Cover Image: Alone in Plain Sight

Alone in Plain Sight

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Member Reviews

At first, I would like to thank Netgalley and Nelson Books for allowing me to review this book. Keep in mind that my review, however, is my true opinion on this book.

I have to be honest with you: I only really know Ben Higgins from podcasts where he has been a guest, but his name somehow stuck in my head anyway. I never watched the Bachelor, so I did not know about that whole journey, but from the podcasts I've listened to, I quickly realized that this man has a sweet spirit and a lot of love to share in our world. But I certainly did not know all the things he has been through and all the hardships in his life. But that is what he shares in "Alone in Plain Sight".

A few months before Ben Higgins was born, his dad was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin's lymphoma, and his mom with severe placenta previa hemorrhage. And at one point, both of Ben Higgins's parents were in the hospital at the same time. And that is how he learned to appreciate every moment in life and "to approach each day as a gift from God," as he says in the book. This almost brought me to tears. That is so beautiful and an incredible way of living life.

And in the book, Ben Higgins obviously tells the story of how he suddenly ended up in the Bachelorette.

"Can I borrow faith from you today?" one of Ben Higgins's friends once asked. Doesn't this just say it all? This man certainly knows where he stands in his relationship with God. Even though he, as everybody else, sometimes struggles to find this connection, it is there.

The book deals with loneliness and feeling left out. It deals with identity, grief, and relationships.

As you have probably realized by now, this was an incredible read for me. It is so honest and beautiful and extremely touching and near.

I would recommend that all of you read this book today. It might give you a refreshed perspective on your life!
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I truly appreciated Ben as the bachelor as I always felt he was realistic and honest. His book made me feel the same way! I thought it was well worded, well written, and the advice is something that can be fully applied to yourself, as well as friends and family, and improve your quality of life. While I know it was a part of Ben’s journey, I did feel it was a bit heavy on the religion at times but overall enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to get additional books by him.
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I really didn't know what to expect from this book. On one hand, it was a former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestant so I was a bit concerned that it would be a "Why not write a book because I'm famous now and cash it in for all it is worth?" type of thing. However, I did watch some of Ben and actually really liked him. I was also intrigued that it was published by Thomas Nelson Publishing, as I love most of their books and frequently read books published by them. So, I took the plunge. 

And boy, I am so glad that I did! This book is fantastic! With an increasingly agnostic group of "younger" individuals being followed in the media who care more about Instagram fame and portraying a perfect life (all of these are not necessarily always together, but all seem to be common and often can be together), Ben is not this way at all and it is refreshing to see him publicly embrace Christianity, imperfection, and a desire to continually learn and grow. 

Ben writes deeply about his personal life and the experiences that he has had and learned from. He is brutally honest about mistakes that he has made in his life and his low self esteem. However, the thing that really sets this book apart, is that it isn't truly about his life and experiences and a simple biography, no, Ben comes full circle and uses his experiences to help teach a lesson. He uses his platform to share how recognizing and sharing our hardships can bond us together and remove divisions that lie between us. I love how he shared the struggle he has sometimes had with his testimony in Christ, but the realization that bad things happening are not punishments, but opportunities to grow and come closer to one another. It allows us to bond and love on deeper levels and to serve each other. It may be a trial, but it is also a blessing. Ben shares many accounts he  has had with friends who, by all counts, have been dealt more than their fair share of lemons in life, yet, they are optimistic and use their challenges to come closer to others and God, to grow as people, and to fully embrace living life to the fullest. 

In a world that has become so divided, both physically, due to covid, and emotionally, letting disagreements, miscommunications, and differences separate them from people, connecting with people and seeing them as more similar than different from us is so important. Ben's book is profound, unexpected, and an utter delight! I will definitely be coming back to this one again!!! 

Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishing for an ARC of this wonderful book!
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Looking at this photo and knowing who @higgins.ben is, you may think this is a Bachelor tell-all. Ben is a host of a podcast #almostfamous with @ashley_iaconetti and is not shy to be on the legit show! However, this is truly not that.
Ben takes us and shares with us experiences as an outsider.  Raise your hand if you've had an experience where everyone was picked but you. ✋🙋‍♀️. How was that experience basically? For Ben, it's definitely a life changer and introspection.  He shares his beliefs and how God changes us in those moments. How we can help others not be outsiders and the introspection part of life. 
He breaks things up and talks about CONNECTION. Something that I wish I had in my schooling years because I was 1000% an outsider.
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Im a huge fan of the Batchelor franchise, and ive watched the season Ben Higgins was on so I was super excited to read his book (And so happy to be approved by the publisher! - thanks again!)  On the show Ben always seemed to be of higher caliber then some of the other contestants, like someone who is super considerate of other people feelings (usually those are the people who feel deeply themselves) This book was such a great insight into him! I felt like he is so relatable, and the book itself had a very easy flow. Overall I really liked it!
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This wasn't the book for me. I appreciated Ben's point of view but I expected more memoir and less self-help.
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I'm a self proclaimed bachelor addict. I admit it. I'm not ashamed to say it. And because of my addiction, I want to absorb everything there is available about the casts. 

Alone in Plain Sight is NOT a Bachelor Tell-All. It was a refreshing and intimate look into Ben Higgins life, His voice is so genuine. I enjoyed learning about his upbringing, faith walk, and charity work. The book is proof that he is so much more than the previous Bachelor lead. His story didn't start there and won't end with a tv show. 

This is a beautiful memoir. Thank you to Ben, the publisher, and NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I’ll be honest, I requested this originally for my daughter thinking she might want to read it and then I couldn’t sleep one night and began reading myself.  I was surprised!! You will be surprised, as this book touches on aspects of life many of us might feel but never say out loud.  We don’t talk about loneliness, not fitting in and how hard it can be to navigate our journeys feeling disconnected.  Ben Higgins shares it is faith which pulls him through and while I share this, I still feel this book can be for those who may not be faith based, why? Because as we have discovered throughout this historic time we are living in, isolation and loneliness are universal, so this book might help you feel a little less alone.  Now if only he were single, I have a daughter he might like to meet ...
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This book was not a bachelor tell all which was different from what anyone might expect. It is a book about faith, love, identity, and community.

I really enjoyed how this book wove stories of other into it along with Ben’s own experiences. I also really resonated with the part about how your identity doesn’t define you, and that labels are just labels, not who you are.

I loved that he brought so much scripture into the book, and dedicated a whole section to discussing the Bible and God.

This book was written in a way that makes you feel like you are sitting and chatting with Ben (over a cup of Generous Coffee).

Thank you NetGalley for this copy of “Alone in Plain Sight.”
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I’m not a Bachelor super-fan, but I have seen several seasons, including Ben’s two seasons, so when I saw he had a book out, I was curious to see what he had to say.

The writing (in terms of organization and repetitiveness) was mediocre, but considering he’s not necessarily an aspiring writer and this was his first book, I think it fit with the purpose of the book and spoke to his authenticity, transparency, and honesty.

I think it was courageous for him to use his platform from being on TV to write what he did. There are a lot of fans disappointed by ‘Alone in Plain Sight’ because it wasn’t a Bachelor Tell-All exposé. But I think what he wrote is evidence that he truly cares about his fans. Instead of giving them the juicy details they want, he gives them the truth they need.

“I want to speak to those of us who feel a bit lost, those of us who struggle with life’s disappointments and unanswerable questions. Rather than offer platitudes and cliches, I want to invite you to explore the dark questions with me, with the hope that together we can discover the light.”

In reality, especially this last year, I think we’ve all felt alone, disconnected, and isolated at some point. And that won’t go away with 240 pages of behind-the-scenes Bachelor stories. He cares enough to not allow us to just band-aid our isolation with shallow distractions but offers a remedy for our emotional wounds. A remedy you won’t really find in most Hollywood productions—a relationship with Jesus Christ. And I respect him for making the unpopular choice to write about his faith instead of his fame.

