Any fans of reality TV shows that focus on love will know how addictive they can be! Set to be released July 7th (but released early for Book of the Month members), Kate Stayman-London’s debut novel feels like it's pulled straight from television and placed in a funny and heartwarming romance. One to Watch shows how while not all reality TV may be real, the feelings that develop on such shows definitely are!
Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers--and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television? Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition--under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She's in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She's in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men--and herself--for a chance to live happily ever after.
If you love reality TV, rom-coms, or love stories, then this book is a must-read! It was like The Bachelorette in book-form and I was here for it!! I adored the concept of this novel and could help but fall in love with the book! While the subject matter isn’t very tame, the content itself doesn't get much steamier than a few innuendos. However, it still packs a rom-com punch and will satisfy any cravings for a good love story.
I also really enjoyed the way the story was told. The mixture of text conversations, news articles, and third person narration was interesting, yet made the story move at a good pace. This book is as binge-able as any reality TV show and will have you laughing and cringing at the awkwardness and beauty of finding love. Similar to The Bachelor franchise, I found myself rooting for one guy over the others, but still found myself liking most of them.
I loved Bea and her honest struggles with her appearance. She shows that even though she is proud of who she is and seems confident, she still struggles with her insecurities. The concepts of haters and negativity play a big role in the novel and Bea’s attempts to deflect the backlashes he gets show a raw and honest side to fame and showing your vulnerabilities not just to a loved one, but to the whole world. This real side to being in the public eye makes Bea a relatable protagonist that anyone who has felt insecure about themselves can relate to.
Overall, this book has drama, romance, laughter, and heartbreak. However, the whirlwind of emotions you’ll feel while reading this book will totally be worth it! This book is the perfect, flirty summer read to enjoy while sitting on the beach or to make your next book club choice!
*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!