My good friend Ryan Rapier is having one of those long-dreamed-of days. His first novel hits the world today! And I feel really lucky and honored that he asked me to join his blog tour and to be the one who touts the book on “The Big Day.” Kudos to Ryan for writing something really excellent right out of the gate. I give you: The Reluctant Blogger!
The cover says a lot. But the book is written so well, you’ll get sucked in and won’t look at the cover again until you’ve read the last page. I read it a couple of months ago, and below is my review I wrote then.
So, you know how there are books that you like less as you think back on them, and others you look back on with more fondness as time goes by? This one is is the latter group. Solidly. It’s real. It’s a little raw in emotion. It’s just great. Just buy it. Just read it. You’ll be so glad you did.
Without further ado, here’s my review:
Todd Landry would be the slightly cynical, charming everyman – if his life weren’t tinged by the tragedy of the death of his wife. Marci died too soon, leaving him with three kids and no idea what to do next, how to deal or how to progress.
He’s been putting on a good face for his children, but his parents and siblings know everything’s not okay and have insisted he get some counseling. To appease them, he’s been going faithfully to Dr. Schenk, a detached psychiatrist who’s ready to drop Todd as a patient because he refuses to speak in therapy sessions week after week. The doc issues an ultimatum: Todd must write or be dropped as a client. Todd knows the only thing keeping his family off his back is that he meets with Dr. Schenk, so he (extremely) reluctantly agrees. And he starts writing a blog.
What ensues in Ryan Rapier’s debut novel The Reluctant Blogger, is the unfolding of a life. It’s a life rich with history, emotion, and characters so true to life you’ll swear you’ve met them in church or are related to them yourself. Todd’s obstacles and efforts toward healing are fraught with emotional and social danger, and with frequent hilarious predicaments, all told through Todd Landry’s dry wit and his incisive descriptions of the friends and family that populate his world.
Rapier has an uncanny ability to take the reader from laughter to wrenching emotion in a matter of paragraphs. The whole page-turning journey is a wonderful roller coaster ride with characters the reader is invested in from page one—all the way to the highly satisfying ending.
While putting this together, I saw another reviewer’s take, and I have to add it in–he/she said this book made him/her uncomfortable at first because it touches on topics that seem almost taboo, but that Ryan did a brilliant job with experiences that everyone experiences in some form by tying them into real life, exploring them by including them in a humorous and enjoyable story. Good point! (And if he/she had put a name other than “Anonymous” I’d quote him/her directly.)
Most of all….the great news is it’s available TODAY for order or download. Here’s the link to it on Amazon. It’s also on Barnes and Noble as well. Cedar Fort published it, and you can probably get it from their website, most likely, but am I too lazy to check? Yes, yes, I am.
However, I’m not too lazy to give you all a link to Ryan’s Facebook fan page. Or to his Twitter account. Or to his blog, which I’m sure he ironically writes reluctantly–right, Ryan? Well, maybe not. He doesn’t quite have the troubles Todd Landry has, thank heavens. But the blog is full of (as it’s called) Rapier Wit. Enjoy! Subscribe! It’s good stuff.
Oh, and one last plug is if you’re a Gila Valley local, you can catch Ryan at his book launch party on Saturday morning starting at 10:00 over at Bookworms in Thatcher. I’ll be there. Maybe I’ll see YOU! Until then, happy reading!