Ray Ryan by Aiden Riley

Starting off with the death of his mother, the protagonist of this novel, Ray Ryan, which is also the title of the book, written by Aiden Riley, feels at a loss, not quite sure how to go on after experiencing such a harrowing interruption of life. Time doesn’t stop though, as the years pass him by, changing the setting from the early nineties, to the later ones, before settling upon the new millennium, Ray Ryan is no longer a small boy, but rather an adolescent who is transitioning into becoming a young man. He’s not the biggest kid around the town of Nottingham, but he makes his presence known through the words he speaks, and through the dream of becoming a writer that he yearns for so desperately. His world is turned upside down when his best friend makes a horrible decision, causing him to gain the kind of enemies no one would ever want to have. All the while, Ray strives to go on, learning about himself as he continues to grow and change, aiming to help those around him who have lost their way.

This is an entertaining story about a boy growing up, facing adversity along the way, but still persevering in the end. It’s a tale of loss, love, and looking ahead to the future, while remaining grounded within the day to day fears we all face. Riley chronicles Ray’s journey from boyhood to his current place in life in a well paced and endearing way. That’s not to say the narrative isn’t filled with trials along the way, because it certainly is, but the characters described in this story are the kind that the reader is bound to be rooting for. All in all, this is an engaging and enjoyable read that examines what it’s like for a young boy to become acquainted with the realities of life.

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