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for Sophomore Year

7/22 c4 Guest
Lucky for me you're working on 2 Ryan journeys at the same time. 2 times the thanks for that!

My POV is that Sandy has always been more invested in Ryan and definitely closer to him. I'm not sure that Kirsten ever really thought about how long Ryan would be around, taking it more as it came instead of long range. She could write checks and go to fund raisers, but she had nothing in common with Ryan and the life he'd been living. Trying to do more than the basics wasn't going to happen. She left that to Sandy or hoped that it wouldn't be necessary. I don't think that she was prepared to really get involved or for upheaval. She was just relieved that Seth wasn't having more issues and was staying put and she could focus on her routine. Learning about the ugliness and having to face that wasn't really part of the plan. Now Sandy's right about it going on too long and Ryan suffering for it. It's getting harder for him and will only get worse. I know that it has to be hard for Sandy to have the confrontation, but he's all in and he won't lie to her. He also needs to know where she stands. She'll probably never have the kind of commitment and definitely not the kind of relationship with Ryan, but at least Sandy cleared the air.

I just read the update for your other story and the same goes here with Luke and Ryan's friendship. I always thought that they had the basis for a natural, easy friendship and was sorry that was cut short. I also think that Ryan would easily have other friends, although the focus should be Luke for the sake of the story. Summer started out really superficial, but I thought that she changed for the better and she also had the basis for a friendship with Ryan and they'd stay friends in an easygoing way.

Ryan's and Sandy's relationship rings true and it's not always about the words, but the pauses and body language and what they're thinking too, all of which you convey very well. They feel so much like a father and son, but also close friends too. Their interactions are my favorites and I end up reading any over again.

If you want me to be worried about Ryan, you're doing it. Without any of his PTSD and all the burdens he tries to carry, he'd already be struggling with all of his responsibilities and the demands he puts on himself. Putting it together, and it's hard to believe that he can stay afloat at all. He's had to be so self-reliant and resilient, but he's human and pushed to his limits.
7/21 c4 Guest
Anxiously awaiting chapter 5…it’s been a while!
7/9 c4 Guest
Vacation review #2. I'm loving this story too. I wanted to literally cheer when Sandy called Kirsten out. Finally. Maybe it's because they're in Berkeley and Caleb doesn't have the hold in Newport? A shift? Maybe he just couldn't wait any longer because it's been too costly? I'm really curious to see what it means for them all. Ryan's had to follow Kirsten's lead always. She "let him into her house," as she said. Ouch. Ironically, he was the one who showed more courage when he had everything to lose, like at the intervention. There's a lot to reflect on and sort out, including how Ryan has his radar on high alert with everything he's been going through and not able to bury or forget no matter how much is on his plate. Sandy's new determination will have an impact on his relationship with Kirsten, certainly, but most of all on what he can do for Ryan that should have been a priority before this. Thanks for digging in!
6/30 c4 Guest
Thanks very much for a bright spot in all the gloom lately. You're writing what we should have seen all along well before Berkeley, and now in Berkeley too. I'm agreeing 100% about PTSD and have to wonder what would have been for Ryan if someone had acted earlier, but no turning back time. Now it's about what Sandy can do going forward and also a good opportunity for Luke as the friend he wasn't really allowed to be before. Of course, I'm all about Ryan and Sandy and I hope that Sandy doesn't fall short because I know that things will only become harder for Ryan and you can pull back that curtain.
6/25 c4 Guest
After all of the anger and discouragement and so many other feelings because of the latest news, this is the perfect distraction to try to forget all of that.

Thanks for tapping into Sandy's honest emotions and how much he cares about Ryan and how he's at a loss with Kirsten. He had to be bothered for a long time and finally felt like he had to confront her because he had no choice. I would have paid to see that on screen, but this is a close second! I also get lost in any of Ryan's and Sandy's interactions, so they always ring true and stick with me. You write them so well and make it real.
6/24 c4 Baloo
Thanks for updating! Looking forward to the next chapter - bring on the angst!
6/23 c4 Guest
I wish I had time to really do this justice, but I want you to know how much I'm hooked on this and can't wait to see what you have next for Ryan's journey. Thanks for doing what the writing pros didn't!
6/22 c4 Guest
I was literally hanging on Sandy's every word. That must have been building up inside for at least a couple of years. I could feel how frustrated he was and how he knew how Kirsten would react. She might talk the talk, but when it comes to the walking part, not so much. I think that she's always needed a push unless some change is her idea and definitely when it comes to Ryan. It's much easier to keep the status quo or not go too far. I don't know if this was hard to write or if it came pouring out, but I'm so glad you did!

I was waiting to see if Sandy would let anything slip when he saw Ryan, not so much about Kirsten, but letting on that things weren't quite right. Maybe Ryan picked up on it. Maybe Ryan was still sorting out what he couldn't bury anymore. Some of both? There's plenty that has to be dealt with that's related in different ways ultimately. There's still that great connection with Ryan and Sandy, even with some little bit of dancing around the truth.

Ryan and Summer were a nice, light touch. Flapjacks too, of course!

Then to end on that note with Sandy finding out about Mimi. He has to wonder how many ordeals Ryan has struggled with.

