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It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose

Published by Harper Collins Zondervan

Hey, you. Are you debating whether to destroy something with your bare hands or curl up on the couch for a decade or two?

This book will solve all of your problems. (Sheesh, that’s aiming a bit high.)

This book is a cup of hot coffee, a ginormous bar of chocolate, or the magical fairy that comes over and does your dishes while you lie in the fetal position clutching a fluffy pillow.

Sometimes when life falls apart the only acceptable response is hysterical laughter. When things get so far gone, so spectacularly a world away from any plans you made or dreams you dreamed, you feel it bubbling up inside of you and you scream, “It’s not fair!” And it isn’t. Fair is an illusion, and life is weird.

This book will help you laugh at life’s absurd backhands. This book is an empathetic groan of our collective unfairnesses. You might want to throw it across the room, and you might want to hug it like your new best friend. This book is about us sitting down together in our shared mess, taking a deep breath, gripping hands, looking the hard stuff in its beady little eyeballs, and bahahahaaing at it.

Life’s not fair, but we can learn to love this life we didn’t choose.


Melanie Shanklemelanieshankle-headshot

New York Times Bestselling Author of Nobody’s Cuter Than You

“Melanie Dale is funny, which is a trait that I highly value in a person.  But, even more than that, she’s authentic. She isn’t afraid to say the things we all think, but wonder if they’re okay to say out loud.  And that’s exactly what she does in It’s Not Fair.  As she shares her own stories, you will laugh hard, nod your head and feel like maybe she’s looking right into your heart.  You won’t regret the time you spend reading her words and will walk away relieved that someone understands exactly how you feel.”

Alli Worthingtonalli-headshot

Author of Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy

“I love this book. Melanie has the rare gift of being able to encourage you through our hardest days while making you laugh until tears stream down your cheeks.”

Sophie Hudsonsophie-headshot

Author of Giddy Up, Eunice and Home is Where My People Are

“It’s great to have friends who cheer you on when life is shiny and happy and Pinterest-y, but it’s invaluable, critical even, to have friends who cheer you on, empathize, and encourage when life takes a turn and looks nothing like you imagined. Fortunately for all of us, Melanie Dale is that friend. She’s hilarious, wise, and boasts an uncanny ability to relate Doctor Who to any situation (it’s one of the lesser known spiritual gifts). In It’s Not Fair, Melanie is at her very best because 1) she’s a crazy-gifted writer and 2) she gets it. Whatever your ‘it’ is. You’ll walk away from this book (which is delightful to read) feeling like you’ve found a new friend, and as an added bonus, you’ll also feel like you’ve found some new perspective that just so happens to be grounded in and covered with Truth. Melanie’s fancy like that.”

Sandra Stanleysandra-headshot

North Point Ministries

“Melanie never fails to make me laugh, and in It’s Not Fair, she turns her hilarity to one of life’s hardest subjects: suffering. Sharing her own stories of disappointment and challenge, she offers no easy answers but leads us on a path to hope, stopping for laughter along the way. She is the friend you want beside you when life gets hard.”

Courtney DeFeocourtney-headshot

Creator of Lil Light O’ Mine and author of In This House, We Will Giggle

“Melanie Dale is the most hilarious, real, non-cheerleader, bible-believing, movie-quoting cheerleader you would want to stumble into during your life’s toughest struggles. She doesn’t try to give you the perfect answer or 10 tips to take away your pain–she simply reminds you that you aren’t alone. She shares her own junk through hilarious tales and sometimes tear-jerking tales and inspires us all to take one step to love the life we didn’t choose.”

Kari Kampakiskari-headshot

Blogger and author of Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For? and 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know

“The best time for comic relief? When you’re going through a trial, of course! And only Melanie Dale, with her quick wit and big heart, can weave both hilarity and compassion into those hard seasons of life we all know in some form. It’s Not Fair is a funny, entertaining, and highly relevant read. Whatever your circumstances are, this book will remind you that laughter is medicine to the soul and hardships are always more bearable when you have a friend who understands.”

Erin Loechnererin-headshot

Writer & Stylist

“Melanie Dale is as good as it gets. She’s a wise, tiny Buddha trapped in a comedic shell; the fearless, oh-so hilarious girlfriend we all wish we had. Luckily, we get to keep her on our nightstand now. (In the not creepy way.)”

Jamie C. Martinjamie-headshot

Author of Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time

“Understood. That’s exactly how I felt while reading It’s Not Fair. Finally there’s a voice with the courage to talk about the tough reality of what it’s like when your dream doesn’t come true, or the tough reality that happens after your dream comes true and isn’t what you thought it would be. Not only does Melanie dare to speak the truth, she does it a way that keeps us laughing and going deeper in faith at the same time. So grateful for this read!”

Logan Wolframlogan-headshot2

Author Curious Faith: Rediscovering Hope in the God of Possibility, speaker, and Mel’s real life friend

“Here’s the thing, life isn’t fair.  Our parents said it, we’ve said it to our own kids, and we’ve thought it plenty of times too.  But when Melanie Dale says it, she’s not blanketing hardship in a statement that “fixes it” without really fixing it at all.  In her “me too” relatability, readers find in Melanie a sister, a friend, and a delightful guide to find the beauty in the hardship, the gifts in the midst of pain, and even fulfillment in the longing.  I’ll read Melanie Dale til the cows come home because I know that this gal is as real as they come and in her words I find not only camaraderie, but more importantly, I find Jesus.”

Kristen Strongkristen-headshot

Author of Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You Through Life’s Transitions

“With a writing style that’s both side-splitting funny and heart-healing real, Melanie Dale is an author whose life-giving words stay with you like those of your most trusted friend. Her writing matches her personality: sparkling and engaging. Read Melanie’s words and be encouraged in every way possible.”

Susan Alexander Yatessusan-headshot

Author of many books including the new, Risky Faith, Becoming Brave Enough to Trust the God Who is Bigger Than Your World

“If you ever wonder, ‘Am I the only one who …? or does anyone understand…?’ Grab this book and you’ll discover you are not alone and you’ll find a true friend who’s funny and honest and who will encourage you.”

Jeannie Cunnionjeannie-headshot

Author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child

“Laughter isn’t a typical response to suffering, but Melanie shows us why laughter is not only one of the acceptable -but essential – ways to cope with the unfair and unexpected potholes in life. Even better, she reacquaints us with a God who not only welcomes our anger about our suffering but a God who remains ever present and faithful in it. Melanie’s wicked sense of humor makes this a must read for anyone who needs a refreshing take on the familiar topic of suffering. I absolutely loved this book.”

Lorilee Crakerlorilee-headshot

Bestselling author of thirteen books, including Money Secrets of the Amish and Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me

“First of all, Melanie Dale had me at her ‘menstrual cramps emoji’. I think we’ve all been waiting for years for that to be developed. Second, she’s just so real, and funny, and warm, in a ‘here’s me sitting next to you’ way. Life can be fun, joyful, buoyant–it can also be a real mess. When we feel disappointed, angry, and like shredding something with our bare hands, Melanie gets it, and she points us in the most winsome ways to the One who also sits next to us, getting us, holding us and healing us.”