I Didn’t Come to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain by Courtney Robertson and Deb Baer

img_9642

I am a Bachelor junkie – I host a viewing party weekly for my friends, I’ve seen almost every season, and I follow a lot of the contestants on Instagram. In case you are not familiar with the show, every single season of The Bachelor has at least one central ‘villain’ contestant – they usually hang around long enough to stir up some drama and have some fun, quippy lines during their interviews. Courtney Robertson was one of the most legendary villains to ever be on the show – she constantly berated and mocked other contestants and against all odds ended up winning her season. The Bachelor production team is notoriously manipulative (and great at editing sound bites) so I was excited to see if Courtney had been a victim of this manipulation and to get her side of the story. Sadly, this book didn’t end up changing my opinion of Courtney for the better.

Millions of devoted fans of ABC’s reality hit The Bachelor tune in each week find out which lucky woman will win the heart of America’s most desirable single. But what happens in the fantasy suite doesn’t always stay in the fantasy suite. For the first time ever, a former Bachelor contestant offers up an insider look at the love, heartbreak, and reality behind reality television.

Courtney Robertson joined season sixteen of The Bachelor looking for love. A working model and newly single, Courtney fit the casting call: she was young, beautiful, and a natural in front of the cameras. But as her bachelor, winery owner Ben Flajnik, was unveiled and the season unfolded, something else was also clear—she was not there to make friends.

Courtney quickly became the biggest villain in Bachelor franchise history. She unapologetically pursued her man, steamrolled her competition, and broke the rules—including an illicit skinny-dip that sealed her proposal. Now, after a very public breakup with Ben, Courtney opens up about what really happened—from her first moments in the limo, to her proposal on a Swiss mountain top, to the tabloid frenzy that continued after the cameras stopped rolling. Dubbed “one of the most controversial contestants” ever, Courtney dishes on fellow alums in Bachelor Nation and explains why most relationships implode after the final rose.

Continue Reading

The Crown by Kiera Cass

img_9757-1

Honestly, I’m not sure why I finished this series. Sunk Cost Fallacy? Blind hope? Regardless, I pushed through and finally finished The Selection series 8 years after I started it. Was it worth it? Absolutely not. The first three books of the series were a fun, park-your-brain-at-the-door combination of The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games – nothing outstanding but pretty entertaining. For some inexplicable reason, the author chose to extend the series to follow the daughter of the two original leads as she goes through her own Selection. I had hoped that maybe the series would end on a high note – but The Crown set an all time low for the series – a waste of time at best and a waste of paper at worst.

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Continue Reading

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

img_0534

YA is a highly diverse and booming genre, but there’s one sub-genre that’s always thriving: romantic comedies. I’ve read some phenomenal YA romcoms and some not so great ones, but more often than not, they can lack originality and diversity. When I stumbled across When Dimple Met Rishi I was immediately excited, I had never read a YA rom-com focusing on modern arranged marriages. However, if there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s when women tear other women down, and When Dimple Met Rishi is chock full of just that. The pitting of women against women and insufferable characters really ruined the potential of this book, and made it a struggle for me to even finish.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

Continue Reading

The Heir by Kiera Cass

An unlikeable protagonist, a complete lack of stakes, and barely a trace of plot – The Heir sets a new low for series continuations. There’s been a trend lately of authors continuing series after a several year gap (Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, literally any series that Cassandra Clare has written). Sometimes, revisiting an existing series can be a fun way to expand a universe and allow the author to skip over some of the world building and dive straight into a story. The Heir turned out to be a poster child for the importance of knowing when to leave well enough alone.

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

Continue Reading

Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie Grazer

A review copy of this book was provided by St Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

When St Martin’s approached me about reading Been There, Married That, I was thrilled. The summary made it sound like a combo of the movie It’s Complicated and the show The Real Housewives of Orange County – a gorgeous mix of luxury, drama and divorce. Unfortunately, Been There, Married That fell flat for me because of a mix of pacing, characterization, and writing style issues.

When he changes the locks, she changes the rules.

Agnes Murphy Nash is the perfect Hollywood wife – she has the right friends, the right clothes, and even a side career of her own as a writer. Her husband Trevor is a bigshot producer, and from the outside it looks like they’re living a picture-perfect celebrity life, complete with tennis tournaments and lavish parties.

But the job description of a Hollywood wife doesn’t cover divorce, which is the way Agnes’ life is headed after she comes home one day to find her credit cards cancelled and the security passwords to get into her enormous LA home changed. Oh, and there’s a guy there whose job it is to tase her if she tries to enter…which she does.

Needless to say, Agnes’ husband is dead set on making sure she loses big time, but Agnes isn’t the type to just lie down and take it. In a world of fremenies and hot nannies, personal psychics and “skinny” jello shots, Agnes may be losing her husband, but could that mean getting her own life back?

Continue Reading