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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 Ch 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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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 Ch 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.

30 review for One to Watch

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    I went into this one without really having any expectations and it ended up BLOWING ME AWAY. I loved this SO MUCH. I can't find the words to express how much it meant to me to see a fat girl THRIVING the way that Bea thrived in this book. I'm seriously just so happy. This book was fantastic. If you're like me and you also love love, YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. It was SO MUCH FUN. I CAN'T STOP YELLING IN CAPS LOCK ABOUT IT YOU JUST NEED TO READ IT. Also- I highly recommend the audiobook! It was r I went into this one without really having any expectations and it ended up BLOWING ME AWAY. I loved this SO MUCH. I can't find the words to express how much it meant to me to see a fat girl THRIVING the way that Bea thrived in this book. I'm seriously just so happy. This book was fantastic. If you're like me and you also love love, YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. It was SO MUCH FUN. I CAN'T STOP YELLING IN CAPS LOCK ABOUT IT YOU JUST NEED TO READ IT. Also- I highly recommend the audiobook! It was really well done and made the experience EVEN MORE enjoyable. Just all around 10/10 recommend this one. IT WAS SO GOOD. TW: fatphobia, cheating

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    One of my fast, smart, entertaining, feel-good books! It’s refreshing, relaxing and motivational. This is not only plus size fashion blogger’s journey to find her love of her life, it’s her inner journey to realize she deserved to be loved, cared and she have to make peace with her appearance and inner fears to live brighter future she dreamed of. Bea Schumacher’s life changes when she takes a trip in Paris (lately I read so much books about the city and I start to believe it has its own magica One of my fast, smart, entertaining, feel-good books! It’s refreshing, relaxing and motivational. This is not only plus size fashion blogger’s journey to find her love of her life, it’s her inner journey to realize she deserved to be loved, cared and she have to make peace with her appearance and inner fears to live brighter future she dreamed of. Bea Schumacher’s life changes when she takes a trip in Paris (lately I read so much books about the city and I start to believe it has its own magical powers!) and change her fashion style, gaining more self-confidence and voila, she starts making videos, finding her power at social media with her creative ideas and now she gets offer from Main Squeeze reality show. Her brand new occupation requires fantasy dates! Another version Blind Date meets Bachelor meets Love is Blind (my husband started to watch it, can you believe it? I’m afraid the home quarantine will eventually fry the rest of his brain cells!) Bea’s heart is already broken after her long time crush a. k. a her best friend (she should make better friend choices!) and she had a one night stand and he ghosted her! Yes, bastard ruined her self-esteem and now she deserves to have fun. And maybe but just maybe, she can find someone she may truly fall in love. I think her dating parts are a little superficial, unrealistic but the parts about Bea’s inner fight, her vulnerability and her insecurities prevent her share true self with the world are remarkable. Those sincere parts help us connect with the heroine and understand her pain, her struggle and her need of approval. Overall: Even though I didn’t get interested the reality show premise and dating parts, I loved Bea and her self-discovery journey and I also enjoyed the supporting characters who contributed Bea’s meaningful journey. (Especially Sam, Asher and Marin) So I give 3.5 stars and I’m naturally rounding them up to 4! So much thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing/ Dial Press for sharing this amazing ARC in exchange my honest review and help us get through these stressful days with the healing power of great books.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ The Trash Empress ✨️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest ONE 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. ✨ Bod Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest ONE 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

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dita

