and that was because their race was never discussed. The way this books describes black women broke my heart. We were all ghetto and pissed that the guy was with a white girl. So many stereotypes.

  4. Danielle A says:

    I wanted to read this book but I was very skeptical about how black women would be portrayed in it and that kept me from reading it. If you want to read a good book that touches police brutality and is a romance read The Truth of Things by Tasha L. Harrison.

    • prettygirlreading says:

      I went and downloaded The Truth of Things on my Kindle. Thanks for the heads up on that one. The blurb sounds good. This book does no favors for black women at all. It was quite hurtful to be honest. There were too many little digs.

  5. Reading Frenzy Book Blog says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one, Danielle. To me, if a person chooses to no longer be ignorant of racial or cultural issues and differences, I’m all for helping to educate them. I would respect someone for asking and actively listening. I didn’t mind Bristol’s honest questions.

    I also didn’t feel Grip was naive about the police. His mother ingrained in him to always make it home safely no matter what. He anticipated being pulled over by cops. The incident with the new car proved that he knew what to expect and how to handle it. The author is a black woman with a black son so I believe she is sensitive to this issue.

    I get why you might think of some things as stereotypes, but there were many aspects that are just sad truths that people live with. Granted, it’s fiction so there’s more presented on than average.

    Just my take for what it’s worth.

    • prettygirlreading says:

      This is one of the reasons I love chatting with you. We get to have these honest conversations.

      My sister is similar to you in the respect of having conversations with people of different cultures and backgrounds. I’m not that person but I love that my sister is. I’m not the girl to look at for those conversations because of my own story and personal reasons. (I won’t go into them here because that would take a novel itself.) Most people think because my husband is white that I am more tolerant of others naivety but that is not true. My story is different. My story is deep and rooted in concrete prejudice and disrespect by white people. So no, I have no desire educate anyone. If they want to talk to someone, I will give them my sister’s phone number. That doesn’t make me a bad person, just an honest one.

      Bristol, aka Becky, annoyed the shit out of me. Her questions may have been honest but her character was written as this white girl who was so culturally diverse but yet she was so ignorant. She was a smart, dumb person. She made almost zero good choices in the whole book to me. Don’t even get me started on the ex-boyfriend mess. LOL!!!!! There were too many contradictions to her character.

      This story played up to racism as white Americans see it and not how it really is. It was like a Q & A for people who make no effort to find out anything on their own. I don’t wrap things up in pretty packages to hand out to white people who feel bad about what their ancestors did. That’s my truth.

      To be one hundred, I can’t rock with a book that describes black women the way it did. Too many “angry black woman” stereotypes.

      I am very much aware that the author is black but that makes no difference to me. I can kind of see where she was trying to go but it just didn’t work for me.

      The comment about not judging the police made no sense to me and played into what people “think” we, as black people, should say or feel. It would be nice to think that way but it’s not reality. Grip did a complete 360 when he made that comment considering his experiences. To me, it was a bullshit statement that he most likely didn’t believe when he said it.

      Let’s be real for a second. I don’t even allow my son to play outside with his NERF gun because of the police. Even though we leave in the suburbs in a big house, we are still black and we are still judged.

      The whole book to me was like, “Oh, you did good. . . for a black man.” “Look at you over there achieving something even though you are black.” “I can talk to you because you aren’t like the other black people.”

      It was never, “Wow! You are good!”

      • prettygirlreading says:

        I forgot to add something else. My problem with Becky was that she never saw people, she saw skin tones. It was never, “This person acts like” or “This person thinks.” It was always, “This black person acts like” or “This black person thinks”

        Because this is a romance novel at the end of the day, I couldn’t see how Grip could love a chick like Becky.

      • Reading Frenzy Book Blog says:

        I hope I’m replying in the right place! I don’t know your back story, but I do know that not every reader is going to feel the same way about a book. You are absolutely entitled to your opinions, even if I don’t understand all your objections and I plain old didn’t have the same take. I don’t want to belabor the point because we all have other books to read, but I will say that I didn’t see Bristol as being culturally diverse. At all. She freely admits she’s lived a privileged, entitled, uninformed life. She knows she’s ignorant. We have waaay too many happily ignorant people walking around. Hello, Mr. President. I guess I am like your sister. I don’t want to discourage anyone from wanting to know better and therefore doing better. Getting off my soap box now.

      • prettygirlreading says:

        Girl….our president is a joke! I refuse to put the word president followed by that mans name. 😂 My sister is a pretty awesome person, so you reminding me of her is a wonderful thing.

    • Angel says:

      I agree with Reader Frenzy Book Blog.

      I am black and I thought the author handled the situation. She was not biased and showed the issues that BOTH sides deal with. Sadly, a lot of white women ARE like Bristol. They don’t get it, and so you have to take the time ti make them understand. This is what makes Grip and exceptional black man. The majority of black people would tell her fuck off and be angry about the “racist white chick”. But he was patient and took the time to make her see things differently.

