Jessie Stone has been trying to write her own love story (and failing) for a long time. So when God shows up and challenges her to let Him take a turn at it, will she hand over her pen to the original Author? I was perfectly content with what I thought was a fun, chicklitish read about a spunky heroine who can't find her prince charming. But then God showed up as a walking talking character, (and a cute one at that!) and this story became so much more than just another contemporary romance. Imaginative, thought-provoking, and a little hysterical.
Every since she was a little girl, Jessie Stone had fantasized hundreds of marriage proposals, doodled zillions of romantic ideas in a journal and dreamed of wedding dresses and falling in love. Being a bridesmaid nearly a dozen times, waving couples off to their honeymoons, and shopping in department stores for fondue pots are all things that constantly run back through her mind.
But shopping for one key component of those proposals hasn't been as productive as she would have liked: the search for a future husband. What will it take for her to realize that the Almighty has a better plan that she could have ever cooked up in her journals? Will she turn over her pen and trust someone else to write a love story for her beyond her wildest expectations?
Written by Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay, this is one of those novels that you just can't put down. Never having read anything by these two authors before, I didn't know what to expect, but it was such a joy to read! It's written in such a way that is just so real and pulls you along with every page. I personally didn't think it was long enough. Some books I just want to go on forever, and this is one of those. And the cover is so enticing that it just draws you in. I definitely recommend this book!
I know you don’t know me, but I’ll admit it –I’m a drama queen. Hopefully, I am not a drama queen in the negative sort or connotation that this label elicits, but in the very fact that I’m in charge of the drama program at my church. Why do I tell you this? It’s because of the advice that my pastor always gives me- he says, “Please pick the comedy skits, because you get to people’s hearts through the back door with them, not hitting them over the head with the heavy stuff, it just sort of gently comes to them through their own laughter.” And so I comply with his requests- you will find this concept brilliantly executed with Cheryl McKay’s and Rene Gutteridge’s novel Never the Bride. There is no hitting you over the head, but lots of laughter and great insight, if you pay attention.
We meet Jessie Stone broken down on the side of Pacific Coast Highway with a flat tire bemoaning the fact that there is no guy in her life to take care of these frustrations for her. Yes, the title of the book Never the Bride sums up her attitude on life in spades. After failed online dating services, failed speed dating, and just plain old failed relationships, Jessie Stone is at the end of her “forever single” rope. And then enters a tall, dark, and handsome man with gorgeous blue eyes. Hmmm the answer to her dreams (?) - Oh yeah, but maybe not as she thought. It’s God Almighty in the flesh trying to get Jessie to see things His way, that He might have a few ideas on how to handle her love life. Does she listen to Him? Well, sort of, but with a few detours of her own.
This story is told with a wonderful sense of humor, a brilliant fresh writing voice and is a plain, absolute joy to read. As this was written as a screenplay first (Cheryl McKay) and adapted to a novelization later (Rene Gutteridge), it is easy to see how it would make a great movie, but trust me it works as a great novel as well. The scenes are very easy to visualize, especially the scenes where God shows up in various times and places and completely un-nerves our heroine Jessie Stone. His timing is always off according to Jessie and right on time according to God. He manages to get her completely outside of her comfort zone with regards to her ideas on her profession, her beliefs with regards to Him, as well as, of course, her love life. But isn’t God like that- His ways are always better than ours, if we will just listen.
So from this drama queen to you I say” Bravo” on “Never the Bride” and I will be rushing to the Movie theaters if this is made into a movie. It was darling, winsome and full of great spiritual messages. I can think of quite a few friends to recommend this book to and I truly hope to see Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge team up again- they are a formidable force. 5 stars.