    I have only hate-watched The Bachelor so maybe I wasn't the right audience for this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    *Note: I also have a 17-minute video review of this one! https://youtu.be/TdfRiQLbq_A This is one of the most FRUSTRATING books I have read in a long time! It had the potential to be truly incredible, but in my opinion really dropped the ball. This could have used another round of edits and sensitivity readers who might have caught some things. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people give high ratings to this though because 1) It has a fantastic concept! The first plus-size woman on a Bachelor *Note: I also have a 17-minute video review of this one! https://youtu.be/TdfRiQLbq_A This is one of the most FRUSTRATING books I have read in a long time! It had the potential to be truly incredible, but in my opinion really dropped the ball. This could have used another round of edits and sensitivity readers who might have caught some things. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people give high ratings to this though because 1) It has a fantastic concept! The first plus-size woman on a Bachelorette-type show? Sign me up! 2) It's very easy to read. I breezed through it and there's a lot that fun and melodramatic, especially if you are a Bachelor fan, which I am. (Despite recognizing it's real problems with diversity, which I was excited to see addressed!) HOWEVER I've got issues with it. And they are mostly things that could have easily been fixed with the above suggestion- namely more editing and sensitivity readers! 1) This is marketed as body positive with fierce and fashionable plus-size heroine looking for love. I was anticipating a heroine who loves herself and her body, and is ready to put herself out there, knowing there are men who will be interested. And I was READY for it! Ready for a heroine I could identify with and root for as she she undermines problematic standards of beauty. Instead what we get is a heroine who puts up a good facade, but internally is deeply, painfully insecure and refuses to believe that conventionally attractive men could be into her, despite CLEAR EVIDENCE to the contrary! She's so whiny about it and spends way too much time thinking and talking about how she's too fat for these men to actually want to be with her. Not to mention the fact that she spent YEARS pining after this guy who was a shitty friend, even after he was in a long term relationship. Early on in the book she sleeps with him while he is ENGAGED to someone else, and then is devastated when he ghosts her! She's 30 years old and has the emotional maturity of a college student. And this is a heroine I'm supposed to be identifying with and rooting for? Nope. Sorry, this is not what I signed up for. At the show reunion she suddenly begins spouting all these mature and thoughtful things and it's a complete 180 for her character in a completely unbelievable way. Where was all this maturity and confidence when you were actually on the show?! Not that you can't have a heroine who has moments of insecurity or is hurt by the nastiness of internet trolls, but this ventured so far beyond that it's scarcely relevant. 2) On top of which, I had some issues with the fatness representation. On the show, she talks a good talk about negative and false stereotypes, but in practice she completely plays into them. Shall I enumerate the ways? - There is lip service paid to the idea that fat people can have healthy diets. But we get a shopping list for her that is primarily lots of chips and soda, nary a vegetable or fruit in sight. Not that you can't have a character who indulges or enjoys richer foods, but can we please have a fat heroine who enjoys a dessert but also eats a salad?! I hate this stereotype and this book did nothing to combat it. - Another common misconception is that fat people are never physically active. So does Bea talk about her yoga classes, or her love of cross fit, or dance? Nope. She freaks out when bachelors who are personal trainers get judgmental, but we could have had her snapping back about how she already has a fitness routine she loves and is happy with her body. But we don't. Then we get her at her high school talking about how she tried to get out of gym class and hated sports. Way to go with all the stereotypes there. - We find out early on that Bea (heroine) did not go to prom because she couldn't find a dress. Now, Bea is 30, I'm 33, and I can tell you that when she was getting ready for prom, as an American woman, there were definitely options available for prom dresses. A decade earlier? Maybe not. I can't help wondering if the author wrote her own experience onto this, but at least for me it didn't ring true. - Bea has this big moment late in the book where she sleeps with someone and leaves the light on for the first time. I can't help wondering, is this REALLY still a thing? And a heroine who's supposed to an icon for body positivity but she can't be seen while having sex? I just....don't get it. There's a place for heroines who have this level of insecurity, but based on the marketing, this book wasn't it. We deserve a fat heroine who has a collection of sexy plus-size lingerie that she isn't afraid to show off. - I struggled with the fact that she is so certain thinner men won't be into her. That certainly exists, but there are plenty of men who aren't themselves fat that are into larger ladies. And yes, even in Los Angeles. Like my husband. Who I met in the LA area. I mean, you're a fashion icon! Will you face some discrimination? Yes of course, and that's worth talking about, but the extremes this went to played into this negative stereotype of fat women being pathetic and desperate. Does that change by the end? Sure, but that never needed to be her character arc in the first place. 