Sunday, July 19, 2015

Book Review (25 Before 26): "For the Right Reasons.." by Sean Lowe

For my second "25 Before 26" read I chose Sean Lowe's book, "For the Right Reasons: America's Favorite Bachelor on Faith, Love, Marriage and Why Nice Guys Finish First". 

"After The Bachelorette broke his heart, Sean Lowe suspected his “nice guy” image hurt him. The show never emphasized it, but Sean committed to living according to biblical standards of sexuality, even as producers emphasized the risqué and promiscuous. A Texas boy from a Baptist home, Sean tells the story of how he went from a Division I college football player to a fan favorite on reality television, taking readers behind the scenes of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to see the challenges of living out his values and faith―and ultimately winning his true love’s heart.

For the Right Reasons is about the journeys we all have to take in the real world, where being “good” is the right thing to do but sometimes doesn’t seem to be enough; where betrayal is commonplace; and where that thing called perfection is actually just a cruel myth. Sean learned a few things from his two seasons on the hottest romance shows on television, and he wants others to benefit from those lessons: good does eventually win, lies will be discovered, and “nice guys” do ultimately finish first."
- via 

First, I chose this book only because I like Sean. I've always liked Sean. And I love him and Catherine together. They're smart, fun, beautiful and funny.

Secondly, I HATE the synopsis I found. HATE IT. I think it does Sean an injustice. It's taken a part of him (his recommitment to Christ and sexual purity) and made it the full frontal assault that makes up the first few sentences of it.

I never went into this book wanting something deep and meaningful. I didn't think Sean could do that for me (no offense, Sean) and after the straight up emotional roller coaster that my last book was, I needed a break. There really isn't much to say about this one, other than it gave me a little more insight on how "Bachelor World" is run.

For instance, did you know that the first night (where the limos come up and he meets 25 people - which sounds AMAZINGLY EXHAUSTING) they stay up til 6 in the morning? Six may not be the exact number, but it's very late. And the champagne does NOT stop flowing. That's why there's ALWAYS some drunk little guy or gal running around. There's always someone who's  not going to be able to handle their liquor.

I also didn't know that Sean was the first man outside the limo for Emily's (remember her? Her voice started to sound like nails on a chalk board for me after a while.) season. AND that you probably could have made a drinking game out of her season, simply by drinking every time she called Sean "perfect". Which, he admits he corrected her every time.

(except we all think you're perfect too Seanie Boy..)

The (only) quote that really stood out for me while reading (told you, not much literary substance) was this: "everything's that's really important happens when no one else is paying attention." I think we've all heard this phrased differently throughout our years of life, but it all comes down to this - life gives you a series of situations. You're given days, minutes, hours. And you can choose (thankfully the Lord has blessed us with the power to do so) to live one way or the other. To choose the chocolate or the broccoli (always chocolate..ha). 

You get to see throughout this telling of Sean's life that he isn't proud of some of his choices. And others, he's kicking himself that he's in such a wonderful setting..that he made the right choice. In college he slacked off. He played football and thought really only about football. He was on a scholarship, and eventually, with poor choices, lost that scholarship. And didn't even play his senior year. Out of college he started into a company with two of his friends and lost millions of dollars of investor's money when it tanked. 

But thankfully, you see that that's not the ending of his story. He chose to get up, get a different job (where he didn't handle millions of investor's money) and get back on track. He hit bottom, and he got back up again - slowly but surely..and it landed him the Bachelor and the love of his life, Catherine.

Honestly? I'd only read it if you're a fan of the Bachelor or of Sean..otherwise, you'd probably be bored out of your skull.

I said I picked it because it's Sean's story - and mostly that's true, but after finishing it, I realized I liked it for another's a redemption story. It's falling and failing miserably, hitting rock bottom and God using that rock bottom to glorify Himself. He's using all of our stories somehow. He's providing trials and temptations along the way to steer us into the right situation - whether that be through mistakes or hitting the bottom. We're all in need of a bit more of a redemption story in our lives. And thankfully, God is never one to skimp on grace or redemption.

- C

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