I knew he was a person of faith from his seasons [Sidenote: having his pastor come to the After the Final Rose show was one of the most awkward moments, right?!] , but when he utilized the fantasy suite, I wondered to what depth his faith really went. He didn’t touch on that decision in this book, but based on everything else he said, his faith does seem genuine.

He seeks to help us reconnect in an age of high visibility but little depth (aka social media; for him- also TV) . People only know what we let them see—usually the good stuff. What do we do with the rest? Can anyone love me with full knowledge of everything I am? Loneliness, isolation, rejection, and putting on a facade all result in questions like- Who am I? Why am I here? What’s the point? What am I missing?

Ben, through anecdotes from family and friends, his own personal vulnerability, and a broad look at the Bible, takes us on a journey to find identity, meaning, and hope, with a dash of love advice.

“Most of my life I’ve mistakenly believed that sticking a label on my forehead somehow tells the truth about who I really am… Every time I stumble upon a label I think might identify me, it eventually gets stripped away.”

I love that! 'As if labels equal truth!' Labels are rampant these days (look no further than identity politics), and we are constantly trying to evaluate which groups we belong to. Or we only see ourselves in terms of what we do- our job and accomplishments. But as Ben said, every label, group, job, and achievement will fall short and disappoint. Who are we when our labels fail us?

“What I need is an outside, objective view of me from someone who sees past all the cover I hide behind, and God himself is the only one I’ve found who can do that.”

“Who am I? I am a work in progress in the hands of the One who loves me. I have value and purpose and a reason for existing, not because of what I have done or what I will do, but because this is how God has made me and sees me. When everything else has been stripped away—all the guilt, all the shame, all the disappointments— I stand naked before God, and in his eyes I am beautiful and beloved.”

His chapters are categorized in 4 pillars: Reconnecting to self, to others, romantically, and to God. Within those parts are chapters that cover the brevity of life, the victim vs victor mindset, singleness, lasting love, sacrifice, belief vs doubt, and God’s pursuit of us. (And yes, a brief mention of his previous relationship with Lauren, and his soon-to-be wife Jessica)

Some noteworthy quotes:

“When our lives are focused only on ourselves, we are further disconnected from ourselves by settling for the smallest answer possible regarding what we want out of life.”

“My pride tried to hold onto the idea that I could fix myself, but by now I knew better. I had to get help. I could not make it unless God intervened, which is what I asked him to do. On my own I had not found any way to move beyond the darkness—only addiction, numbing, and disconnection.”

“God does not need a mountaintop for you to reach him. He is here, with you, now.”

“When we connect with him, we connect with something that has infinite, infinite power and majesty. Coming to him requires a basic humbleness where we recognize we are not the greatest and biggest thing to ever walk this earth.”

“No human being can ever fix the brokenness within our souls and make us complete. If we look for a savior within a relationship, we will always be disappointed, because we have assigned them a task that no one can possibly do. The worst thing we can do then is give up and move on and start the search for the perfect one once again who will check all the boxes and fill all the holes in our souls. It is an endless search conducted in the wrong place completely.”

“People need people to connect with them at their darkest points, sharing their pain, and letting them know they are not alone. People need God to help them make sense of this life and breath that they have been given, no matter how quickly it can be taken away. To give them purpose and connection with something greater than themselves and show them what it truly means to love others.”

All that to say, there are a few little things he says (or portrays) that aren’t exactly right:

“Only you can know who you are right now.”

“You need to begin living the story that only you can write.”

Both of these phrasings put us in control- we don’t define ourselves and we don’t write our own story. Our identity is given to us by God and he is the Author of our stories.

“This is one of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard. Live while you have the chance, because that chance will be taken away someday.”

I mean… it’s a true statement. And an important one. But I have personally heard a lot of more profound statements than this, he might need to read more! (This was more of a semantics preference than a true criticism.)

“…the answer is easy: Jesus. I get that, but that’s not the question I’m asking. I want to know what will make this life matter to the degree that, when I get to the end of my life and I’m on my deathbed, I won’t look back and say, ‘I thought there was more.’”

