Blog Tour: The Reluctant Blogger





The Reluctant Blogger
by Ryan Rapier
LDS Fiction
August 13th 2013 by Bonneville
 
Goodreads Summary

Dr. Schenk, I don’t know if what I’ve written amounts to a breakthrough or not, but I hope you know how difficult this was for me. I also hope this proves how serious I am.

Todd knows he is in a bad place. That’s why he went to a therapist in the first place, and that alone took a lot of doing. So when Dr. Schenk threatens to stop their sessions unless Todd puts in more effort, he grasps at the last available straw: a personal blog that will force Todd to confront his demons.

Ever since he lost his wife, Todd has not been the same. He’s been forced to Single Adult activities at church, and everyone seems to expect him to just forget Marci and get married again—especially when he meets Emily, who makes him smile and starts to bring him out of his depression. But dating again is hard when Todd has three kids of his own, not to mention an overbearing father and friends with their own problems.

This beautifully woven and emotional tale is both heartbreaking and humorous. Championing friendship, love, and family, Ryan Rapier deals adeptly with the everyday struggles we face as well as the strongest ties that keep us together. You’re sure to fall in love with this magnificent tale of redemption, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

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My Review

When I saw this book on NetGalley I am ashamed to admit that I actually didn't request it. The title and cover threw me a little. Later the author contacted me regarding reviewing this book and joining this tour and that's when I read the summary and decided it sounded like a book I would really enjoy reading. I'm really glad that I did!

I loved the voice of this book: the sarcasm, hope, and frankness of it. Todd is mad at God for taking his wife and having to deal with his current life. He continues living his religion, but he's depressed. He decides to go to a therapist to help with the depression, but he feels guilty about needing to go. Everyone wants him to move on–to find himself again, but he can't. Not without his deceased wife, Marci. His therapist can't get much out of him, so he has him set up a blog that only Todd and he have access to. It takes some time before Todd finally uses it.

The feelings expressed in this were so close to what I have heard and seen in the church at times. People believe that they just need to live the gospel more fully to get where they want to be, but sometimes we all need additional help and there is nothing wrong with that. None of us are perfect either. I also have friends who are in their 30's and not married, and I was a little older, but definitely not old in any way when I got married, so I could relate to the whole singles thing. Then there is the process that Todd, his children, and his friends and family went through to grieve. I really liked how the author was able to express some of those things in a realistic way and let Todd and the other characters work through them.

I liked reading Todd's posts, his experiences and thoughts. He was a great character. He was faced with a lot of challenges, not all of which were his own. I liked that the author let his characters make mistakes, even if I strongly disagreed with some of them (i.e. giving into Alex and treating Kevin as he did). I cried, I laughed, I sighed. His dad did get on my nerves sometimes as did his friend Jason, but they were both a part of Todd's life and had their own roles to play. I really liked the family dynamic with Todd's kids. I think they added so much to the story.

I also could relate to Todd's background since I'm an Arizonan native and graduated from ASU. It was fun to read about some of the things he does and places mentioned. It was a great read and I was so pleased with how it all came together in the end.

Here are a few excerpts/quotes that I liked. This first one refers to his family always giving service. I think we've probably all known people who give and give, but will never ask for help even when they desperately need it. :)
We can provide service, but we never receive. I think it's in the family bylaws.
Here is a good example of Todd's sarcasm. This just cracks me up!
For weeks now my dreams have been haunted by a faceless menace. It's always there, and like a lion silently watching a defenseless zebra, I know it stalks me. Day after day I run, and night after night I hide, but from the beginning I've known: I will eventually fail, and when I do–I will become one of them. I'm frightened. Truly frightened.

Okay, describing the LDS Single Adult organization that way could be construed as negative and cynical. . .
Here is Todd's description of an ASU Institute event to kick off the start of the fall semester. I love the whole commentator concept with this where it sounds like you're watching a nature show. So true too.
Commentator: (British accent of course) "The freshman boy is by far the most aggressive. You can see how he fearlessly attempts to flirt with the females of the herd. However, his inability to gain attention is mystifying to him. Slick lines and smooth moves that achieved great levels of success just months ago in his adolescent nesting ground no longer seem to have any effect here in the harsh, real-world environs. What he does not now understand is that he lacks the designation of having served as a missionary. Not holding this Returned Missionary status removes all interest on the part of the females in the herd."
Then there's this part when Todd goes on a date with Emily and gets simultaneously soaked and injured for about the third time when out with her. The series of events that lead up to this and then the entirety of what happens is pretty humorous.
When I returned, I was mostly dry and again able to walk without a visible limp. I found Emily seated at our freshly cleaned table with her head buried in her hands.

Sliding back into my side of the both, I gently asked, "Are you okay?"

"Take me home . . . before I accidentally kill you."
If you're looking for a fun, yet touching, and at parts romantic LDS book, then I would definitely recommend this!
 
Content: Clean.
Source: I received a copy from the author, which did not affect my review in any way.
 


 
About the Author

RYAN RAPIER is an Arizona native and through the course of his life has come face to face with a rattlesnake more than once. For that reason alone, he would likely have left the desert behind years ago were it not for one thing—the luxury of year-round golf. When Ryan isn’t on the course or in front of a computer screen, he can usually be found chasing behind his four children or doing errands for his amazing wife in the isolated beautiful valley they have both called home forever. Ryan’s thoughts and opinions that concern nobody but himself can be found here at his website. The Reluctant Blogger is his first novel.

You can find Ryan here:
 

 
Giveaway

1 ebook (INT) or paperback (US) copy of The Reluctant Blogger
Ends 8/19/13

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