ePUB One to WatchAuthor Kate Stayman-London – Multi-channel.co

Ooh you guys, I loved this one I m a sucker for a good rom com and this one checked all the boxes A body positive plus sized fashion blogger changing the narrative and breaking boundaries as the Main Squeeze aka Bachelorette Yes please Out this July, One to Watch will be a perfect addition to your beach bag Add it to your tbr Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for providing me with a copy of the book to review All opinions are my own. Wow, this book was therapeutic af Like I could fire my therapist right now I have honestly never seen an episode of The Bachelor Bachelorette and that kind of drama is not my kind of drama, so some of this was annoying and boring for me I didn t like that for most of the book, I had no idea who Bea would end up with And no spoilers, but I wasn t that excited about her choice Anyway, the real reason I loved this book tho is for the aforementioned therapy in the guise of the character Bea as a fat woman who has romance problems I ve never related to a character s struggles, both external and internal, as much as I related to Bea It was wild how well our insecurities matched and I honestly loved feeling less alone Should I now sign up for The Bachelorette to go thru a Bea like journey let me know when they have a queer season have they had one already Real Loveas Seen On TVBea 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 ItBut When The Cameras Start Rolling, Bea Realizes Things Are 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 I m going to put a quick disclaimer here to fully hammer home how great this book is In addition to reading advance copies for NetGalley, I also get a lot of ARCs and drafts from fellow authors who ask for feedback, edits, or help with shaping their blurb or summaries As result, when I am in READ AND REVIEW mode, it can be really hard for me to turn off the editor part of my brain, engage as a reader, and just enjoy a book.You guys I didn t just read ONE TO WATCH I freaking devoured it This book is going to join the ranks of my beloved pantheon of women s fiction that I reread whenever I m sad and or lounging by the pool Stayman London nailed so many things about this story that I m just going to list them in no particular order 1 The mental struggles of being a plus sized woman, and the way we can waver from insanely confident to terrified no one will ever truly love us There were certain passages that felt like excerpts from my diary.2 The cruelty of society towards women who don t conform to certain standards of beauty and the blind eye turned to men in the same category I mean, why do men shop in the Big and Tall section while women are just Plus Sized There were certain situations where I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug Bea so tight whilst simultaneously throttling the turd nuggets who said awful things to her 3 The believable depiction of how one woman could conceivably fall for several different men at once I am so so so so so picky about love triangles in books and idk what even to call this a love milpentagram because so often, the author makes the final choice easy by demonizing all the other choices In this case, the men and their relationships with Bea felt authentic, and with two exceptions, there was no demonizing of the final viable options.4 The glitz and glamour ugh, I love a glittery Hollywood book bursting with very specific outfit descriptions, and this book delivers I also love seeing glimpses into the reality TV world, and as a former Bachelor addict and Reality Steve junkie and consumer of Bachelor alum memoirs , this felt very authentic and juicy.5 The use of social media and little vignettes to enhance the story I loved all the text messages and emails and articles and blog posts they all blended together to give this amazing background and alternate POVs into Bea s story 6 I also had to eventually confront my own feelings about being a plus sized girl in a world that really really doesn t like us Most books with plus sized heroines end in a weight loss and THEN she gets with the guy who loved her all along but it doesn t happen until she loses weight because she s depressed or something That s one version of a plus size wish fulfillment when reading books like this The other one is what happens here, but to an extreme There isn t one, but several highly attractive, perfect men who want Beaand maybe it s because my own life experiences and programming has convinced me otherwise, but it does feel like another version of wish fulfillment It s Cinderella who gets the perfect designer wardrobe and several men who all proclaim their love for her and she gets the one she actually wants in the end. but then, I guess that is a wish fulfillment story for literally anyone reading this I don t really know where I m going with this thought in particular, but I typed it all out so I might as well leave it.I really can t think of anything I disliked about this book maybe the cover could have been a littlefashion blogger amazing by using an actual plus size cover model rather than a drawing, but that s just me nit picking at this point.Bottom line this book is great You should buy it And I can t wait to see what else Kate writes in the future. I feel like I ve hit the romance novel jackpot for over a week, because this is the third or fourth romance I ve absolutely loved in as many days.Usually I m incredibly apprehensive when books have a ripped from the headlines feel to them As someone who follows The