Genre: Young Adult
I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.
I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed—her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…
I didn’t jump out.
I didn’t get embarrassed.
And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.
I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.
The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have.
He became my sanctuary.
Because—four hours earlier—my twin sister killed herself.
Ryan’s Bed has the potential to be a deeply emotional novel, but is bogged down by a juvenile high school subplot.
Ryan’s Bed follows Mackenzie after she discovers her twin’s death by suicide. Her entire life is upended, so she finds solace in Ryan’s literal bed. The story then follows Mackenzie as she deals with her emotions, starting a new life sans her other half, and discovering her identity.
I thoroughly enjoyed Tijan’s writing style and characterizations. Mackenzie’s thoughts and feelings are rigorously explored from start to finish. However, the manner in which Mackenzie grows as an individual are not fleshed out and feel half finished. This development is achieved through a high school Queen B bullying subplot and serious mental health issues.
Mackenzie attends a new school and because of her relationship with Ryan, the so-called “popular girls” target her in an attempt to make her life miserable. In a story that deals with such heavy material, adding a bullying subplot that eventually amounts to nothing is a waste of pages that could have added depth to Mackenzie’s mental health issues and family problems.
Overall, I was expecting Ryan’s Bed to be an all-encompassing novel that deals intimately with grief and love and how they can intertwine for the best and for the worst. Instead, Ryan’s Bed is a superficial look at those emotions and spends too much time with the juvenile high school subplot.
Have you read Ryan’s Bed? What did you think?