For the Right Reasons

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When I picked up For the Right Reasons, I was more excited to read it than I am most books. I’ve been watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for the past two seasons, and have become familiar with Sean Lowe’s live Tweets during the show. My husband said that if his book was anything like his Tweets, I’d love it. And I did!

For the Right Reasons by Sean Lowe
For the Right Reasons by Sean Lowe

Sean Lowe grew up in a Christian home. His parents nurtured his interest in football from a young age, and he earned a scholarship to college to play football. Unfortunately, in college he did as little as possible to get by both academically and athletically. He was eventually dropped from the business program because of his grades. After that, he sabotaged his potential for a football career by not investing in practice as much as he should. At the beginning of his career, he and two friends began a debt consolidation company. New regulations changed how they could conduct their business, though, and they lost all of their investors’ money. Sean did what he never thought he would: he became an insurance salesman like his father.

Sean’s sister and brother-in-law nominated him for The Bachelorette. After the long application process, Sean was surprised to be selected, but excited to see what could happen. He was more interested in winning than in falling in love, but found himself taken with Emily. When he was sent home, he was completely shocked. However, he was invited back to be on The Bachelor. He took the opportunity to express more of his sense of humor, which he didn’t feel he showed when he was with Emily. Sean remained indecisive until the very end of his season, but realized that it was Catherine he couldn’t live without.

Sean’s Convictions in an Unconventional Scenario

Sean kept to his Christian faith throughout The Bachelorette and The Bachelor. During The Bachelorette, he did devotions each morning. Eventually, he had several of the other guys join him for devotions. Although they were all competing for the same woman, they were able to have this devotional time together.

During The Bachelor, Sean was looking for a woman who shared the same faith that he had. Although he did not want to have sex until he was married, he decided to have the overnight dates with the women to have the opportunity for off camera time. He wanted to ask them serious questions so that he could make the decision with all of the information he needed.

After The Bachelor ended, all the media wanted to talk about with Sean and Catherine was the fact they were waiting until they were married to have sex. Interviews were consumed with the topic, ranging from curiosity to disbelief. Sean writes that although sexual purity is important, it is not the central belief of Christianity. It was unfortunate that the media made his beliefs all about his sexual purity and not about the whole of what they are.

Sean’s Sense of Humor

Reading this book was a lot like reading Sean’s Tweets. The main difference was that I got to see the more serious side of him as well. Most exciting was that I got to see the side of him that shares the same Christian faith and convictions that I do. To me, that made the humor even funnier.

Sean’s sense of humor was prevalent throughout the book. His journey had some serious hurdles: self-inflicted troubles in college, losing half a million dollars of investors’ money, and having his heart broken in front of millions of people. Yet even in the midst of telling these stories, his sense of humor makes it an enjoyable read.

Quick Review

For the Right Reasons was a great book. Sean Lowe’s convictions and faith shine throughout the pages. His troubles in college, business failure, and heartbreak make him easy to relate to. Sean’s story of finding love with Catherine is charming and surprising. And even amidst the charm, he doesn’t sugar-coat anything. His honesty about the realities of post-reality show life and making a real relationship work are refreshing. The sense of humor he has throughout his story make the entire book an exceptionally enjoyable read. Overall, this has been one of my favorite reads in a while.

I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends

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If you’re watching Nick’s season of The Bachelor right now, you may find yourself rolling your eyes at Corinne’s antics throughout each episode. She has certainly been painted as this season’s villain. In her memoir I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends, Courtney Robertson gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at The Bachelor and life as one of its villains.

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends by Courtney Robertson with Deb Baer
I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends by Courtney Robertson with Deb Baer

When Courtney Robertson began her journey on Ben Flajnik’s season of The Bachelor, she immediately made enemies with the other girls. Although her intentions were to befriend them, her flavor of humor and the unique dynamic of being on The Bachelor created tension. Ultimately, she was there to build a relationship with Ben. She wanted to see where it would lead, and her friendships with the other girls did not take priority. As her relationship with Ben began to blossom, her relationships with the other girls continued to get worse.

“Ben and I mistook the constant drama for passionate love. We had some great moments, but they were flashes of happiness, and quickly came and went.”

