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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Highly recommended

    Wow. This story stayed with me days after finishing. As a fan of the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchises seeing a more behind the scenes allowed me to understand just how hard it would be to be the 'main attraction', whether they are actually looking for love or just five seconds of fame. This book is insightful and very self aware. Understanding how being in the spotlight and plus-sized can gain such hatred made me feel so much anger but the way it was handled and the different types of mediums used (twitter, emails, texts, blogs etc) allowed for so many different points of view that the whole event felt more real. I definitely recommend.

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  • Kate Stayman-London - One To Watch

    Bea Schumacher is successful blogger – fashion blogger even though as plus size woman this is not necessarily a field where people would expect her. After being disappointed again by Ray with whom she has been in love for many years now, she accepts the offer to take part in the TV show “Main Squeeze” where 25 men compete for her love. Is this a way of finding the perfect match? Bea is hardly convinced and the first encounter with the good looking competitors seem to confirm her worst expectations: disappointed by her body shape, they do not shrink from humiliating her in front of a large audience. But slowly she discovers that some might be able to see beyond her body and detect the woman that she is. Yet, can this really be true or is it just to promote their own popularity? Kate Stayman-London’s novel oscillates between totally hilarious and deeply sad while addressing some absolutely serious topics. The text is a collage of different text types, the actual narration is interrupted by Bea’s blog entries, Internet comments and newspaper articles which makes it a lively and authentic read since this is how we consume information today: they come in different shapes and only together do they form a whole picture. However, the story relies on the protagonist, a woman who is easy to sympathise with, you simply cannot not love Bea. What I appreciated most, was how Bea’s weak sides were presented. Never has she felt at ease in her body, the pressure of fitting in and fulfilling certain expectations of the female body’s look have haunted her since her teenage years. Nevertheless, she has become a spokeswoman for those who do not conform which is easy as long as she is more or less invisible behind her blog – being exposed on TV is a different story. TV just like the fashion industry is all but diverse in all respects. The novel convincingly criticises this, yet, they depend on the audience who also needs to move on and open up for other protagonists. A novel to dive in and enjoy the read.

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  • Niet weg te leggen!

    Dit boek was niet weg te leggen. Ik heb het in twee dagen helemaal uitgelezen, tot frustratie van mensen om me heen die wilden dat ik mijn aandacht liever gaf aan hen.

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  • If reality TV were a novel...

    Fans of the Batchelor et al, and those who was fashion obsessed will likely love this book. For my part, I thought it was very well structured - I loved the way the author cut between the story, message threads, emails, blogs, review transcripts, twitter etc - and better executed than any other book I've read that has tried something similar. As for the fashion, I absolutely hated every time a designer and specific style of clothing was mentioned. While the protagonist, Bea, is a fashion blogger, for someone who doesn't give two hoots about what a character wears, or any high end fashion labels, the constant references to both only served to distract from the story - I don't need to know they exact colour or material of an item of clothing when it appears to have no bearing on the plot. I'm not a reality TV show fan, but didn't find it off-putting. Bea's insecurities and self-doubt were grating after a while, but wholly predictable so I was able to look past them. I'd recommend for fans of dating style reality TV and fashionistas, probably not for others though.

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