3) (oh you thought I was done? Ha!) It's clear that the author holds liberal ideals, but the way it's done in this book feels like checking off boxes and feeling good about it while missing some of the racist and problematic depictions that, again, could have been easily adjusted. Lesbian best friend? Check. Guy on the asexual spectrum? Check. Kid who is gender non-conforming? Check. Black and Asian love interests? Check and check! Except...the POC men are not handled well at all. Sam is a Black man who is introduced as a Michael B. Jordan look-alike. Which, yes please! But then, if you didn't pay close attention you might NEVER REMEMBER that he's Black! No descriptions of warm brown skin when they're making out etc. Nothing. Until the very end of the book where we are suddenly reminded again that, oh yeah! I guess he's Black! That was such a missed opportunity. Especially because he comes from an elite and wealthy family with parents who have high expectations. This could have opened a conversation about opportunity gaps and race in America. But instead we get more of Bea whining about how no one could be into her. On top of which, Sam is this kind and happy go lucky guy, but he lives at home and doesn't know what he wants to do. Which....I get what she was going for here, but since there is a long history of Black men in America being negatively stereotyped as lazy and feeding off the system, this feels like a real mis-step. She could have had him interested in writing, or art, still allowing for a conflict with his family who want their kids to be doctors or lawyers, but avoiding this problematic depiction. While Sam is the most egregious example of this, we have similar problems with Asher, our Asian love interest. Again, playing into stereotypes, he's very academically minded (a history professor) and the most reserved and uptight of everyone, not to mention hesitant to get sexy. (Even if he has other reasons for this, it still plays into Asian men being viewed as less sexual, especially with the emphasis on Bea's mental connection with him, not a physical one) But hey, at least we HAVE an Asian man as a viable love interest! *sigh* On a positive note, the mixed media format was cool and she really nailed the reality TV aspect of this, as well as the hate women and especially fat women can get from internet trolls. I got a kick out of the nods to the Bachelor franchise and there were moments that made me giggle. But ultimately? This book was a huge disappointment, especially because it had so much potential. I can't help but wonder if the author having had a successful non-fiction writing career led to them not editing her the way that they should have. If so, it's really a shame because this could have been amazing. But this just wasn't it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bibi

    *5+ stars* *Spoilers* One to Watch is a story with nuance, profundity and a cast of diverse characters. I was wrung out and palpably affected by Bea and her not so merry band of suitors. Note to authors: This is how you represent people. A plus-sized lead. A Black co-lead (who isn't the bad guy) and an Asian love interest who isn't the stereotypical tech nerd. Likewise, myriad sexual preferences were respectfully depicted. I swear this author exceeded expectations I never knew I had. Stayman-Londo *5+ stars* *Spoilers* One to Watch is a story with nuance, profundity and a cast of diverse characters. I was wrung out and palpably affected by Bea and her not so merry band of suitors. Note to authors: This is how you represent people. A plus-sized lead. A Black co-lead (who isn't the bad guy) and an Asian love interest who isn't the stereotypical tech nerd. Likewise, myriad sexual preferences were respectfully depicted. I swear this author exceeded expectations I never knew I had. Stayman-London has now joined a small but elite group of authors who use their platform and brand in advocacy for those who've been oppressed and underrepresented. She's definitely one to watch. Highly recommend!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Guillory

    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!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Gah this was just perfection.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    This was so cute. If you’re a fan of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette then I feel like this is a must read. This book centers on this romantic reality show called Main Squeeze, which is obviously very much inspired by The Bachelorette. Our main character Bea is a plus size fashion blogger and she publicly criticizes the show for not having more diverse body types on the show. Then, the show asks her to be the star of the next season, and 25 men are selected to fight for her attention and date he This was so cute. If you’re a fan of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette then I feel like this is a must read. This book centers on this romantic reality show called Main Squeeze, which is obviously very much inspired by The Bachelorette. Our main character Bea is a plus size fashion blogger and she publicly criticizes the show for not having more diverse body types on the show. Then, the show asks her to be the star of the next season, and 25 men are selected to fight for her attention and date her. This