Fiction - Womens
341 Pages
Reviewed on 01/12/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Ride is a work of fiction in the women’s fiction, interpersonal drama, and music subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Zachary Ryan. The storyline follows two sisters, Alayna and Morgan, who are brought back together by the death of their mother, and in turn, are both forced to examine the paths their lives have taken since Morgan left town to pursue her dreams, and Alayna’s aspirations were cut to shreds. Morgan’s fame and fortune aren’t all they're cracked up to be, but Alayna’s seemingly settled life is also fraught with pain. What follows is an emotive and powerful tale of trying to reconcile and pick up the pieces of a broken family mired in grief.

Author Zachary Ryan has lovingly crafted a powerful story about family dynamics, pressures, and dreams that will make a superbly engrossing read for any fan of women’s fiction. For me personally, Morgan’s story was the more gripping because I really related to her sense of loss after loss and the hopelessness that engenders, but there’s also just as much care and emotion put into the narration and dialogue around Alayna’s clash between obligation and aspiration. I was also really moved by the use of Lana Del Ray’s lyrics and emotion as an inspiration basis for the characters and their shared trauma, as I am a big fan of her music anyway and it made me want to play it all again. Overall, I would certainly recommend Ride to fans of family dramas and highly atmospheric, emotive writing.

Jennifer Ibiam

Morgan and Alayna were children of failed Hollywood celebrities, but the parents favored one of the siblings. Alayna was the singing star, her mother’s favorite, and a cash cow, so Morgan lived in her shadow. When their father walked out on them, Morgan’s life became a living hell, and Alayna was helpless against their cruel mom’s manipulation. Morgan ran off to Los Angeles to pursue a dream of filmmaking, leaving her sister to the brutal treatment of their mom. Years later, their mother succumbed to cancer, and they all came together for her funeral. There was a lot of bad blood, anger, and resentment between the sisters and toward their father. Can they let go of the past to become a united family again? Ride by Zachary Ryan relates their story.

Can women truly have it all? How far will you go to achieve your dreams? Ride by Zachary Ryan is a captivating novel centered on parenting, depression, suicide, love, forgiveness, and mental health. It also discusses the dilemmas often encountered by people on their way to career fulfillment and their struggle with compromise and family balance. There are lessons to be learned from this novel. The most important of all is that we must attain physical, mental, and emotional maturity before having children. Bad parenting leads to unhappy children and broken adults flooding society, which is dangerous. Alayna and Morgan were relatable, but I connected more with Morgan. She was broken but had a firm hold on her dreams, while Alayna was a whiner. I also liked Ivan and Noah for their thoughtfulness. Great job, Ryan!

Emma Megan

Ride by Zachary Ryan is a must-read novel following two sisters as they try to move forward from trauma. Alayna and Morgan have had their fair share of struggles and fights but they both agree that their mother was an evil woman. Ironically, after two years of not being in contact with each other, their mother's funeral forces them to face their demons together. Morgan and Alayna both want the same thing: to move past their family drama and become a family again. Unfortunately, Alayna can't get rid of her mother's voice which still controls her life and Morgan suffers the stigma of being a boyfriend killer. How will Alayna avoid being everyone’s doll or another broken-hearted dreamer like her mother was? How will Morgan let go of her past stigma and avoid being defined by it?

Ride by Zachary Ryan is a haunting and compelling novel about familial wounds, family drama, suicide, substance abuse, forgiveness, and reconciliation. It is a masterfully told story inspired by the music of Lana Del Rey. It's predominantly an empowering and emotionally intense tale about sisterhood and how complicated and fulfilling that relationship can be. I loved how it touches on what it means to deal with loss and the stigmas surrounding your mistakes, and how to realize that your parents are human too; how we can change from being a controlled or broken person. It also shows us we can sacrifice our dreams to support the dreams of others in some situations. I highly recommend this heart-wrenching yet hopeful tale to all fans of family dramas and sister stories.