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ADULT,  ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  CHICK-LIT,  CONTEMPORARY,  FICTION,  NETGALLEY,  ROMANCE,  WOMEN'S FICTION

BOOK REVIEW : ONE TO WATCH BY KATE STAYMAN-LONDON

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TITLE : One To Watch

AUTHOR : Kate Stayman-London

GENRE : Women’s Fiction, Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Romance

GENRE : Women’s Fiction, Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Romance

FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5 stars)

PUBLISHED DATE : 7th July 2020

FR REVIEW

DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and John Murray Press for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

One To Watch is the debut work of Kate Stayman-London. The story follows Bea, a successful plus-size fashion blogger who has a massive following on her platform. She candidly criticizes and scrutinizes the lack of diversity in media and the very famous reality dating show called Main Squeeze. Main Squeeze is the fictional version of the most popular Bachelorette franchise. Because of her criticisms, the show is being called out by the public and they decide to cast her as the next lead on Main Squeeze. She goes on this adventurous journey filled with glamorous locations, swoon-worthy dates, and handsome suitors vying for her attention. The fantasy worthy journey is not all she expected and as she struggles to navigate the complicated world of dating on TV she has to be fearless and take risks to achieve her goals.

The story is perfect for the Bachelor and Bachelorette fans. There are a lot of similarities and the way the fictional show was designed was a lot of fun to read about. A lot of the over-the-top dates, model-like suitors, glamorous locations, and the entertaining scenes were all just perfect. I loved how the author captured the very essence of the reality show. She manages to incorporate fan reactions in between to help us get the overall scene. The story was well done and I loved the aspect of a plus-size heroine being the lead for a show like that. We rarely get to see that. The representation was good and there were other reps in here as well, that was a welcoming surprise to me.

Bea was very much a believable character. She did struggle with her body, identity and her insecurities regarding her body stemmed from the reactions of the opposite sex. Often she let her insecurities dictate her actions and drive people away without giving them a chance. The book mainly focuses on her journey and how despite her charming and fun personality she still felt not good enough to search for love. There were moments I wanted to just shake her and tell she is sabotaging things because of her fear, but those moments where she lays out her vulnerability made it feel believable and natural for someone with her history.

The suitors were also quite interesting. I loved a lot of them. While there were some great choices in the bunch, there were some villains as well. The cut from 25 to the 5 happened too quickly in my opinion. We didn’t get a lot of time with the suitors that were in the final five to get more of an in-depth understanding of them. There were also moments where Bea felt strongly about some of her suitors, but then as a reader, we didn’t feel as much of a connection as she implied.

The book was filled with cute, dreamy dates, some great sequences, a lot of drama that one can expect from reality TV. This was such a fun, entertaining ride with lots of humor and messy emotions. I loved this book. If you are looking for an entertaining, quick read with a lot of excitement, fun, and drama, this one will be for you. While it is classified under the romance genre, I personally felt that the romance could have been more developed. I also wished we got a lot more interactions between the suitors and Bea. I gave the book 4.5 stars and highly recommend checking it out. It ‘s also a great slump-buster in my opinion. Don’t forget to get your own copy of this book to go on a drama-filled glamorous journey of a fictional dating reality show with Bea.

SYNOPSIS

Real love…as seen on TV

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. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! 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. That’s it.

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. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after. 

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