was entertaining and dramatic as fuck in all the same ways that The Bachelorette is. Even if it’s fictional, it’s great to see what it would be like for a plus size person to be the star of a show like this. This book also has some other diversity to it that I wasn’t expecting. This book got me out of a reading slump and I was enjoying the hell out of it, but it’s not quite a five star book for me. I got kind of tired of the news articles and the fan reactions to the show after a while. And I feel like the timeline of this story didn’t always make sense to me, I feel like she went from 25 guys to 5 guys so fast and idk the pacing was just all over the place? Also I didn’t like how sometimes we missed the big moments in this book, we just find out about them from a news article, when I would’ve liked to see Bea’s reaction to things in the moment they happen. The ending of this book ended up being just okay for me, but mostly over the top dramatic in the same kind of way The Bachelorette is haha. I guess I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re reading it for the romance, but I would if you are reading it for the fun reality show drama kind of stuff, which is why I wanted to read it, because I’m trash for romantic reality tv shows. 😅 I’m kind of hoping the author writes a sequel with the next season of the show cause I would auto-buy that 😌

  10. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    Boy, I sure did love this one!! Bea Schumacher is a popular plus-size fashion blogger, determined to show women they can look and feel beautiful, no matter what the fashion world and others may demonstrate. But while she demonstrates confidence and pride outwardly, she doesn’t always feel worthy inside. And when the one man she’s been in love with forever leaves her hanging and hurting one time too many, she wonders if she’ll ever find the right person. After a ranting blog post about a popular dat Boy, I sure did love this one!! Bea Schumacher is a popular plus-size fashion blogger, determined to show women they can look and feel beautiful, no matter what the fashion world and others may demonstrate. But while she demonstrates confidence and pride outwardly, she doesn’t always feel worthy inside. And when the one man she’s been in love with forever leaves her hanging and hurting one time too many, she wonders if she’ll ever find the right person. After a ranting blog post about a popular dating show’s lack of body diversity, the show’s eager new producer offers Bea the chance to become the next bachelorette on "Main Squeeze," so she could choose one lucky suitor among men vying for her heart. Bea wants to do it to show the world that you don’t have to be stick-thin to be worthy of love, and she hopes that she can further her career by appearing on the show. However, the one thing Bea does NOT want to do is fall in love. Yet as much as she steels herself against getting her emotions involved, when amidst a group of handsome men (some of whom seem genuinely interested in her), going on romantic dates to beautiful locales, and being dressed in gorgeous outfits, how can her heart not be moved? But is true love possible from a show like this, or does her heart still belong to the man from her past? I’ve never watched “The Bachelor” in its various permutations but I was utterly hooked on One to Watch . Having struggled with my weight most of my life, I recognized some of the things that Bea felt and thought the book did a great job in being realistic about the various reactions people had to her. All of the various dates and manipulations were pretty interesting as well, and I wondered how closely they hewed to the shows this was modeled on. This is a funny, sexy, emotional book that I stayed up super late to finish. I could totally see this as a movie or series I’d absolutely binge watch!! Kudos to Kate Stayman-London for such a great story!! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    Anyone with a reality show addiction can confirm that body shapes aren’t that diverse in our favorite shows. Appearances rank high across the lifestyle, dating, or competition-based programs we know and love, and the contestants seem to be selected based upon how well they fit a “traditionally” attractive mold. But in One to Watch, Kate Stayman-London’s debut novel, a plus-sized woman becomes the one to catch in a Bachelorette-style dating show. In the early pages, Bea Schumacher uses her popular Anyone with a reality show addiction can confirm that body shapes aren’t that diverse in our favorite shows. Appearances rank high across the lifestyle, dating, or competition-based programs we know and love, and the contestants seem to be selected based upon how well they fit a “traditionally” attractive mold. But in One to Watch, Kate Stayman-London’s debut novel, a plus-sized woman becomes the one to catch in a Bachelorette-style dating show. In the early pages, Bea Schumacher uses her popular fashion blog to call out one of her favorite reality shows, Main Squeeze, for not featuring more women who look like her, a self-accepting size 20. The show responds by offering Bea herself a chance to find love on the show. Bea accepts mainly because it will open doors for her professional career. She has recently gotten