While I've never read Mandy Hale's blog, The Single Woman, nor even heard of her before reading I've Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has I thought that it sounded like a fun read.
Her bio states that she has a heart to inspire single women to live their best lives and to never ever settle. Apparently, she writes a lot about how it's okay to be single.
I did not get that from this book at all.
While it was well written and interesting (I finished it the same day I started) the whole point of it was confusing. By page 10 I was already annoyed by Mandy when she wrote "Most people's stories resemble those of a popular "chick lit" book: Girl meets boy, girl marries boy. Girl has 2.5 kids, buys a minivan, and lives happily ever after. My journey, however, has plot twists and dozens of rewrites that have left the ending more than a little uncertain."
What world does she live in where everyone but her has a perfect life? That left a bad taste in my mouth to start off the book.
She goes on to profile a few dates and a serious relationship. Then she reads the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris and decides to forego typical dating, which lasts five years for her. Her feelings after that are profiled on page 47 where she states "I feel as though I missed out on very vital and formative dating years in the five-year gap when I kissed dating goodbye. The period from ages twenty to twenty-five is when most people really come into their own and figure out what they're looking for in love - and get their hearts broken enough times to learn a few lessons along the way. I have none of that knowledge or experience to fall back on."
Really? What were all the dating references she wrote about in the previous chapters then?
The following chapters again deal with job changes and relationships. Throughout here Mandy gives her life over to God again and prays that He directs her path to the right guy. Yet she falls into such detrimental relationships and excuses the reasoning, such as on page 105 when she talks about a relationship that doesn't feel as though it's progressing. "A lot of people might argue, 'If the relationship wasn't moving forward, why did you stay in it?' And the reason was simple. I was only in my late twenties, and I wasn't looking to get married anytime soon anyway. Since I missed out on so many dating experiences between the ages of twenty to twenty-five, why shouldn't I have a good time now, since I felt absolutely no pressure to be married?" So was she or was she not letting God lead her to the right man?
On page 155 she writes how she came about writing about single life "If I knew anything, I knew single life. I had spent five very formative single years in my twenties learning to stand alone." Wait, so in previous chapters that was a bad thing. Now her time being single was a good thing? Sense a pattern here?
When she went back to the same dysfunctional relationship, on page 228 she writes how she prayed about it and asked God to take away her feelings for this man, but how he kept coming back. She feels that "if God, in His infinite wisdom, gives you another shot at love, you should take it." Who says it was God that kept bringing this man back - the devil also plays at this game. All Christians need to be discerning and if it is a man that shows no commitment, no responsibility, and no sense of the Biblical type of love, you can be fairly certain that it's not God who is bringing him back to you.
This pattern goes on, and on, and on in this book. I continued reading, assuming that the end is where Mandy would have this big revelation and the point of the book would be revealed. Though she ends the book where she is single and she acts like that is okay, I never got that feeling from her. Throughout the whole book she would tout that it's freeing to be single during the moments she was single but when the men in her life came back around she seemed to jump back in head first without little or any regards to what God wanted for her.
That, too, was a recurring theme in the book. This is a Christian book. She writes a lot about God and what He wants for her. It's hard not to judge, and we really can't judge someone else's walk with God, but this book was so confusing because almost every single thing she did seemed to be what she wanted to do and then she would stick God in there later.
She also gets new-age, very "The Secret"-like in parts of the book. If you think it, it will happen. On page 170 she writes "As crazy as it might sound, I firmly believe we spoke our CMT after-party adventure into existence that night. " She jumps between saying God brought it into her life and thinking it will make it. It seemed out of place in a Christian book.
All-in-all my review is that it's confusing as a Christian book. She contradicts herself in different areas of the book. If it had not been from a Christian publisher, nor listed as a Christian book I think it would have been more interesting than confusing.
Disclaimer: This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion.