Cover Image: Hold You Down

Hold You Down

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was well written and thoughtful. The author addresses familial complications well. 
I thought that it was emotional and compelling. 
Very well told story!
Was this review helpful?
Although this story is fiction, the main premise is set in New York during the crack epidemic of the late 80's and 90's, and I whole hardheartedly believe this is a combination of several people's lives.  I've always enjoyed this author's books, and this one is no exception.  Two sisters Mercy and Lenox are both raising their sons during this tumultuous time period, and in two very different and opposite ways.  As life goes on, choices are made, and life as they know it will turn both of their lives upside down.  

The Plot and flow of the story was so good and emotional.  I was in need of tissue several times throughout the story.  It was such a good story, and I would like to know what happens to some of the characters in the future.
Was this review helpful?
I reviewed this book as an advanced reader copy for an honest review. This book was well written with good character development. It was touching to read how the sisters and little boys grew but in different ways. The plot moved quickly allowing the reader to not get bored. It was not the right book for me at the right time but I enjoyed the story none the less. The family ties and the love they learned to have for each other despite the troubles they faced was encouraging. It also taught lessons about life involved with drugs and what impact that can have on others you love. A great moral lesson to be learned without feeling like a lecture from a parent.
Was this review helpful?
Mercy and Lenox Howard are sisters that have always had each other’s backs. They are raising two sons the best way they know how in New York City. Mercy is raising her son Judah on a hospital administrator salary and trying to make sure he gets the best education possible. But she really has dreams of owning her own restaurant. Lenox is the one that is always chasing after the next big thing. When Lenox gets involved in a risky business venture, it will change her and her son Deon’s lives forever.

Tracy Brown did an excellent job with Hold You Down. Brown takes readers on a  journey through life in the 1980s to early 1990s New York City. What’s good about this story is the realistic way that it is told. Brown does an excellent job with developing multi-layered characters that readers will care about. Readers will find that this story is very unpredictable and there are certain situations that will shock you. Hold You Down is Tracy Brown’s best book to date and one that you won’t stop talking about.
Was this review helpful?
This author does not miss. This book kept me in a chokehold for days. I love the topics and the focus on loss and growing pains and the dynamics between the sisters
Was this review helpful?
This is my first Tracy Brown book and I must say that based on this story alone, I'm a fan. 

In this story Marcy and Lenox Howard have to navigate life in Harlem in the 90's at the dawn of the crack epidemic while raising two young sons who are growing up more as brothers than cousins. Marcy is the quiet hospital administrator with great dreams to open her own restaurant one day. Lenox is the wild sister who wants more from life than a desk job that doesn't even pay enough to cover her bills. And while their sisterly bond and love for each other outweigh everything else, Marcy is able to see that Lenox is going down a path that can and will negatively impact their lives forever. 

Told in two parts, this story was truly phenomenal in every way. In the first part, Lenox and Marcy are young mothers with dreams to give their sons bright and better futures than what they had growing up. And while they have different ideas about how to accomplish that, it cannot be denied that their life choices are influenced by the love they have for their sons. The second part focuses on the sons Judah and Deon while they try to repair their relationship as adult young men and a lifetime of mistakes that marked their lives.

Let me start with the plot and pace of this book.  This is one of the best stories I've read in a while. The plot is fantastic and it tells a complicated and moving story in a realistic way. The fact that Brown took the dawn of the crack epidemic in New York City in the 80's and weaved such a moving story is remarkable. And while drugs are a constant theme in the first part of the story, it does not overshadow the relationship between Marcy, Lenox, Judah, and Deon. Their family bond is first and foremost to the plot, and one of the main devices to develop the characters. 

I found that the way Brown wrote these characters was spot on. Both Marcy and Lenox are complex characters with flaws and strengths that translate to their own personalities and influence their children. I found that the relationship between these four characters was moving for so many reasons, and I truly enjoyed to see how their family bond was so strong as they dealt with their own personal demons. 

