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The Reluctant Blogger by Ryan Rapier
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The Reluctant Blogger

by Ryan Rapier

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The subject matter of The Reluctant Blogger is fairly typical for Mormon fiction: It's a contemporary story about Mormons looking for love. In many other ways, though, this book stands out from the crowd.

Not only is this book written by a man, the main character is male and the book delves deeply into life as a Mormon man, as well as relationships between Mormon men. Ryan Rapier's story explores marriage, divorce, death, callings, substance abuse, fatherhood, brotherhood, friendship between men, father and son relationships, homosexuality, and the general tension between the life you want to live and the life the Church wants you to live. Although the conflicts of the main character are satisfactorily resolved by the end of the book, Rapier doesn't pretend that all of life's problems have easy solutions or that everyone will be happy all the time if they just "keep the commandments."

My complaints about this book are fairly minor. I don't think that any of the female characters are more than one-dimensional (with the possible exception of the teenaged daughter Alex), but I'm willing to overlook that since they are ultimately minor characters in a book whose primary focus is on men and their relationships with each other. (If Ryan Rapier decides to write more novels, however, I'd like to see him try writing more complex female characters.) My other complaint is that Dr. Schenk, the therapist, seems unusually cold and confrontational in his interactions with Todd, but this attitude is really necessary as a plot device, plus, there are some hints that Todd may be a somewhat unreliable narrator where his interactions with Dr. Schenk are concerned.

In the end, I'm giving this book 4 1/2 stars not because of any major flaws, but because I reserve my 5-star rating for books I have enjoyed enough to reread. Highly recommended. ( )
  Katya0133 | Nov 27, 2013 |
5 STARS

Boy this book draws out the emotions for me. I laughed and cried. Saw myself in a few of the situations and having some of the same feelings. In other characters I saw people who made the same choices. It was real to me. Ryan touched a lot of hard topics in one LDS book.

I am a widow and faced a lot of the same feelings and situations as Todd faced.

Todd is the main character who is having a hard time coping with his wife's death. He was facing depression and went for help. But he is having a hard time asking and talking about what he is facing.

Since Todd has troubles opening to his Dr. He is asked to write a blog about what he is feeling and what is going on with his life. It will be just between the two of them.

A lot of the book is set in the Dr. office and writing about what is going on around him and how he handles certain problems.

Todd is a father of three little kids. He is struggling with his feelings and with the people around him.

I don't want to say much about the other problems that happen in the book that he has to learn how to cope. Sometimes I agree with him and others I personally made other choices. I think in a lot of ways Todd made better choices.
It will definitely make you think about different reactions and situations that come up. Have tissue handy.

This ebook was given to me to read and in exchange I was asked to give honest review from NetGalley and Cedar Fort.

Published August 13th 2013 by Bonneville Cedar Fort INC. 432 pages ISBN:1462112544 ( )
  rhonda1111 | Aug 24, 2013 |
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"For a thirty-something Latter-Day Saint Gen-Xer, Todd Landry couldn't have been more stereotypical. He had the perfect family with slightly more children than the national average; a heritage rich with pioneer ancestry; and a four-bedroom house in suburbia heaven--otherwise known as Gilbert, Arizona. But nine months ago, on a night that continues to haunt his dreams, Todd's wife died unexpectedly--and suddenly everything changed. Now, to his utter humiliation, Todd is seeing Dr. Melvin Schenk, a Jewish psychiatrist who requires Todd to blog regularly as a means of breaking through his aversion to therapy. Through his blog posts, Todd reveals: his uncomfortable reentry into the world of LDS singles and dating, the overwhelming odds he faces as a newly-minted single parent, the difficulty of living up to unrealistic expectations, and the crushing realization that the life he once idealized might not have been as picture perfect as he believed" --… (more)

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