In the Ring
In the Ring
(paperback only) (U.S. Only)
A gritty, graphic glimpse of the physical and mental realities of anxiety with a streak of romance.- Kirkus Reviews
“Isley's debut novel is a thrilling romance as well as a thoughtful look at mental health and grief.” - Booklist
"In the Ring gets that sometimes learning a new sport can look a lot like falling in love. If you like ride-or-die besties, bad boys with heart, and girls who can throw a punch, you’ll enjoy this debut.” - Emma Kress, author of Dangerous Play
"A bold and brave new writer to watch. In the Ring will keep your pulse elevated in all the good ways." - Terra Elan McVoy, author of Criminal
Rose Berman is losing her mind. At least, that's what everyone at school seems to think. Plagued by panic attacks that started after her mother's death, Rose is the target of frequent teasing and rumors. But when the star quarterback takes a joke too far, the school's tattooed, cigarette-smoking time bomb — Elliott King — steps in and punches him in the face. Rose's therapist recommends she try out a sport to manage her anxiety. She can't help but think of Elliott—maybe if she could punch like him, she'd feel safer and stronger. She sticks out like a sore thumb at the boxing gym, but she soon finds power in the sport and a reprieve from her panic attacks.
As their worlds intertwine, Rose and Elliott are forced to face their most daunting opponent outside the Ring: their growing feelings for each other. But Midtown Ring isn't just a gym. As Rose falls deeper into the world of boxing, she learns Midtown is a front for a late-night, underground fight club where Elliott King is the headliner. Surrounded by violence and destruction, Rose's anxiety begins to spiral. She starts hallucinating, just like her mother did before her death, leaving her to wonder if everyone at school might be right. If her newfound physical strength can't keep her grounded in reality, she may be doomed to walk the same path as her mom.