Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Review of The Reluctant Blogger by Ryan Rapier

Description (From NetGalley)

cover links to amazon
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.

My Review

This has to be one of the most emotional books I have read in a very long time. It's not unheard of for me to cry whilst reading a book, but it is rare and when it happens it is usually only at one particular scene. With The Reluctant Blogger I lost count of the number of times I had to reach for the tissues.

I warmed to main character (and his use of sarcasm) immediately. The highs and lows he goes through during the course of this book are written with such honesty I felt every emotion along with him.

I was a little concerned at first that I would find the religious side of the story (the main character is a Latter Day Saint) slightly off-putting. As it turns out I actually found it fascinating and feel that it really deepened and enriched the experience.

The only down-side for me, and I may be completely alone on this one, is that I don't feel any of it read like blog posts. I don't know anyone that can recall a conversation they had several hours earlier word for word and yet that is what is supposedly happening here. I understand why it was written this way and it's importance to the plot, but I can't help feeling there was another way to achieve the same end result. The first chapter is from Dr Schenck's perspective during one of their sessions and the next is Todd's recounting of the same session in a blog post. A lot of the information is word for word the same and I was tempted to give up there and then, but trust me, after that it is brilliant and well worth sticking with.

I knocked a star off for the reasons in the above paragraph, but this is still one of the best books I have read this year and I would highly recommend it. Just make sure you have the tissue box handy!

I give The Reluctant Blogger 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating System:
1 star: I will never post a 1 star review because this means it was so bad I couldn't finish it, and I don't won't publicly rate a book I haven't read all the way through.
2 stars: I may have liked the story but it was badly written or it may have been a boring story well written. Something about it kept me reading but I didn't enjoy it.
3 stars: A good, enjoyable read. If the description appeals to you I'd recommend reading it.
4 stars: A really good book that I thoroughly enjoyed and may even read again. I will want to read other books by the same author. Highly recommend.
5 stars: Reserved for books that blew me away and whose characters I can't get out of my head. These are books that I will definitely read again, possibly several times. If I read an e-book version I may even have to go buy a hard copy for my shelves. Why are you still here? Go read this book right now.

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