The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

Aren't these two CUTE?!
It's no secret that I love Fixer-Upper on HGTV. Chip and Joanna Gaines are miracle workers, as far as I'm concerned. And as for shiplap, if you could make a coffin out of that stuff I would want to be buried in it. I had been wanting to read their book for a while, but I was worried it would have too much of a religious tone. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against people who are religious, I just don't like others to try to shove it down my throat (I wanted a story about their business, not their religious beliefs).

I decided to give it a shot anyway, and I'm glad I did! There was barely any religious tone at all (they referenced God every now and then, but it was far from preachy), and it really did focus on Chip and Joanna's rise to HGTV fame. And man, did these two HUSTLE. Chip especially, that guy was the king of hustle, upside down, backwards, and sideways. From the time they met, Chip and Jo seemed to constantly get involved in one financial endeavor after another, reinvesting any profits they made, which slowly led them to where they are today. It really showed the meaning of hard work and dedication, and the fake-it-till-you-make-it mentality. Chip and Joanna grew up in average families, and really did make their own way in life, unlike many "celebrities" who have been raised in wealthy, well-to-do families.

One thing that rubbed me the wrong way, however, was that things always seemed to work out for them. When they had a construction project about to fail because they couldn't get a loan, they had someone who was virtually a stranger lend them 100k. When they wanted a location for Jo's store but couldn't offer as much as other interested parties, the property owner just up and decided to give it to them for much less than the others had offered. And this is really the theme of how they dug their way out of many a hole. Now this does not at all, in my eyes, diminish the value of Chip and Joanna's hard work. It just doesn't seem like reality. No matter how hard you try and how much effort you put in, there will be some failures, but it seemed like these two narrowly avoided failure more through luck than anything else.

I liked how the book was written from both Chip and Jo's perspective, and this was distinguished by different fonts (although Joanna definitely wrote more than Chip did). It also read very quickly. Their personalities really showed through their writing, which made it easy to imagine that these two were sitting in the same room telling you their story. Overall, it was a decent read and a good motivator.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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