I had to chuckle a little at this one. He says, ‘Okay, I get that Jesus is the answer, but what REALLY makes life worthwhile, what is REALLY the ‘more’ of life?’ Ben. It’s Jesus. It truly is that simple. I suppose he was trying to get at more of an application of what we DO about it, but it still seems like he’s saying that Jesus as the answer isn’t adequate for him.

“You and I need to be able to look at ourselves and see ourselves as worthy and deserving of love because we are worthy and deserving of love.”

This one is a little tricky, but no- we aren’t loveable and we don’t deserve love. We deserve hell. That’s the harsh reality, but that’s what makes the Gospel such Good News! In God’s mercy, he doesn’t give us what we deserve. He offers us salvation while we are still dead in our sins! So then: He doesn’t love us because we are loveable; we are loveable because he loves us. We can ‘love ourselves’ as Ben frequently advocates for because we are God’s creation, made in His image, with worth and purpose- not because of anything we have to offer but because He has called us to worth and purpose. So the outcome of Ben’s statement is true, I just wanted to clarify more so the ‘why'.’

So there were a few things a little ‘off’ but then he’ll say something later that kind of clarifies—I just didn’t like the inconsistencies. However, I understand this book is not intended to be a book on theology. His acknowledgements at the end of his book listed a few books that helped shape his thinking while writing; it included Bob Goff’s books ‘Everybody, Always’ (reviewed here) and ‘Love Does’, as well as Donald Miller’s book ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years’ (reviewed here).

Knowing that, his style of writing and his ‘close, but not exactly’ statements make more sense as Goff and Miller had the tendency to do the same thing (although Ben thankfully did less of putting words in God’s mouth like the other two).

Though, ‘Alone in Plain Sight’ (and Goff and Miller’s books) has its missteps, Ben imparts the general gospel and says a lot of true and important things that point to Jesus. And if those true things lead you to a real relationship with Christ and lead you to care more about people, then I cannot keep you from that! Read this book!

But then, maybe also peruse some theology and apologetic books to learn more about the Creator and Author, the One who loves and redeems. People’s stories do connect with us and show us how God works in our lives, but there is so much more to know about the grace, mercy, and justice found in a deeper study of Scripture.

Because as Ben says, “God made us to know Him.”

**Received an ARC via NetGalley**
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Ben tells life stories and how he has learned to embrace who he is. I enjoyed hearing Ben’s perspective and appreciated the well thought out explanations he gives. I didn’t enjoy reading stories about other people, since I picked up this book since I was a fan of Ben’s. I wish he didn’t use so many examples of other people.
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Ben Higgins is my all-time favorite Bachelor. He exudes kindness, compassion, and wanting to help others. I love how he has used his platform for the greater good of people. 

Alone in Plain Sight is all about connection— connecting with yourself, connecting with others, romantic connections, and connecting with God. Ben makes you feel like he is talking right to you, and I was able to relate to various parts of his journey to connection. Ben explains his struggle with feeling not fully seen— and I can definitely relate to this. 

One of my favorite parts of the book was the stories Ben shared about his friends. The challenges they faced, while holding onto hope, was so inspiring. It was also fun to read the part about one of my faves, @tanyarad!

Ben’s faith is so important to him, and I enjoyed reading about that aspect of his life. After reading this book, I feel like I “know” Ben a whole lot better— and I am inspired to continue finding authentic connections with others. 

“People need people who look them in the eyes and say, “No matter where you have been or even where you are going, you are loved.” - Alone in Plain Sight

“In this life we may feel alone in plain sight, but none of us are. We can be here for one another. All we have to do is reach out. Know that you are seen, you are heard, you are loved. Now go and bring that to others. The world needs you.” - Alone in Plain Sight
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Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced copy.

As a fan of Bachelor Ben, I was excited to get a copy of this book.  It really surprised me to learn so much about Ben, his upbringing and his time spent doing charity work and following the calling of the Lord. I appreciate his honesty and how his life has evolved after being on the reality show.
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Ben could have done a lot of things with his platform, and he choose to tell people about Jesus. He share his struggles and the stories or others all while pointing them to our only hope. I enjoyed learning more about how his early life and what life looked like after his 8 weeks of fame.
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In today's COVID-infested society, it is more important than ever for us to connect with one another. To remember that we all suffer, as pain takes many forms. To realize that we each carry with us a unique story, one that's meant to be shared. One that's full of purpose.

