Sunday, September 15, 2013

Made to Last by Melissa Tagg

Made to LastMade to Last by Melissa Tagg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: September 15th 2013 by Bethany House Publishers
ISBN 0764211323 (ISBN13: 9780764211324)

Miranda has been hugely popular for three seasons on her home improvement show. She's also been pretending to get all of her "tricks of the trade" from her husband, who is not really her husband rather more like an ex whom she hasn't seen in three years. When the network has another potential competitor female home improvement show, Miranda's show may not be picked up for the fourth season. Trying to save her show and boost the ratings even higher, her manager finds a husband "fill-in" and allows a reporter to follow Miranda around in her everyday life. With that many people, things get helter skelter really quick.

I'm not sure I am the right reader for this book. I had a really hard time getting into the book. It wasn't so much the tools or the fact Miranda was not the typical female character. I actually rather enjoyed that concept of not every female character needs to be all prissy. What I had a hard time with was the fact that Miranda had been lying to her viewers for years! And for what? Had it been a soap opera or a prime time show or a reality show, I could almost understand. However, her show seemed to be more along the lines of an HGTV show though and I don't think it was necessary to lie to retain viewers. Maybe that's just my pet peeve, but it just really kept eating at me as I read the story. It felt as though she was being disingenuous.

I also felt Miranda was a bit delusional and wondered why she didn't seek counseling. It's just not normal to be pining over a lost love for 3 years and talk about him every day in your job. When Blake, who was filling in as the pretend husband, came into the picture I found myself enjoying the husbandly comments he would say to Miranda. And when Matthew became more involved in the story, I thought I would really like where the relationship was going, but then it just didn't develop the way I thought it would. I mean who really has an ex who they've not seen in three years, but to help her show they have a "fill-in" husband to pretend they are her ex, and is followed around by a reporter who they feel extremely comfortable with and shares things with that she doesn't normally share with anyone else, meanwhile the real ex turns back up. It almost became a love square, which was just weird. Just something was off-putting to me about the whole thing.

I really liked all the individual characters, I just didn't care for the story line for them. Blake was a thoughtful man who was paid to be the husband. He could have been a real jerk and only in it for the money, but he wasn't. I really would have liked to learn more about his character. Matthew was a very nice man as well, trying to make up for past mistakes and not repeat them again. He could have completely ruined Miranda's career, but he felt something more for her and he chose not to expose her "real" story. I enjoyed Miranda's kind heart and her willingness to help the shelter. She didn't only use her abilities and talents for her job or to make money or for herself, she also used them to help others in need. Her willingness to lend a helping hand whenever necessary by sharing her abilities is a characteristic I wish more people had.

I guess in conclusion I would have to say though I didn't enjoy the story line, the characters were great and the overall feeling of "if God can create something so amazing (the mountains), then maybe He can work on a screw-up like me" was a refreshing message. All the main characters really seemed to have messed up, but God can take our mistakes and failures and turn them into successes. We just have to ask. A perfect message for our broken world.

I was graciously provided a free digital copy of this book from Baker Publishing in partnership with The Christian Manifesto to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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