Not many books make me connect with each one of the main characters, but this one did. I was able to understand Lenox's choices, and while I didn't agree with them, it was easy for me to see that the love for her son and desire for him to have a better life clouded her judgement. In the same way, I could understand why Marcy didn't push harder for Lenox to make better decisions. And I must say that the second part completely broke my heart as I read how Judah and Deon dealt with a lifetime of trauma as they came-of-age in the streets of New York City. And while the ending of the book had me wishing for more, it also left me with the impression that these young man were on the way to turn their lives around and making better choices than their mothers. 

Overall, I found this book to be a truly remarkable story and will be looking forward to read more of Brown's work.
Was this review helpful?
*** Trigger Warning Sexual Assault, violence***
Mercy and Lenox are sisters who are extreme close and rely on each other as they’re raising their sons together. Each sister has a son and the boys are only one year apart. The boys are being raised more like siblings than cousins often spending a lot of time together at Mercy’s home. Judah and Deon are inseparable. Judah is Mercy’s son, and is very studious and has aspirations of college and getting out of his poor environment. Deon is Lenox’s son and loves spending time with his aunt and cousin. Lenox wants money fast, and will do whatever it takes to get it, even if that means working with people who may get her in to trouble. Lenox is constantly taking risks to Mercy’s disdain. When Lenox gets in the drug game she starts making more money than she ever has. Deon has all the best clothes, shoes and games while Judah is stuck wearing whatever his mom can afford. Mercy refuses to take any money from Lenox, as she completely disagrees with her lifestyle. As Lenox continues to take riskier and riskier chances, she spends less time with Deon, and more time in the game. One bad decision on Lenox part changes the trajectory of the whole family, with Deon and Judah being affect the most. 
I absolutely loved this book. Tracy Brown is a phenomenal writer and all of her books are amazing. This book has so much buzz and rightfully so. I am a huge fan and will read anything Tracy Brown puts out. Thank you St Martins Press and Netgalley for this ARC! Excellent read!
Was this review helpful?
I was very intrigued by the summary of this book and it was amazing.  I loved the storytelling style and the characters.  
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Reminiscent of the books I read in middle and high school that made me fall in love with romance (think Eric Jerome Dickey, BeBe Moore Campbell, Omar Tyree, and Sistah Soulja), Hold You Down absolutely broke my heart. It was a tale of what seemed to be a stereotypical yet accurate depiction of what was/is happening in some black and brown communities. It was well written with such raw and real characters and storylines that were incredibly relatable. It was easy to visualize the entire story as if watching it happen on screen. I will definitely be adding more of this author’s work to my must-read lists. 

Voluntarily reviewed after receiving a free copy courtesy of NetGalley, the Publisher, and the author, Tracy Brown.
Was this review helpful?
Hold You Down is one of the best books I've read this year. It's real, raw, and emotional. Told against the backdrop of the crack epidemic in Harlem and Staten Island in the 80's and 90's, Hold You Down is the story of two sisters, Mercy and Lennox, who take very different paths in life, some with devastating consequences. Those choices ultimately influence the lives of their sons as they come of age in NYC. It deals with the fallout of grief, family strife and all out survival in a world where everything seems stacked against them.  The story is heartbreaking but Ms. Brown manages to weave a tale that left me feeling hopeful for both of these boys. This book deserves to be read and widely discussed, and I'm excited to recommend it to my fellow readers.
Was this review helpful?
I loved reading about Mercy and Lenox. They remind me of me and my own sister. The cover and title originally pulled me in but each page kept me engaged.
Was this review helpful?
Hold You Down did not grab my attention at first,  As I continued reading, I was swept away into the story.  Life is not easy, nor is it fair.  Hold You Down showed the reader what it means to have a village that will be there for you no matter what.  Sometimes you have to make mistakes in order to focus on where you are trying to go.  This was an overall good read.
Was this review helpful?
This book will definitely be in my top ten of the year.  Such a beautiful, tragic story, told so well.   I love coming of age stories and you get 2 here - the sisters and then their sons.  The story is gritty and intense, heartbreaking and devastating but at the same time so beautiful.  Family is everything - it will raise you up but also tear you down.