Made famous from his stint on reality television, Ben Higgins has used his platform to spread seeds of hope. In his book, "Alone in Plain Sight," Higgins indirectly gives us a glimpse of the pages in his journal, as he contemplates how he sees himself, his relationships, and God. He talks about his growth as a human being, in large part because of his willingness to get to know others.

If you are looking for a book to aid in refreshing your soul, start with this. It will inspire you to pick up the phone, or better yet, to grab a pen and begin sharing your story with others.
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I typically enjoy reading memoirs from former Bachelor/Bachelorette stars: from Sean Lowe to Andi Dorfman and everyone in between. So when I saw Ben Higgins had a book coming out, I immediately requested it. However, I must not have carefully read the summary because I quickly came to realize that this wasn't a memoir but more of a Christian book. Not being Christian or white, this book just wasn't for me. Additionally, I just found it wordy and repetitive. I think it would work much better for the target demographic.
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Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book by Ben Higgins. I was interested to read because of course I am aware of who he is from the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, but what I didn’t expect was a deeply personal journey through his life that on every page points back to Jesus. I thought this book was amazingly written as Ben intertwines his personal story, his friend’s stories and stories from the Bible to talk about the foundation of life, reconnecting with God, family and friends. Such a great read and encouragement and advice to be your best self and most importantly to let God write your story.
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Ben Higgins, former star of the ABC show "The Bachelor", has written this book for anyone who feels left behind or left out. Using personal anecdotes as well as stories from others, Higgins seeks to encourage those who want to feel like they belong. Unfortunately, I was hoping for more personal stories from Higgins, but felt like it was sadly lacking in this book. I appreciate how he leans so heavily on his faith and how he's open about this, but don't feel like this book was a must-read. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Yall - I typically enjoy all things bachelor / bachelor adjacent. but I was SO disappointed by this one. I guess I should have read more of the reviews - I don't think the description does a good job of telling what the book is about. Ben starts the book talking about unqualified he is to be writing a book. The majority of the book (feels like at least 75%) is other peoples words/stories and/or bible passages and/or bible descriptions. Once you get past this, it is hard to tell where Ben wanted to go with the book. It felt all over the place - at different points it felt like a memoir, a collection of random stories from other people, a religious sermon, and at times a bible retelling. 

There was no new bachelor information - despite him saying it was "needed for him to share this story". Instead, he jumps into many stories about the beginning of his white savior complex in action - trips abroad to feel good about himself.  On top of this the book is full of straight bad takes - one notable take being that we should rely on friends to constantly remind us of our worth/value. Not a problem in itself, but it must be exhausting if your happiness in always dependent on others. 

Another bad take - COVID. Ben complains about COVID, and his friend being in the hospital. He basically claims that he can't blame god. This is the same guy who has been flying/traveling around the US constantly - totally not following covid guidelines.  OK Ben. If you have to use other people's stories "because their lives eloquently showed truths I had trouble putting into words" and you write a book that includes complaining about COVID when you are part of the problem, you probably shouldn't be writing/publishing this book. 

Would not recommend.
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This book wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but to be honestly that’s probably my fault for not reading the description. I was expecting a memoir written by my all-time favorite Bachelor and maybe some behind the scenes gossip from his season. Instead it is more of an inspirational book about human connection. In this book Ben talks about his own struggles with loneliness and connection, tells stories of resilience and courage of people in his life, and connects it all back to his Christian faith. 

I thought this book had a really great message, but at times the delivery fell flat. I wanted to hear more of Ben’s experiences, not the experiences of his friends. That being said, I appreciate that Ben chose to use his platform share a message of self acceptance and connection. If you aren’t religious, specifically Christian, the last section may be a lot as it gets a little preachy, but as a Christian I did appreciate a lot of the messages and connected too faith. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Nelson books for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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