Cover Image: Hold You Down

Hold You Down

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Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Tracy Brown takes us on a journey with sisters Lenox and Mercy while raising their sons, Judah and Deon. Lennox and Mercy are best friends although they are polar opposites. Lennox lives for the thrill and luxurious things in life. Mercy on the other hand, plays it safe. Never one to break the rules. When Lenox’s lifestyle becomes too dangerous her family is left to deal with their new reality. Leaving each member to This story follows Lenox and Mercy’s lives, the rift in their bond as sisters and how it continues down to their sons as they grow into adulthood. 

I became a fan of Tracy Brown when I read her White Lines series. 

Tracy Brown is one of those authors who never fails me. 

The stories she writes are so real and raw. They make you feel every emotion. 

Hold You Down left me on my toes. I screamed to myself and cried into my pillow as I felt deeply connected to the characters.

 This story is truly about the bond between family. Watching Deon and Judah grow up throughout the book and seeing how they are exact replicas of their mothers essentially replicating them.

TW: r@pe, murder, gun violence
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Mercy and Lenox are sisters who always have each other's backs. Deon and Judah are the children and they have each other's backs also. What happens to the dynamic of the family through their trials and tribulations?
 	This author put me on an emotional roller coaster again. I felt pain, hurt, grief, disappointment, and relief. The book has some twists and turns you will never see coming. The themes in the book of death, homelessness, addiction, abandonment, and loyalty. This book was realistic and well-written.
  	I recommend the avid readers and book club groups. I give this book 4 stars.
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Life for sisters Mercy and Lennox Howard, was definitely not easy. In search of a better life, they move to Staten Island. Things were going good, until a new drug named Crack reared its ugly head. Outside influences divided the sisters and eventually tragedy struck. Now, the second generation…Judah and Deon, are trying to maneuver through life, without getting caught up as well. Unfortunately, one bad decision leads them down a road that no one saw coming. 

The storyline was good and the plot twist was great. My favorite character was Xavier. He was really a stand-up guy, who cares enough to be there beyond death. In contrast, my least favorite character was Gerald aka G. He was a user and a manipulator. I'm so glad, karma paid him a little visit. My only regret is that @tracybrownwrites gave the readers an open ending. I would've loved you see where the relationships were a year or two later. 

Nonetheless, go get this book!
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I will forever love Tracy Brown and all her books. White Lines still remains one of my all-time favs. 

In Hold You Down, Tracy did not disappoint, the book was gripping and filled with intrigue. 

The story begins in Harlem in 1984 and we meet sisters Mercy and Lenox Howard and their sons, Judah and Deon. As the decades progress, we follow them on their journeys and we see how they essentially hold each other down.  Throughout the story we see each sister's life as they navigate some of the issues that are happening around them the crack epidemic, raising boys as single mothers, life choices, and living in a low-income community. 

The characters were complex and the story itself was a rollercoaster, in the best way.
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Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the eARC copy in exchange for an honest review! 

This book has a lot of heart and empathy for its characters. Tracey Brown clearly cares about making sure the deepest intimate parts of her characters have the a full emotional range to be complex, messy, and nuanced as they survive some deeply tragic events. This is especially refreshing to see in the depictions of Black male characters in this book! Even when characters make bad decisions, Brown takes painstaking detail to sketch why characters make the decisions they do - even when we may want different for them. 

The reason why I rated the book a little lower is because there’s parts of the book that read clunky and prescriptive, which takes away from the book’s powerful messages. I wish the book had been edited more incisively because sometimes the prose doesn’t measure up to the larger messages the book builds up to.
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This was a story about two sisters Mercy and Lennox who were very different and chose different paths but their bond as sisters could not be broken. The story was set in Staten Island and Harlem the 80’s and 90’s. Lennox was wild and wanted her son Deon to have everything she didn’t growing up. Mercy was calm and predictable and wanted a simple life for her and Judah. I went through so many emotions reading this book. It reminded how fragile life is and how fast things can change. Deon was complicated because of what he went through. Judah dealt the best he could with the situation he was in, This was very well written and should be developed into a movie. 
Thank you to NetGalley, Tracy Brown and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to review this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I had read and enjoyed Tracy Brown's book Single Black Female so I was happy to dig into a new book from her. It is both a sad story and a story filled with warmth. Ponder that. Your heart will bleed for the characters and the hardships, bad luck, and situations they face. Even characters that should be unlikable simply come across as... still very human. The story reads so smoothly that you almost forget that there are lessons to be learned and issues to consider. There's a lot here to unpack and I think it would be an ideal read for a book group. 

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. Tracy Brown is an author I'm always happy to read.
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Tracy Brown made this reader feel like a “fly on the wall” observer while reading her new book, HOLD YOU DOWN. Set in the Harlem slums and the housing projects on Staten Island. Mercy and Lennox were raised by their grandmother as their mom was off galavanting with men. Mercy works hard to make a living while raising her son, Judah. Her dream is to own a restaurant some day. Lennox gets involved in making crack cocaine while raising her son Deon. 

I flew through the pages to see what would happen next. I found myself talking to the characters, while sometimes screaming, crying, or laughing with them. There are some wonderful minor characters and there are many that make the reader so mad. A warning to readers that there is a graphic rape that had me put down the book for a couple of days. I know that I will come back to read this book for a second time. Brown does leave the reader with hope. I could see a sequel set ten years later. I think this could make a good book club choice. My thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. The opinions in this review are my own.
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✨ Review ✨Hold You Down by Tracy Brown; Narrated by Patryce Williams

I was captivated from the first pages of this audiobook. The narrator is incredible -- she will pull you in and make you feel ALL THE THINGS. The character development and use of emotion in this book are remarkable.

This book follows sisters Mercy and Lenox, who grew up in Harlem, and who moved to Staten Island in the 1980s as single mothers to raise their sons together nearby. As Mercy struggles to make ends meet, working at the hospital and dreaming of a restaurant, her sister Lenox, diva and style queen extraordinaire, gets into the drug game to bring in some cash. As the sisters struggle, we see the rippling consequences of the sisters consequences as they impact each other and their sons, Deon and Judah.

The book has such a powerful sense of what's coming that it will keep you on the edge of your seat, while forcing you to grapple with questions about individual choices, the power of family, and impact of systemic racism and capitalism on NYC Black residents. Such a great read, and one that's bound to make you think.

Genre: contemporary fiction, historical fiction (1980s/1990s NYC)
Location: Staten Island
Pub Date: Out now!

Thanks to St. Martin's Press, MacMillan Audio, and #netgalley for advanced copies of this book!
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