her heart broken by a complicated friends-turned-lovers situation that ended with a devastating ghosting. At first, Bea is invested in the show because of all it represents, but understandably remains apprehensive about actually opening up her heart again. Episode by episode of Main Squeeze, we see Bea go on dates with the men and fight with her own insecurities that have plagued her since high school. Because even if a larger woman doesn’t hate her body, she is still painfully aware of the scrutiny of everyone’s eyes on her, especially if those eyes number in the millions. The classic dating show question, “are you here for the right reasons?” is doubly important for Bea as she wonders if any or all of the men are secretly “not that into” her solely because of her shape. The reception Bea receives from the public is brutally realistic as she is supported in some corners and torn down in others. It’s part of what makes this story feel so real. That plus the hilarious addition of podcast transcripts and Slack channel discussions featuring commentaries by viewers who are, true to form, far too invested in the outcome of the show, will make any reality show fan feel oh so deliciously seen. It’s nearly impossible not to start rooting for your favorite contestant as the book goes on. As it typically goes on these kinds of shows, the men start out as caricatures based on their hometowns and/or occupations, but as the season progresses, we find out what each of them have to offer and we get to see their bonds with Bea strengthen. But this is reality TV, so the producers have some surprises up their sleeve. The drama is edge-of-your-seat good and Bea is a character you can root for as she navigates this new wild world and figures out what it is she really wants. One to Watch is a sassy and smart take on reality television and there’s no way you’ll want to stop after one episode...er, chapter.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Merphy Napier

    I loved how focused this was on real live struggles and how our MC fought against her own insecurities as well as how the people around treated her. I loved our MC's fight, and her arc. I do wish there was more focus on the guys because I didn't really care who won, as I didn't really know any of them very well. I didn't need a lot more, just enough that I could have gotten attached and cared with how the show turned out. Fantastic read. Def recommend.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daisy Ray

    This review can be found on my blog, here. Whenever Bea stepped into patisserie to order something for herself, there were ripples of sideward glances, even occasional bald stares, the accusation always implied: It's your own fault you look like this." "Even though my date didn't say or do anything to make me feel unattractive, being in that bar surrounded by thin people (ah, Los Angeles), it was perilously easy to backslide into this ubiquitous idea that I'd be so much more happier if only This review can be found on my blog, here. Whenever Bea stepped into patisserie to order something for herself, there were ripples of sideward glances, even occasional bald stares, the accusation always implied: It's your own fault you look like this." "Even though my date didn't say or do anything to make me feel unattractive, being in that bar surrounded by thin people (ah, Los Angeles), it was perilously easy to backslide into this ubiquitous idea that I'd be so much more happier if only I looked like them." ____________________________________ Written by Kate Stayman-London, this book tells the story of Bea Schumacher, a plus-sized social media influencer and fashion blogger. The book breaks down her life, revealing how she became the woman she is in the book. While touching on the struggles she faced for being larger than the majority of the world that she lived in. However, the main focus of the book reflects specifically on how she landed her dating show where men compete for her affection. Normally, I absolutely love when books have diversity within them like showing different races and body types as the lead roles. This, however, was not at all what I had anticipated it would be. I don't usually like talking down about books, but I did not enjoy any piece of this book whatsoever. As a plus-sized woman, I thought I would relate to the main character seeing as many of the overweight community frequently have similar stories and feelings. Instead, I felt like this was a terrible representation of larger women or larger people as a whole. Repeatedly in the book, the author tried causing us to sympathize with a woman who constantly insulted others for being thin or not finding her appealing. I hate when others attempt to make people feel awful for having a preference in what they like. I think this is something that should be unencouraged, you cannot claim someone is fat shaming you just because they don't find you attractive. Meanwhile, Bea spends years of her life obsessing over one man that she constantly describes as a "perfect" or "model-like" man. She is an entire hypocrite. She thinks it's okay for her to be attracted to a certain type of man but if anyone else is unattracted to her then it's wrong. Not only was the hypocrisy bothersome, but her outlook