“The thing I dread the most is the weekends,” Brianna said. “Each of my roommates is seeing someone, so they’ll all go on dates, and I’ll be left all alone in the apartment with only my 8 x 10 of Robbie. Actually, it’s his high school graduation picture. I keep getting older but he stays the same.”
She paused as though she wasn’t sure she should say what she was thinking. “You want to know something weird? Last week I realized I was starting to think of him as my nephew.”
That seemed like an odd thing to say, but it also made me very happy. “If you get lonely on the weekends, give me a call. I’ll never be doing anything.”
She hesitated and then asked, “Are you serious?”
Brianna needs a friend, someone to keep her from being lonely while she’s waiting for her missionary, Robbie, to come home. And who better for the job than Robbie’s brother, Austin? He can keep the other men at bay while giving Brianna guy-type help, like hauling her harp around on weekends to play at wedding receptions.
Austin needs a friend, too. And Brianna is the perfect choice since there's no romantic involvement — of course not, how could there be, she's waiting for his brother, after all. As a friendship develops between Austin and Brianna, Austin is free to learn what it means to be “true and faithful friends” with a girl. He begins posting his findings in blog entries that quickly gather a following of interested readers. But what will happen to his friendship with Brianna when she finds out who the real author of the blog is? Because the truth is, Austin isn't looking for just a friend anymore, but something more. Will he have the courage to tell Brianna the truth — before Robbie comes home?
The Story Behind Brianna, My Brother, and the Blog (2009)
I remember talking to a young man once whose younger brother was on a mission. The girl that the younger brother had been going with said she’d wait for him. His older brother, hoping to help her get through the next two years, started seeing her occasionally as friends. As time passed, however, they fell in love. I decided it would be fun to write a novel based on this story. In the novel Austin is the older brother, Robbie is his brother on a mission, and Brianna is the one waiting for Robbie.
About this same time, Sherry and I attended a wedding reception. I overheard a married couple arguing. I thought he was being a jerk and had some suggestions for him but didn’t dare tell for fear he’d beat me up.
When Sherry and I attended a harp concert on campus, it gave me another idea for the novel. What if Austin provides transportation for Brianna to wedding receptions where she plays the harp and her friend Sophie plays the flute? During these receptions, Austin notices mistakes men make when talking to a woman. He begins posting his findings in a blog that quickly gathers a following of interested readers.
When Robbie returns home from his mission, he pays more attention to their neighbor’s dog Tornado than he does to Brianna. With Austin and Brianna looking on, Tornado begins to lick Robbie’s face. (The following is quoted from the novel.)
“That’s my good dog! Yes, it is!” Robbie shouted.
Brianna grimaced and shook her head. “That is so gross,” she whispered to me. “His whole face is covered with dog spit. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to kiss him again. Please, Austin, make him stop.”
(Austin gets Robbie alone and tries to give him advice he’s learned from writing his blog.)
“You need to pay more attention to Brianna.”
“I haven’t been released from my mission yet.”
“You can still talk to her. Ask her questions about her family.”
“Oh, one thing I was thinking about is she’s never seen any of my trophies.”
I groaned. “Are you serious? She doesn’t care about that.”
“That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have any trophies. Also, I could show her the baseball glove I used when we won State.”
“Why are we talking about some stupid baseball glove when we should be talking about Brianna?” I asked.
“What about her?” Robbie asked.
“Do you have any idea how amazing she is? You’re such a lucky guy.”
“Yeah, I suppose.”
“I saw her a lot while you were gone, you know, just to make sure she was okay.”
“Thanks” Robbie said.
“Uh, there is one thing I should probably tell you. I did kiss her a few times while you were gone, but then we felt bad about it, so we stopped.”
Robbie turned to me. “Are you saying you made out with the girl who was waiting for me on my mission?”
“It was just one of those things that happen when you see a girl twenty or thirty hours a week for almost a year. I’m sure you can see how a few kisses might occur in that length of time. But for the past little while all we’ve done together is go to the temple and do baptisms. And temple work is so important, right? So, anyway, we’re just friends now.”
“Okay, I guess I’ll let it go this time. So, anyway, where’s my baseball glove? Can you get it now?”
“No, I can’t get it now! What is wrong with you, anyway? Why does a stupid baseball glove take priority over Brianna?”
“A stupid baseball glove? Listen to me. We took State my senior year and I made the last out with that glove.”
“You know what? I have no idea where your glove is. Actually the guy I loaned it to might have left it at the ballpark after a game, and that was over a year ago, but, you know what, we can still look for it.”
“You lost my baseball glove?” he asked.
I couldn’t believe it. He was madder about me losing his stupid baseball glove than he was that I’d kissed Brianna. Talk about misplaced priorities.
It's a fun and entertaining book to read.I had such a hard time putting it down. This is a real situation that could happen to anyone. I would recommend this to teenagers and young adults.
This book is like the most amazing book I have ever read...it teaches so many morals yet it puts them in really situations that teens can connect with. I personally think that every guy should read this book...it teach them how they should treat women nicely...yet it also teaches girls that if they want to be treated that way they have to treat men the way they want to be treated. This book overall is my all time favorite!! I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.