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Book Review on Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan

At the start of just about any relationship, we get caught up in how the other person makes us feel. Caught up in endorphins that have us tinkering on the borderline of insanity. When we get to the phase of should we get married, we're still only thinking of the positive in the relationship. Never once contemplating the downfall. Before I Let Go is a beautifully written story about a black woman that lost so much, she almost lost herself. But with a little bit of healing and lots of therapy, she's ready to reclaim it all. "Before I let go of the past and grab hold of a future without him, I have to be sure. "

Yasmen Wade is a happily divorced woman, co-parenting with her ex-husband, Josiah Wade. They appear to be the ideal divorced couple. Showing up to all of their kid's activities and events together, giving the appearance of a united front. But after Josiah gets a new love interest, readers are left wondering if Yasmen is only happily divorced because her relationship with Josiah still gives the illusion as if they're still married. Not only is Josiah's new love interest delicately intertwined in Yasmen's life, but her kids gravitate towards her, leaving Yasmine feeling even more inadequate. Especially when her daughter, Deja, acts as if she hates her. When Josiah decides to make his relationship public, it ignites something in her. "The pain and the implications of it are too much to process, so I reach for an easier emotion. Anger. He's getting his? I'm getting mine?" What was supposed to be two divorced people moving on, turns into realization for both parties, and even some outside parties. "'It was great meeting Vashti. She's very sweet.' She looks up at me, her smile in place, but eyes narrowed. 'I'd hate to see that girl get hurt.'"

Josiah Wade is a man that's always so sure of himself. His impromptu proposal to Yasmeen was proof of that. When you know, you know. So, when Yasmeen decides that they should get divorced, she left him feeling unsure, contradicting what he's always felt. But he was certain he would never allow her to hurt him again. "She has proven she cannot be trusted, and I'd be a fool to ever believe otherwise." When Yasmen gives him a taste of his own medicine, and begins to date, he's left feeling uncertain, once again. Only this time he has a therapist to help him talk things through, helping him realize things he was once too foolish to realize. "Because I'm apparently not good at losing things, and I'm really bad at losing you."

I loved how realistic this book was. Sometimes there's so much pain and hurt in a relationship, it's hard for the two people in it to find the light, or the reason that they were even together. Yasmen's daughter, Deja, hated her because she felt as if her mom destroyed her family. Not realizing that depression and anxiety are real illnesses. In order for Yasmen to give her all to Josiah, she had to make herself whole again. There was also lots of therapy in this book. For so long therapy has been taboo in our society, but Kennedy sent the entire family to therapy, which I felt was imperative for their healing process. From the soul food restaurant to Yasmen's friends, I loved everything about this book (with the exception of Deja and Vashti... lol). This book is easily one of my favorite reads this year. I loved every page of it!

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