Courtney Robertson

After receiving the proposal from Ben, the relationship between Courtney and Ben quickly dissolved. They found that they had no common interests. He enjoyed risk-taking adventures, while she wanted to enjoy quiet mornings relaxing. While those differences could have been worked through, Ben’s lack of support for her goals and her career became a serious problem in their relationship. Their many differences ultimately lead to their breakup.

Courtney Robertson was not as bad as producers made her out to be.

While her memoir may very well be dishonestly painting herself in a better light, I try to give authors the benefit of the doubt. I read with the assumption that what I am reading is at the very least mostly true. From what Courtney has written, it is clear that the producers really put her into the role of a villain once they saw the tension she created in the house. While she was not completely innocent, she was not as bad as she appeared to be.

Creative editing made her look worse.

After a rose ceremony, Ben announced the next destination. When it actually happened, he asked if anyone had been there, and Courtney replied something along the lines of, “I was just there a few months ago.” When that scene aired, the producers had cut out Ben’s question, showing only his announcement of where they were headed, her comment, and shots of all of the other women glaring. They made what was not actually a tense moment look incredibly tense.

She was attempting to be funny, but her humor came at the expense of the other girls.

During her interviews with producers for the show, she often tried to say funny things about the other girls. However, these things were often mean and her humor was not really taken for what it was. When communicating with the other girls, her attempts at humor were often misunderstood.

The dress she wore for the proposal was (mostly) chosen for her.

The women have to provide their own wardrobe for the entire show, up until the proposal. The producers provide the dresses that they will wear for that last episode. Unfortunately for Courtney, that meant she had her choice of about eight dresses, all of which she claims were horrible. The one she ultimately chose made her look like Cruella DeVille. It felt more like a Halloween costume than like a dress to get engaged in. Her costuming for the episode only added to the audience’s perception that she was the villain.

Courtney’s relationship fell apart after the show because of their shallow connection.

Courtney and Ben had very little in common. While they had a lot of passion, once she got past that and made an effort to get to know him, she realized that there were a lot of things that made them incompatible. In addition, she felt that she had been deceived by him on some points.

She felt their lack of shared interests made it difficult to spend time together.

Although they were interested in each other, they did not have things that they enjoyed doing together. He enjoyed going and doing things, while she enjoyed quiet activities at home. While he wanted to be around other people and other couples all of the time, she wanted to spend time alone with him. These differences in how they spent their time together made it difficult for them to enjoy the time they had together.

“It didn’t hit me while it was happening but his choice of activities was a major red flag. These were all things Ben wanted to do and it was incredibly selfish and immature. He never took into consideration that some girls might want to look sexy, not sweaty, wet, and/or scared”

Courtney Robertson

She did not feel that Ben supported her future.

When they had first talked about her being a model, Ben said that it was great. He had given her the impression that her modeling career was okay with him. However, when the cameras stopped rolling, his behavior showed her that he wasn’t okay with her career. He seemed to have problems with her making more money than he did. Other aspects of her career made him feel insecure, and she ultimately had to give up many jobs to appease him.

 Quick Review:

I enjoyed this quick, easy read. Despite her raunchiness and language, I found myself liking Courtney. The behind-the-scenes look at The Bachelor and how Courtney became one of its villains makes it a must-read for any Bachelor fan.


If you’re a Bachelor fan, what moments do you think are most edited for maximum drama?

It’s Not Okay

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In Andi Dorfman’s memoir It’s Not Okay, she writes about her relationships on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. She wrote this book after breaking off her turbulent engagement with Josh Murray. Dorfman focuses the bulk of the book on how that relationship blossomed and the things that were wrong within it.

It's Not Okay by Andi Dorfman
It's Not Okay by Andi Dorfman

Andi Dorfman gained the hearts of Bachelor fans when she broke up with Juan Pablo Galavis near the end of his season. It was because of this that she was eventually chosen to become The Bachelorette. She had the opportunity to choose from twenty-six men to find a relationship that could last. From the beginning of her time on The Bachelorette, she found herself drawn to Josh Murray.

“You’d have thought I’d learned my lesson the first go-round, but an unusual optimism told me this second time was going to be different.”

Andi Dorfman

During filming, she caught one glimpse of his temper. Their fight did not air, but she was worried about what this temper he showed over something as trivial as a date she did not plan could mean for their future. Despite her anxiety about the issue, she decided her love for him was more than her fear of his temper. After the show ended, though, she found that his temper was unbearable. She found herself walking on eggshells to avoid his outbursts. Finally, she left the apartment they shared and began an extended stay with a friend until she could get back on her feet.

