I Said Yes : My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love By Emily Maynard Johnson is Emily’s story of how she went from meeting the man of her dreams, losing him, having his child, being on the Bachelor, the Bachelorette, and finally finding ‘true love’.
Let me preface by saying I have only recently started watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and I have never seen Emily’s seasons. I really know nothing about her, so I’m not biased one way or the other with her in particular. I will say I am now a Bachelor fan after starting watching in 2015 with Chris Soules.
The story chronicles Emily’s growing up years, from boarding school to dealing with health issues of Bell’s Palsy and ADD; from having social anxiety troubles and learning problems to family moves and various other things. We meet Emily from about age ten and experience her life till she meets Ricky Hendrick. Their unique romance catches your eye right away since Emily was 16 and Ricky 22. You feel the tragedy of Emily losing Ricky to a plane crash in 2004, then the joy of finding out she is carrying his daughter.
There are the trials and joys of raising her daughter as a single mom, then having a friend sign her up for the Bachelor. It’s while Emily is on the show where we find out what really goes on while being on the show. Emily details what we don’t see while watching the shows. We experience the heartache and excitement of being one of the girls on the Bachelor, then being the Bachelorette, which while interesting, isn’t as glamorous as we all think.
Emily chronicles her time after the shows when she meets her husband to be, who is not a contestant, and we finish off with the start of their life together.
Ah, sounds sweet and marvelous. While I thought this book was going to be this wonderful story, similar to When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy, which is on how looking to God brings you to your faith and the person you are supposed to marry, sadly, this is not that book. First off, this book is mostly about being on the Bachelor and the Bachelorette. The first part of the book does go through Emily’s life up to meeting Ricky Hendrick and having his child and raising her daughter on her own, though with her parent’s support. However, most of the book is devoted to being on the shows.
While the premise of the book leads you to believe that it is going to be a book of how Emily has trusted God to bring her to the man she is going to marry and to live the life, most of the book focuses on other things. Yes, there is a smattering of token points on how she wasn’t looking to God to direct her, to yes, she felt a movement in her spirit. On the whole, I would say there are about 12 pages total devoted to the topic of God, which might be a bit high in my estimation. In my opinion, that is serious deception on the part of the summary. I felt that even the summary of the story on the dust jacket leads you to believe that this book is more about redemption and faith than the Bachelor. I think in the end Emily is trying to get that ‘true love’ comes from God, but I was left a little confused what she meant. Did she mean the true love was with God or with the man she has ended up marrying? I was never quite sure.
I found the writing a little juvenile in style and I was disappointed that there wasn’t more faith and waiting on Christ and such. My first impression was that the book was written by a teenager. In my opinion the style is too simplistic and lacking a lot of fundamental facts, mostly in regards to aspects of Emily’s life. The book focuses mostly on bad choices and the Bachelor. If I were going to give this book to anyone, it would be fans of the Bachelor and Bachelor Nation, along with any woman who thinks it might be fun to try out for the show. For those girls, the ones who want to try out for the show, the book is more of a warning of why you should not go on the Bachelor.
All that being said, it was a quick read, and fundamentally interesting, but seriously lacking in what the book seems to be promoted as.
I would give this book a 2 out of 5 stars because I’m not impressed. While it wasn’t my style and annoyed me, it’s not a ‘bad’ book. It’s just not quite as good as you would think.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.