I've already purchased copies of this book to give as gifts.  I want everyone to read this so I have more people to talk to about it.  There's so much here to unpack.  A wonderful story from a very talented author.
Was this review helpful?
This book is an emotional roller coaster. I won't give too much away but it's the gritty and intense story of two sisters growing up in 1980s Harlem who take different paths in life. As we follow their children into the 1990s and see how they deal with the consequences of their mothers' choices, you see how the love of and between the women who bore them is both a blessing and a burden. Brown's writing is beautiful and raw, and she pulls no punches with the storytelling in this complex family drama. 

Thanks to St. Martin's for the copy to review.
Was this review helpful?
Hold You Down was a deeply emotional book about the injustices that plague the Black community. This is centered around 1980/1990's, during the rise of Crack in black communities. Two sisters, Mercy and Lennox, live in one of the NYC burroughs each with their young sons. Lennox's choices of entering the Crack business set the family on a path of loss, violence, and pain. But there is deep love within the family. Hold You Down is an example of many stories of Black families impacted by drugs. Brown does a great job describing the elements of racism that Black individuals receive from police as well as the justice system. 

I can honestly say that I didn't expect this to be as gripping or brutally honest as it was. So much tragedy. I wish I had looked into some TW to prepare for some of the heavy content. 

Thank you St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this e-ARC in exchange for the honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This book was amazing!!! Tracy Brown is an amazing storyteller.  This book held my attention from beginning to end.  Once I started reading, I could not put it down. It gripped my heartstrings in so many ways. I cried, I laughed several times throughout this book. Brown’s storytelling was so real, so authentic, so raw!! I felt like I knew Mercy, Lenox, Judah & Deon.  I don’t to give away any spoilers, just read the book. You won’t be disappointed!!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for the opportunity you read this, but I loved this story and I cannot put it down. It was a good book to read when I was struggling to read books daily, and I appreciate that it was written very well.
Was this review helpful?
This book takes us down memory lane, as we follow the lives of two sisters. One sister is trying her best to walk a straight line while the other sister risks it all for a life of ease and luxury. The choices of the sisters affect their sons.  Generational curses and family roles are major themes in this book,. We watch how the decisions they make affect the whole family.

As an avid Tracy Brown reader, I knew to expect lots of drama and this book gave me that and all the feelings, especially the last part of the book. Following the lives of the sisters and their sons was heartbreaking. Some parts of the book were predictable, but I still enjoyed the ride.
Was this review helpful?
Hold You Down was even better than I thought it was going to be. It pulled me in immediately. The first half is set in NYC in the 1980's during the crack epidemic and centers around two sisters that are extremely close. They are both single moms trying to make better lives for their sons, who are practically raised as brothers. The second half is more about their two sons. If you like contemporary fiction and books involving family dynamics, you will likely enjoy this book. I personally loved it and gave four stars because I wanted a little more at the end, an epilogue would have been satisfying for this book.
Was this review helpful?
Special thanks to the author, netgalley, & stmartinspress for my advanced readers copy!!

First let me say I overly enjoyed this book. It was engaging and heartfelt. An authentic story of family, love and loss. Tracy Brown did her thing with this one. I literally went through a whirlwind of emotions reading this book. Not gone lie it left me in my feelings baaaaaad.. But that’s just how good it was to me. I became so emotionally invested with all of the characters.

The weight this book carries overpowered any flaw or negative review I found. She gave us a REEEAL urban fiction novel. Nothing about this was hyperrealistic like most urban novels we come across. I could vividly envision everything that was happening. It felt real and believable. I CRIED!!! 2nd book that ever got me lol. Just think about your favorite black movie (Juice, Fresh, New Jack City, Menace II Society etc.) I could see Hold You Down in the mix.

What I loved most was that it wasn’t predictable every action was followed up with a reaction or consequence. All of the characters experienced some type of grief, pain, loss, or repercussion for their actions.   Which it taught them all a different life lesson. 

Once Lenox was gone everything slowly began  to fall apart. Was she at fault for what happened? Partially!!! They all played a role in how their lives turned out.

I don’t know who my heart ached for the most Judah or Mercy. He and his mom were always trying to do the right thing and right by everyone. Then his future was taken away by a split second action. That same day Mercy died inside.

Overall this was an amazing read and I highly recommend!!! All stories aren’t meant to have happy endings. . . . But this READ IT.
Was this review helpful?