on the world was also disturbing. Every place she went, she let her insecurities cause her to believe ill in others. Claiming she was being judged for her weight simply because people looked at her. It's an unhealthy thing to assume the worst of others because you have a hard time believing people could be looking at you and thinking something positive. She criticized restaurants, shops, and bars just because she felt out of place without anyone doing anything to make her feel this way. I understand what insecurity is because I likewise suffer it at times. However, I don't think that is an excuse to condemn others who have done nothing to deserve it. The final thing I detested about this book was the writing format. I feel like fifty percent of this book contained nothing but texts, emails, blog postings, and other news outlets. It took me out of the story more than a few times. Mostly because not only did I already not feel like a connection with any of the characters, this was just a lazy way to describe what happened in the story. Rather than showing news postings and texts, I would have liked seeing the main character experience it and go through the emotions of things. She didn't. So it felt lazy and utterly boring. The character overall was annoying, rude, hypocritical, and one-note. As I did not complete the book, she likely got better in the end, but I just personally could not stomach this. I may try once more in the future.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    2.5 Stars So... This was not the fat rep that I was looking for. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed the premise of the book. I love reality shows and I love reality shows that have a touch of romance. This book definitely was written in a way in which it grabs the readers attention and it makes you feel as though you're desperate to figure out/know who Bea ends up with in the end. I was always anxiously awaiting the next "episode" in the book to figure out who was going to stay and who was going 2.5 Stars So... This was not the fat rep that I was looking for. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed the premise of the book. I love reality shows and I love reality shows that have a touch of romance. This book definitely was written in a way in which it grabs the readers attention and it makes you feel as though you're desperate to figure out/know who Bea ends up with in the end. I was always anxiously awaiting the next "episode" in the book to figure out who was going to stay and who was going to be sent home. I definitely understand how people who are fans of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette end up enjoying this book. However... Kate Stayman-London writes Bea to fit into fat stereotypes without possibly even realizing that she was doing so. There was a scene that depicted Bea ordering groceries and she ordered nothing but microwaveable dinners and bags of Doritos and other snacks. This fits into the stereotype that fat people are incapable of consuming other food outside out junk food and then she makes Bea fit into the stereotype of "fat people don't work out." It was just awkward to read a book that was seemingly attempting to uplift the voice of a plus-sized character while also writing that character into harmful stereotypes. I am fat/plus sized so it really wasn't the representation that I was looking for. While I resonated with Bea in other ways, these instances truly stuck out to me. I think that Kate did do a good job illustrating the insecurity that all people feel at some point in their life while putting on a "strong" front. I've dealt with that a lot. I've been strong on the outside, but still had to take some time to figure out the issues that I had internally. This may have been the reason why Bea didn't annoy me as a character when she had potential to drive me crazy. I think she truly wanted to be this strong powerful and self-confident woman on the inside as much as she way on the outside. I think the time frame in which Bea gained that internal confidence was unrealistic. It doesn't happen within the time frame of a reality TV show so her character development felt a bit unrealistic. Also, I'm not sure if anyone else felt this way, but I felt like a few of the characters were used as a check list for representation. I read in an interview that Kate Stayman-London felt that as a queer woman she got tired of seeing shows like The Bachelor with little to know representation especially with body size, race, and sexual orientation/gender identity. So when she wrote this book she wanted to re-imagine The Bachelor in a different way. While I appreciate her attempting to create a more diverse reality show, I feel like characters were added to fit the criteria of Stayman-London's vision and they began to feel like check boxes. By doing this character didn't feel well-developed. In essence they were one-dimensional. It was particularly disheartening to read about a Black character that was essentially white-washed. I think that this had potential to be such a powerful book for me, but it definitely fell short in quite a few areas.