Wow! I'm not even sure where to begin. I read this book in 4 days time, which is pretty quick for me right now. Overall, I really enjoyed the story. Cheryl McKay's characters honed into book format with Rene Gutteridge's help made for an interesting and thought-provoking story on many levels. In the story, we meet Jessie Stone and follow her through life's misadventures and human assumptions. She is thirty-four, single, longing for the man of her dreams, wanting her love story to finally happen. She has tried all the avenues that most of us (until recently maybe) wouldn't try. She's going through life on her terms without considering what God might want for her. She is the ultimate romantic (hopeless or otherwise) and everybody who knows her knows this about her. What is a woman to do when a mysterious man shows up in her life; a man who says that he's God. This presents many interesting situations for Jessie as she talks to someone that only she can see, etc. The story has twists and turns as does life when we try to follow our format for it and not the format (path) picked out for us by our Creator. Many good characters, fun scenarios, and great details. I have a problem or two or more with this story. Normally, I try very hard to be very positive when I write my reviews, but I struggle to do that with some parts of this book. I guess my trouble comes from the fact that I want all Christian fiction to be entirely Christian. Not to say that Christians don't have their stumbling blocks (myself included). The issues for me from this book are Jessie's sister (who has lived with one guy after another for some time now), Jessie's decision to move in with someone, Jessie's need to get drunk, and even Blake's shallowness when it comes to women. The other thing that bothers me is that Jessie hasn't had a relationship with God for years, if ever. At one point, we find out that she hasn't set foot in a church in 14 years or so, yet God comes into her life to write her love story. I guess for me the state of one's heart in terms of their relationship with Christ is more pressing, but maybe I'm missing the purpose of this story or overanalyzing it when that much analysis was never what the authors wanted. I believe truly that God wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. He loves His children (His creation) and wants to be involved in us, but we have a tendency to limit His involvement. Truly, I believe this saddens Him. So, from that point of view, I can see where the authors want us to see that God truly is concerned for us, wants to guide us, counsel us, reprimand us, praise us, enjoy us, etc. I find that there is so much more that I could say about this story, but I don't want to tear about what really was an entertaining, fun, unique story full of interesting characters with human aspects we can each certainly relate to. I did find the book funny, intriguing, and hard to put down. Check it out and tell me what you think.
Disclaimer: This book was provided free for review by WaterBrook Press.
Jessie Stone has been obsessed with marriage since the time she was seven. Her obsessive-compulsive tendencies paired with a high level of emotional neediness have combined to leave her single at the age of 35. She’s desperate and it shows. When God shows up in her life (quite literally) and asks her to surrender to Him she reluctantly follows while impatiently waiting for Him to write her love story.
Never the Bride was originally a screenplay by Cheryl McKay that has been novelized by Rene Gutteridge. A quick, funny read this work clearly falls within the chick-lit genre. There is dating, kissing, love-gone-wrong, angst etc. and in the midst of it all, a God who is trying to steer a stubborn woman into His will.
Even though Never the Bride was entertaining (I laughed out loud a few times) and delivered a message about God’s love for the church, I felt that Jessie didn’t grow a lot through her wrestling with God. Even up to the climax of the story she was throwing tantrums because she couldn’t have her own way. The only reason she seemed happy in the end was because God ‘delivered’, not because she truly learned to be content in His will for her life.
As a result I have mixed feelings about this book. Though fun to read it doesn’t really place a strong value on waiting on God (because the main character never achieves this), and seems to endorse a casual dating culture. God also behaves in some strange and even corny ways (I winced a few times). Never the Bride makes a good beach/bathtub read, but not much more.
McKay and Gutteridge have written a fun, funny, and often unpredictable romantic comedy thats heavier on the comedy than the romance. I say that because some readers might presume a whirlwind romantic drama, which this is not. The title and cover design, while appropriate for its likely target demographic, is probably off-putting to most male readers despite the story containing universal appeal and plenty of quirk reminiscent of TV scribe David E. Kelleys better writing. Almost anyone can relate to the sibling relations, battles of wills and wits, and particularly the longing for fulfillment we all experience in protagonist Jessie Stone. The road through this adult coming of age story is whimsical humor, but the reward at journeys end is a spiritual uplift grander than I anticipated. So guys, dont let the pink title on the cover dissuade you from enjoying this book in front of the ladies; its well worth the read!
"Who can't relate to Jessie?" I Loved this Book! Never the Bride is a love story with a kick! Not just funny, this book is rollicking, with a heroine who can change her own tires, guide her own free-spirited sister, and keep an outlook on life that caused more than one fit of giggles. This is the kind of book I want to read again, simply because it is so rich with meaning, so intelligently written, I want to make sure Ive caught every nuance. You are sure to find a little - to - a lot more about your relationship with our Savior! Excellent; Excellent; Excellent Read!
This book was one of the most pleasant surprises I've had in awhile. I would call it chick lit with depth. Just Saturday I posted reviews of some of my favorite non-fiction authors, Eric and Leslie Ludy, and their book "When God Writes Your Love Story" was one of them. This book is such a compliment to the concepts the Ludys talk about. I loved watching the way it might play out if you actually gave God the pen to your life and let Him write your love story. Only in a very humorous fashion. Not only is the story wonderful and funny, but it will make you think. I have been recommending it to my single friends already because I think it will really impact their lives. But I will be recommending it to all my married friends as well just because it is one of the most entertaining and moving books I've read.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The things Jessie struggles with are very realistic and it was very thought-provoking to picture God as a primary character. Imagination is a must when reading this book. Not for anyone who doesn't want to be challenged in their way of thinking about how we talk and listen to God.
