The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper

The Rebuilding Year - Kaje Harper

I liked Ryan and John (I hated it when he was called Johnny) I just didn't love them. I was talking earlier how one perceives GFY contemporary stories and what makes it believable or not. And while I accepted it in the end, there were some small peeves that decreased the pleasure of reading about this pair.


I was dissatisfied that Ryan hid his relationship with John from his family for the entirety of the book. SPOILER Ahead: In fact the parting phrase in the book is Ryan coming clean to his father. END Spoiler And I found this unbalanced, since John was the one to make the first step in everything. He chased Ryan, he admitted he had feelings for Ryan SPOILER Ahead (well, except the scene where Ryan talk to Mark and is the first to say the 'love' word to define what he and John have) END Spoiler and most of all, never tried to hide it. Not to mention John was the only one to put out. It seemed fair that Ryan should get to bottom too. Just saying...


Second, it was distracting with the random dead people showing up at every step and I couldn't figure out how they fit in the story. I presumed this was a coming out story and felt every page was required to deal with that (coming out towards themselves,family and friends) to leave space for solving a murder.


Third, I assumed it was a coming out story and the hardships of coming to terms with one's sexuality. But other than a few lines, both men easily concluded they were attracted to each other and wasted no time in getting physical (and few of those instances annoyed me since it portrayed John, a respectable 37 year old man, more concerned with chasing tail than looking out for his troubled kids).

(show spoiler)



So, amidst people committing suicide, bodies being discovered, dealing with a runaway teenager and figuring out how to be in a relationship with a man, I kind of lost sight of the men themselves. In the sense I felt a rather distant connection to them instead of empathising. I liked the story overall, and all elements come together rather nicely. The only thing missing was an infatuation with it to make it a 5 star read.