I had the opportunity of reading this book titled Ray Ryan. Its author, Aiden Riley, gives a rather nostalgic account of his childhood days leading into adulthood. The writer's love for his mother is duly noted throughout the book. She played a strong influence in her son's upbringing, offering encouragement and loving support that made a difference in his life.
Ray is a boy who would rather read a book than get involved in antics that could lead to trouble. This is what his best friend, Kevin, is most likely to do. Unfortunately, Ray ended up in detention on his first day in 7th grade, along with Corey, the school bully.
Ray falls in love with Anna, a girl in his class, much to the displeasure of Corey, who also has a crush on her. As Ray and his friends get older, the urge to succumb to peer pressure, especially Kevin's strong influence after he stole marijuana from drug dealers, leaves them divided between loyalty and concern for Kevin.
Ray Ryan is written in a very relaxed first person narrative, as if Aiden Riley was telling it to someone himself. It relates to a group of young adults who learn to cope with the problems of romance, friendship and family life as they meet new challenges that come their way. The story nicely captures the mixed emotions of the author, as he recalls the happiness and the sad times of his younger days. I am impressed with Aiden Riley as it is his first novel.