Bachelor franchise closely, I was unsure how this book was going to translate or if it d just seem like it was a literal season of the show But this book was so much , and I ate it up.Two things that struck me about One to Watch First off, I love when a story takes on social issues in ways that seem organic and educated, and it s obvious that Kate Stayman London has a real pulse on The Discourse around topics like body positivity, fatphobia, diversity, andThere s nothingcringeworthy than an author trying to be woke who just isn t Second, and as important, this book had an involved multimedia approach, and it felt so real It s incredibly awkward when supposed text messages between characters don tread like how people actually text IRL The bottom line This book was like candy Loved every second of the ride Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC. 4.5 5 starsOne to Watch is a fun, funny entertaining read It is sort of a mix between Women s Fiction, Contemporary Romance, and Chick Lit.The main character is 30ish Bea Schumacher, a plus size fashion blogger 3rd person POV.The book features a mixed media method of storytelling A lot of the story is told thru emails, texts, blog posts, website articles, transcripts, social media posts and comments There are no chapters, instead there are episodes of a tv show.This was an interesting and different way to tell a story I normally prefer the structure of chapters But once I got used to the style of writing I enjoyed it.I really liked Bea as the main character It was definitely interesting to read about her struggles.I really loved that reality television played such a big part in this story There are a lot of Bachelor jokes So basically the reality show in this book Main Squeeze is quite similar to The Bachelor.This is a cute, easy read There is the fashion aspect The dating aspect The plus sized heroine aspect And there is a fair amount of diversity in this book One interesting part of this book is that I honestly had no idea where the romance part of the story was going At times it seemed like it was going one way Then it seemed like it was going in a completely different direction I really did not know if she would end up with anybody or who it would be until the very end.Overall I really enjoyed this book And I would definitely recommend it.Thanks to netgalley and Random House Publishing Group Random House Dial Press Trade Paperback for allowing me to read this book. I felt a little weird giving a beach read much less one modeled on the concept of The Bachelor the same rating I gave Pride and Prejudice, but I simply had too much fun reading it to justify any other.Bea is a plus size fashion blogger and quite accustomed to the trolling and doxxing that comes along with being a larger woman on the internet Bea isn t afraid to be herself in a world that tells her she should hide in a corner She s not afraid to wear what she wants or express how she feels, like how she thinks the popular reality dating show Main Squeeze sets unrealistic standards But the one area of her life where she lacks confidence is her dating life She has spent years pining after unavailable men who hurt her and has never had a real relationship.When the producers of Main Squeeze contact her about being their next contestant, Bea sees it as a business opportunity, as well as a chance to bring diversity and new norms to the program She has no plans to actually fall in love But then she decides to conquer her fear of relationships, deal with her insecurities and past trauma, and give love a chance.This book manages to be upbeat while also bluntly realistic This author internets In addition to the traditional storytelling, the story is interspersed with transcripts from podcasts, twitter and instagram comments, and fan reactions One of my favorite characters is not a character at all, but a member of a betting pool for Main Squeeze enthusiasts Bea is likable and relatable I enjoyed the author s writing style and sense of humor.If I had one compliant, and this was almost enough to cost this book a star, it would be that I didn t like the romantic endgame Her love interest is pretty heavily telegraphed from his introduction, but I didn t like it I felt he was jealous and ridiculous and saw no real chemistry between him and Bea.Overall, I highly recommend this as a summer read with substance. This rating review is based on an ARC from Netgalley.One to Watch is a wonderful romance about a fat female fashion blogger and her journey to find love on a Bachelor esque reality TV dating show Think UnReal, but less cutthroat and manipulative and wayromantic The prose uses traditional narration combined with text messages, culture reporting Deadline, Jezebel, etc , podcast transcripts, slack channel chatter, supportive tweets and comments, and hateful tweets and comments It makes the story feel real and lived in when in world characters are interacting with the show in the same way I would I am not a strong reader, but I devoured it in a single sitting.While I am avid romance watcher, I have a really hard time getting in to romance novels According to Letterboxd I have watched 695 romance movies which I suspect is an underestimate , and logged almost 44 hours of Korean dramas and movies on MyDramaList I am no stranger to the romance genre But if a romance isn t extremely well structured I have a hard time getting through it I can obviously power through movies, but for some reasonI can t with books This story is very well structured It rides that perfect line of predictability