I would not recommend this as the self-help book it is trying to be.

Written (presumably) from the first day after her breakup, Dorfman sets this book up as a self-help book for any woman going through a breakup. There is some good advice hidden within the pages of this book: get out and exercise, don’t stoop to his level, compromise is important in relationships, learn from your relationship, and move on. Wrapped within this self-help is the unique story of Dorfman’s experience.

“If you think about your past relationships in the same chronological way, I guarantee you can find at least one valuable lesson that you carried with you to the next relationship, right?”

Andi Dorfman

However, despite some of the good advice, there is some bad advice and too much alcohol. I almost never read the reviews of books I read, but found that the reviews of this book on Amazon were brutal. Several people agreed that you could practically smell the alcohol coming from the pages of this book. Some of the pages seemed like drunken rants about her pain disguised as advice. It was the “don’t ever get engaged to a jerk” type of advice you’d expect to hear from someone drunk and hurt.

Quick Review:

I would never recommend this as a self-help book. Ever. However, for fans of The Bachelor, I think it is a moderately interesting read. There are some things in it about Nick Viall, who is the bachelor for season 21, which airs tonight. However, I still withhold a full recommendation because of the amount of language, alcohol, and the attempt at being a self-help book. For those looking to read a book about The Bachelor, I would recommend I Said Yes as a first read. I would only recommend this as a follow-up to I Said Yes for those who still want more.

I Said Yes

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While he would be hesitant to confess this, I am not as embarrassed to confess that my husband and I enjoyed watching The Bachelor and the Bachelorette this season. Bachelor in Paradise just ended, so the timing seemed right to read and write about the memoir of a former Bachelor and Bachelorette star (even if I didn’t actually watch all of Bachelor in Paradise).

I Said Yes by Emily Maynard Johnson with A.J. Gregory
I Said Yes by Emily Maynard Johnson with A.J. Gregory

Emily Maynard (later Johnson) tells her heartbreaking and inspiring story about how the events in her life did not leave her too far out of reach from God’s hands. She describes her relationship with God not as a sudden conversion, but as a frog jumping from lily pad to lily pad. Emily gives readers a glimpse into each of her “lily pad” moments, allowing them to become immersed in her journey.

Barely out of high school, Emily became engaged and moved in with her fiance. They began planning a future together when he was killed suddenly in a plane crash. Shortly after his funeral, she finds herself pregnant with his daughter. Emily finds some solace in the beliefs of his Christian family.

After raising her daughter alone for a few years, a friend nominated her to be on The Bachelor. She was surprised when she not only got a call, but made the cast. Despite her reluctance, she went on the show to give love a chance. After being the final contestant and finding herself engaged to the bachelor, her relationship with him ends because of personality differences.

Throughout her description of the process of being on The Bachelor, I was shocked at how much of it did not seem scripted. She was told very little about what was going on. With no access to the outside world, emotions ran high between the women (explaining a lot of what viewers see on camera). While it makes sense that the women cannot be sharing what is going on with all of their friends and family, it probably doesn’t lead to good decision-making.

Not long after that, she was asked to become The Bachelorette. She asked that she be able to have a suite with her daughter there, so that she did not have to be away from her daughter during the entire filming time. To her surprise (and mine) the network agreed. She also was adamant that she did not want to get engaged at the end of the show, but only wanted to have the chance at a serious relationship. With a fledgling relationship with God and a desire to find a man with the same beliefs, she went on the show. When she chose the last man to receive a rose, he proposed to her. With cameras and eyes on her, she said “yes.”

What surprised me most about her perspective from The Bachelorette was that things seemed a lot more scripted from the bachelorette’s side of things. When conversation was slow, her producers would give her talking points (based on personality and background assessments given to all of the men). When I watched The Bachelor this past season, I sort of wondered how much the bachelor was acting off of a script or talking points on some of the dates. This part of the book made me feel like this side of it is a lot more scripted, even if the person may genuinely be looking for love.

After her relationship with the “winner” of her season on The Bachelorette failed, she ended up falling in love with and marrying a man she met at church. They have two children and her relationship with God has continued to grow. Her story is one that inspires young people to remember that before they can focus on finding romantic love, they should find and be confident in God’s love.