Thanks for giving me so much to think about and to anticipate.
6/22 c4 1deviltown
Oh wow. I guess it got get bad before it gets good. Poor Ryan. That Kirsten and Sandy conversation was tough but much needed. I'm excited to see what's coming next even though I know it's gonna be angsty
6/21 c4 Guest
Right out of the gate, I was so on board. Only Sandy could have that conversation with Kirsten. He's honest with himself and with her, but she really never has been. Sure, her relationship with Ryan, whatever it might be, has been and always will be different than Ryan's and Sandy's, but she set the tone and the rules. That was all up to her and for Ryan to try to follow along so he didn't upset her and figure out what she wanted. Like Sandy thinks later in the chapter, Ryan is very, or too sharp. He's very observant, but he can't force things when he's not in a strong position, especially and he can't read minds. He has, IMHO, taken more risks with Kirsten than she has.

Sandy's right that she had to be choosing to ignore and overlook what made her uncomfortable or what was inconvenient. Would that be why she was pushing Ryan towards people who had only hurt or rejected him? She had to know plenty and suspect more. It didn't have to be put on a billboard.

It's not an easy conversation and it's heated and emotional, but it has been years coming. I'm so glad that you have it in this story. Now I'll be wondering where it leads.

I'm always on board for Ryan and Sandy time, of course. I take it as some of the hours that were missing from TV and this is so natural that you have me feel like I can watch it happening. I know that Ryan is trying to get a handle on so much and struggling, so Sandy's question has him hesitant about any reasons with the timing.

I was always hoping that Ryan and Summer would have their own friendship independent of anyone else. She grew up after the first year or so that Ryan was in Newport and he would have helped to change her for the better. Seeing that grow, just like Ryan's and Luke's relationship, was something else we missed out on, along with Ryan and Sandy.

Thank you again for doing what the show couldn't do or didn't want to do. I'm looking forward to the next!
6/20 c3 Guest
This is exactly what I needed on a Monday, although I guess that I could have enjoyed a little earlier. Let me say that you really got my attention with Sandy and Kirsten. There were so many times that I wanted her to get it, to knock some sense into her and she just frustrated me when it came to Ryan. At best, she could be all over the map, but mostly in a certain place. I was ready to clap for Sandy, no matter how disappointed he had to be here and must have been all along. He needs her to understand and be on the same page for him, but especially for Ryan and he seems to be out of answers. This is as much as he's been honest and pushed, and she needed to know how he feels. I'd say that he was getting desperate to have her stop and really think. You make it so real and write it so well. Bravo! I read it 3 times. Sandy makes so many good points, especially about how the emotional parts of any trauma would have someone, especially a child block things out or that a young child would have sketchy memories if any at all and could have been told lies that changed those.

I love getting snapshots of Ryan's life, starting with his routines with Luke and the easygoing, honest, relaxed friendship they have. Having quick looks at rounding out some of Ryan's campus life adds to the reality without pulling a Schwartz and going off on tangents about dreaded Johnny-like characters who should be off center stage.

I'm glad that Ryan and Summer have kept their friendship and added to it. I always thought that they could be and should have been closer friends. I don't know if not doing that was chalked up to Seth being jealous and Ryan backing off or another bad writing call.

I'll admit that I was hoping that the scene with Ryan and Sandy would have gone more smoothly, but it's also easy to see why it wouldn't. Ryan would be thinking of what he couldn't cover when Sandy was with him and saw and heard more than Ryan wanted anyone to. A lot of that would be too fresh and Ryan would be curious anyway.

Thanks for this new one. I'm going to go back and read the story again just to put it all together.
6/19 c4 10matthewsbj
I did enjoy the fluffiness of this chapter. It was nice to see Ryan having fun with his friends.

A lot of the things Kirsten and Sandy were arguing about at the beginning are things that I always thought were shortcomings for them as parents. While I think Kirsten really viewed Ryan as her son, there was always something holding her back from truly being his mother. I hope you explore what that "something" is, that she herself admitted.

Also, thank you for highlighting Ryan and Summer's friendship. I wish that had been explored more in the show, as well.

Based on your warning about the next chapter, I can only imagine what the news about Mimi will do to Ryan. On top of everything else he has to deal with.
6/19 c3 matthewsbj
I apologize for the lateness of my review for this chapter. I liked all of the friends that Ryan has gained and how sincere they are about being there for him.

I really enjoyed the scene at the end where Sandy pulled Ryan into a hug the same way he did when Trey left. I always felt that's when Sandy really became Ryan's father, if only subconsciously.
6/17 c3 Guest
I can’t put this fic down. It is awesome please update quickly.
6/14 c3 Guest
Just like I saw one commercial back in the day and couldn't wait to actually meet Ryan and follow his story, reading your note at the start of this story grabbed me 100%. This is like the continuation combined with the story that should have been told too all along.

I'm loving how it unfolds gradually, but vividly and realistically, so you give an intro to Ryan's world and how he still is stuck between more than one and what's coming home to roost too. He's got so much that he's trying to prove and too much haunting him and on his shoulders. It's a tremendous load to bear.

I like the easier friendship with Luke, especially, that was let go by the show. Most of all, I like seeing the bond between Sandy and Ryan that became a disappointment too. You convey and recapture how moving and strong that is and all of the aspects of it that make it a father and son, friendship, and more that's so unique.

So glad that you're writing!
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