and instability where it hits all the elements of story satisfaction And I haven t even gotten to how much I relate to Bea as a fat woman myself I don t like fashion or clothes, but I looooooove seeing fashionable fat women I constantly look up pictures of Lindy West s wedding dress and I basically only watch Nailed It for Nicole Byer s fashion It was beautiful and also so hard to read about Bea s insecurities because they are so close to my own So much of this novel feels really lived in, which makes it so supremely readable and enjoyable. Instagram Twitter FacebookPinterestONE TO WATCH is a book that perfectly captures all of the cringe of reality television, while also providing a pitch perfect look at the behind the scenes manipulation of the reality TV industry, the way people view women s bodies, and what it means to be an empowered woman in a society filled with double standards This could have been a heinous, horrible book in the wrong hands, but in Stayman London s hands, it became a new fave Body positivity I feel like this book really does a great job with its heroine, plus sized fashion blogger, Bea She s just an ordinary woman who happens to wear a size 20, which is a pretty typical size for a lot of American women, although a lot of us think of that as unusual because we don t see women with bodies like that in TV or magazines When Bea is called to be on the very show she criticized on her blog, people treat it like she s breaking a very controversial barrier, even though those barriers should not exist The body positivity movement has its flaws but I feel like those are addressed here there s a HUGE difference between living a healthy lifestyle and judging others for the way they look The rep In addition to Bea, who is plus size, there is a lot of diversity in the guys she s supposed to date which she demanded on her show One of the love interests is Asian, one of the love interests is black There is a character in here who is gender nonconforming and a character in here who is asexual One of the male love interests is a virgin, and it s treated so respectfully, which I definitely felt like was a call out to how The Bachelor and all of the promo handled Colton, where everyone made SUCH A BIG DEAL OVER IT, whereas here it feels totally normal The portrayal of social media and reality television I loved all of the multi POVs in here, which I usually can t stand But the blog posts, the Tweets, the comments, the podcasts, and the mailing groups were just spot on with how people talk I felt like the blog posts were a really great portrayal of how people really do consume and write about media The comments and Tweets about Bea are sadly an accurate reflection of how people talk to and about women with a prominent online presence, especially if those women aren t considered conventionally attractive The romance OH MY GOD, so usually in reality TV about dating there s just a whole bunch of jerks and all the good guys get voted off immediately, which is why I find watching them so frustrating you get invested, you know , but here, there are a number of good guys that I loved And also a ton of guys that I loved to hate, and hated to love I m so picky about chick lit, and haven t enjoyed a book THIS MUCH since the heyday of Meg Cabot and Plum Sykes and Jennifer Weiner circa the late 90s and early 2000s This was SO MUCH FUN and I was obsessed with Bea s journey not just to find love, but also to find happiness and to love herself The feminist themes Honestly So good Bea was the perfect blend of vulnerability and empowerment She wasn t portrayed like an icon A lot of her insecurities were things that I, as a plus size woman, really related to She made mistakes and could be irrational and selfish, but I could see myself making and doing a lot of her decisions and having those same doubts But despite all that, there was an overarching message that women shouldn t have to settle for less, and they shouldn t have to apologize for being the way they are I loved that about this book it kept it from feeling exploitative, because it had the heart, and didn t portray this as a throwaway thing The hate watching cringe ONE TO WATCH is seriously just like watching a television show, and I hope there are spin offs because I WOULD TOTALLY READ MORE OF THIS WORLD I found myself rooting for various love interests, and wanting to scream at the book when drama surfaced, especially the love hate relationship between Bea and the director of the show omg, Lauren, like, CAN YOU NOT I don t think I ve ever read a book that captures the vibe of reality TV this well, only it s better than any reality TV show that I ve seen in like ten years, so.I found myself at a crucial point about 370 pages in where I knew it was a make or break moment, which would determine whether this book was four or five stars for me The book didn t choose the ending I wanted though it one upped me and found an even better one I honestly hope that this becomes a movie, because if it doesn t PEOPLE ARE MISSING OUT This is the best chick lit book that I have read in years, and I honestly couldn t put it down once I really started reading.Love Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 5 stars Yes indeed, I read this book in one day, that s how much it pulled me in and made me want to keep reading It s so fun and entertaining and also super smart about body image and the way the media treats women and I loved it a lot Anyone who watches The Bachelor should totally read this, but I don t watch it and I loved it anyway