Fabulously fun read and eye opening for some introspective. When I first picked up this book I was thinking of the film "27 Dresses" then as I started to read I was thinking of "My Best Friend's Wedding". As far as entertainment this book is up there with those films if not even more enjoyable. What would you do if God started appearing to just you to tell you to let Him write 'your' love story? That is what Jessie has to decide and it is quite the emotional adventure watching what she will end up doing and how her life may turn out.I read this book in a day, with my five week old daughter's interruptions. I just had to continuously pick the book back up and keep reading to find out what would happen next. It is just that good! And oh what a romance! And comedy *grin*. There is such a fight to make your own path in life and fight the direction that God gives us. This is a novel about learning to let Him guide us and how His plans will make us happy if we will just let Him participate in the planning.Finishing this novel, I cannot help but grin and giggle to myself. This is my first experience with Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay, yet definitely not my last!
An easy read and amusing dialog. My problem with the book was incorrect theology (like God appearing in human flesh). The main character's sister lives with her boyfriends and she is never rebuked for doing so. Again, no discussion of purity or boundaries in the relationship. If you interested in a clean read (no language or sex) then this is the book for you. If you would like something with more Biblical depth, then this is not the book.
I did not enjoy this book. Maybe it has something to do with my age (over 50). I didn't like the authors' humor and the part about dancing with God, invisible to everyone but the main character, in a public restaurant, was just too far out to be even remotely comical or touching or whatever it was suppose to be. I could not relate to any of the characters, even if I tried to go back to my youth. Sorry, but I can't agree with everyone else. This is one I would never recommend to anyone.
Never The Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge is a wonderful, laugh-out-loud work of contemporary Christian romantic fiction. Jessie is an intelligent woman with an incredible sense of humor who has 11 bridesmaid dresses in her past, and no possibility for a white bridal gown in her future. The path she takes through being fixed up by friends and speed-dating are hysterical and sad. But reading this story as it blossoms into the full-blown romance of discovering herself as God sees her will take your breath away. On the surface, you may think that this tale is reminiscent of the film 27 Dresses, and I enjoy that movie, but it is so much more than that. I wish Jessie were a real flesh-and-blood woman who I could take out for a picnic in the park and just be her friend. This is an amazing book from the first page!
This book was very witty and entertaining to read, but i do not think Jessie is a likeable character. I think this book would be better for a younger age group, maybe preteens. The whole God in human form was strange, and just too far fetched. Happy ending, but was glad to finish the book.
Interesting beginning, but the God-date thing was weird. Also, Jessie's growing immaturity in her choices made the quick about face at the end hard to believe. The snappy style and dialogue was entertaining.
A tough lesson - waiting on God. Written in present tense, this engaging and entertaining novel takes readers through the clever thoughts and antics of "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" Jessie. Get to know her - and yourself - while you think about and wait on the best God has for you!Anyone who enjoys an upbeat, fun, funny, and light read will want this book.
What girl can't relate to Never the Bride? That's what one reviewer asked. I know the answer: I sure can relate. I'm not as neurotic or desperate to find my prince as Jessie, but I do long to be cherished by a man. Reading Jessie's story made me laugh out loud and smile, but it also made me wish God would appear in the flesh for me. But then I realized that, being human, I'd probably unintentionally blow Him off, too. So basically, this book was a fun, educational, funny trip with great characters, a quirky plot, and a satisfying ending. My only critique is that it's too short--I wanted more!
Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge is a charming novel of romance and faith. Jessie Stone has always lived by the rules; her friends can set their watches by her punctuality, and she's almost OCD in her need for order and control. She's lived all of her 34 years waiting for Mr. Right to sweep her off her feet, filling 109 journals with dreams of the perfect marriage proposal and wedding. Speed dating and online match services aren't working, but when God literally steps in and offers to help, Jessie isn't sure if she's willing to trust Him enough to do it to her standards! This book reminded me of all the reasons I love to read! It was funny and sweet and charming and had a strong message of faith. God's appearance in Jessie's life is beautiful and heart-breaking. Her friends and family think that she needs to be committed when they catch her talking to herself, and when she tries to tell them the truth, they ask her why is she so special that God would choose to step into her life. Their reactions are perfectly rendered, and oh so true of how I think people really would react to Jessie's story. God asks Jessie if she's willing to let Him write her life story, and there's a lesson in her story for readers. Her date with God brought tears to my eyes, as did their confrontation on the beach. The entire book was pitch perfect, just flawless. I laughed, I cried, I learned a lesson about my Savior. It doesn't get any better than that.