One to Watch Review
In the end, I didn’t care for the romance. I found it to be frustrating and I just didn’t like who Bea chose.
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.
I’ve been wanting to pick this up since I saw it as a BOTM pick forever ago. I finally picked it up to do a buddy read with my good friend, Heather @heathersbookreview.
Heather was looking forward to a plus-size to a Bachelorette type show as she was a fan of the show. I was also excited to see a plus-size lead! But I’m not as familiar with the show.
But after reading this, I’ve got so many mixed feelings. I think between the time I first saw this book and when I finally got around to picking it up, my wires got crossed on what to expect.
...after reading this, I’ve got so many mixed feelings.
I thought this would be more of a cute romantic rom-com. This was none of those things. For me, at least. Cute? A little bit. Funny? Barely. It had its moments. But to me, this was definitely more of just a basic contemporary romance.
This just missed the mark for me on several things. It was also a lot more serious than I anticipated. Which I did appreciate. And by that, I mostly mean in regards to this being about a reality TV show featuring a plus-size lead. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. We get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Throughout the book besides following our main character in hopes of finding love, we see sprinkled between tweets, podcasts, and blog articles of reactions to the show as it’s airing. And it’s a wide range of support and not so much. It felt very real. I appreciated that it didn’t sugarcoat it and added that bit of reality.
It felt very real. I appreciated that it didn’t sugarcoat it and added that bit of reality.
And I really felt for our main character, Bea too. As a plus-size girl myself, her feelings towards dating and other aspects of life felt similar to my own. I resonated with her on many levels. I simply loved following Bea. Mostly.
Mostly being, I can not say the same for her suitors. I personally didn’t think we spent enough time with our men before they started getting sent off. And the select few that Bea leaned more towards, all of them had red flags for me. Especially with who Bea chooses to be with, in the end. That man gave me all the flags! I genuinely think if she ended up with someone else I wouldn’t have rated it as low.
I personally didn’t think we spent enough time with our men before they started getting sent off.
Overall, this was a disappointment for me. I enjoyed the premise and how real it felt. I appreciated that none of it was sugarcoated. I loved buddy reading this with Heather who felt similarly to me in most of my reactions and thoughts. It was a very fun discussion. And while I found portions of this enjoyable. In the end, I didn’t care for the romance. I found it to be frustrating and I just didn’t like who Bea chose.
However, while I didn’t enjoy this as much as I hoped, I’m sure others will! If you’re a fan of the Bachelorette and body diversity, you might enjoy this one too!