Book Review: One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

book cover of one to watch by Kate Stayman-London

book cover of one to watch by Kate Stayman-London

I am a junkie for The Bachelor – I watch The Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and the Canadian versions. I know it’s a trash show, but something about it is oddly addicting. There are dozens of issues with The Bachelor, but one of the main issues is the lack of representation. Soon, the show will be featuring its first black Bachelor after 18 years – yes there have been 18 years of only white male leads. The contestant side of things has been pretty homogenous too – most years there are 90% white contestants. There is also a total lack of body diversity – there has only ever been one plus sized contestant ever. Given all of this, I was over the moon to be able to read a realistic take on what a season of The Bachelorette lead by a plus sized woman would be like.

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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