      You wouldn’t take the time to explain shit to anyone? That’s fine. You’ve just lumped yourself in with the majority of angry, easily-insulted black people who scream “racism!” for everything.

      Also, black women having a problem with black men dating white women is a “stereotype”?
      Hello? Are you kidding me with this? Just take read through The Shade Room’s comments. It’s insane. And this is 2018!

      I see you’ve quoted Jesse Williams above. Do you know that the majority of black women have much black balled him since he left his black wife for a white woman? Just yesterday when he posted his disapproval of HM’s campaign, there wre comments along the lines of you, “You left your black wife for a white woman You no longer have the right to speak on behalf of black people!” and “Who’s he to talk. He left his black wife.” and “Hes not even full black! He should shut up.”

      So tell me again that what the author wrote is a “stereotype.” It’s not. It’s likely she a little more “woke” than you are.

      Not because you have moved on from a certain way of thinking does it mean other black women have. I feel disgusted by my own kind sometimes when I read through comments from black women on places like Baller Alert and The Shade Room.

      • prettygirlreading says:

        I’m going to reply to you as nicely as I can. You are the ONLY person who has came at me in such an aggressive way. I make it a point to never reply to nasty comments but since you have so many silly, nasty comments, I am going to make an exception for you.

        Angela raised valid points that I would never try to discredit. Lots of people are open to discussing race with non-minorites but I am not. That doesn’t make me a bad person or – let me quote you here, “angry, easily-insulted black people who scream “racism!” for everything.” You seem to be quite angry, though.

        Fact – Nowhere in my review do you hear me call Becky a racist because I don’t think she is. Becky is ignorant but not racist. You will never hear me call someone racist because they are uneducated on black history and daily struggles. That’s just silliness. That’s like being being mad at a baby for pissing on the floor because they haven’t been potty trained.

        Everyone has to find their own likes and dislikes thoughout their lifetime. My purpose in life is not to explain my blackness. That doesn’t stem from a lack of understanding their ignorance, it’s just because I don’t want to. And because I don’t want to doesn’t make me angry. I just don’t give a fuck. There is a difference.

        To help educate you, as you are gaining your information from the wrong places. There is a difference between individual bias and structural racism. Becky is a bi-product of structural racism. Here’s a link to a video of an UK rapper (who is very woke, mind you) explaining the difference. https://www.facebook.com/AFROPUNK/videos/10153687673271623/

        I think it may help you.

        I wouldn’t call Grip exceptional man for is little Q&A sessions with Becky. Just like I wouldn’t call my sister exceptional having her Q&A sessions with non-minorities (which she does it all the time) and I love her.

        I’m going to quote you again here. . .
        “Also, black women having a problem with black men dating white women is a “stereotype”? Hello? Are you kidding me with this? Just take read through The Shade Room’s comments. It’s insane. And this is 2018!”

        First, no, I don’t read The Shade Room and I have no intention to start now. I have better things to do with my time than worry about what’s going on in some random celebrities life.

        I am a black who woman and couldn’t give a flying fuck if a black man dates outside of his race. What I do care about is his happiness. If he is happy and loved, what does the color of his woman’s skin have to do with it. There are some black women who care but they are not the majority. I would suggest you try to find your education of black women somewhere other than The Shade Room.

        As far as Jesse Williams goes. . . Who gives a shit that he left his wife for a white woman? Does that discredit his speech? Does that make it somehow void? I think not. His speech was amazing and valid. He has done outstanding things in the black community. How do we know he left his wife for a white woman? We don’t know what goes on in his house. If you and others took the time to look into the successful charities he has founded I might take you and them more seriously. As long as people like yourself gain your knowledge from trashy websites shit like this will forever be a problem. If you agree with those who think Jesse should no longer represent for the black community, that makes you ignorant as well. I again encourage you to find a different place to educate yourself because The Shade Room is doing you no favors.

        I believe there is a bit in this book where Grip states that dating a white didn’t mean he doesn’t love black people. Since you love the book so much and think Grip is so exceptional I thought you would know that.

        As for your question of, “So tell me again that what the author wrote is a “stereotype.” It’s not. It’s likely she a little more “woke” than you are.”

        Please feel free to read my review again to note the stereotypes I see. Being “woke” is a relative term. What you see as woke doesn’t mean that it someone else’s idea of being woke. You come across sleepy ass hell.

        As you stated, “Not because you have moved on from a certain way of thinking does it mean other black women have. I feel disgusted by my own kind sometimes when I read through comments from black women on places like Baller Alert and The Shade Room.”

        We are on the same page here. Yes, I have moved on. Yes, you should feel disgusted when you see black women who have a problem with IR relationships. I would rather read a book than waste my time on Baller Alert and The Shade Room.

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