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    3.5 stars Bea is a plus-size blogger and a fan of the TV show Main Squeeze, a Bachelor/Bachelorette-type franchise. I’ve never watched either of those shows and get embarrassed just hearing about them when I watch talk shows that show clips. It wasn’t that much easier reading this novel and being behind the scenes when Bea gets asked to be the first plus-size female lead with 25 men vying for her hand in marriage. It was tough seeing how some of the men talked about her size behind her back and s 3.5 stars Bea is a plus-size blogger and a fan of the TV show Main Squeeze, a Bachelor/Bachelorette-type franchise. I’ve never watched either of those shows and get embarrassed just hearing about them when I watch talk shows that show clips. It wasn’t that much easier reading this novel and being behind the scenes when Bea gets asked to be the first plus-size female lead with 25 men vying for her hand in marriage. It was tough seeing how some of the men talked about her size behind her back and sometimes to her face. I guess if you want to be an internet influencer, you open yourself up to people who feel the need to spew ugly vitriol on social media platforms, but I don’t understand why anyone would have that attitude. Does anyone feel better about themselves being mean to anyone, especially someone they don’t even know? It was a bit of a mystery who Bea would end up with and that was fun, but all in all, I didn’t love this book. When each guy’s motivation is unclear--is he lying? trying to get a spinoff series?, I can’t fall in love with the hero along with the heroine. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel, which RELEASES JULY 7, 2020.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Corina

    Although the topic of a Bachelorette show on its own was only somewhat of interest to me, making the show the plot of a contemporary romance book was pretty original and a well conceived concept. But I must also admit that I was at times conflicted with the book. On one side it was quite entertaining. I think it took me maybe three days to finish the audiobook. That’s a pretty fast turnaround, and it’s a clear sign that I enjoyed it. On the other side I was physically hurt by some of the things t Although the topic of a Bachelorette show on its own was only somewhat of interest to me, making the show the plot of a contemporary romance book was pretty original and a well conceived concept. But I must also admit that I was at times conflicted with the book. On one side it was quite entertaining. I think it took me maybe three days to finish the audiobook. That’s a pretty fast turnaround, and it’s a clear sign that I enjoyed it. On the other side I was physically hurt by some of the things that were going on with the show and especially behind the scenes. Nevertheless the author brilliantly and successfully built the book on the concept of a reality show. Where the main plot was being manipulated by the producers of the show. It was a script of a show, turned into a book. And I was literally the audience. Because I felt it all – the ups as well as the downs. My takeaways from this book are: a) this is a work of fiction, b) Bea was a really genuine and likable person, c) the good guys saved the book, d) I hated that Bea doubted herself for a good portion of the book, e) I’m happy about the ending, and f) reality TV producers suck. last thoughts In the end, in this ocean of contemporary romance books, this book truly stands out, it’s refreshingly unique, it has a plus size heroine, a diverse cast, great cast members (mostly the good guys) and it was entertaining. Honestly you can’t go wrong with this one. ___________________________________ Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog Follow me on Bookstagram

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Despite being a true purveyor of trash television, I come here confessing to all of you that I have never watched even one episode of either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. From what I can see via the commercials, SNL pretty much has nailed it on the head when it comes to its skits regarding this franchise. The females became super famous for things like . . . . And now have lucrative careers such as . . . . Who have zero cha Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Despite being a true purveyor of trash television, I come here confessing to all of you that I have never watched even one episode of either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. From what I can see via the commercials, SNL pretty much has nailed it on the head when it comes to its skits regarding this franchise. The females became super famous for things like . . . . And now have lucrative careers such as . . . . Who have zero chance of retaining their position on the show if they confess to things like . . . . . Or don’t wish to engage in behavior like . . . . The only excuse I have for not being addicted to this garbage is that it is too time consuming and in the evenings my family takes over all of the remote controls for various sportsball and shoot-em-up type of viewing while I read. When I saw this book (and that cover – such a cute cover) offered up for an early peek I couldn’t resist. And as a chubby gal, I am ALL. ABOUT. the inclusion of plus-sized leads in my romcoms. I kept picturing . . . . . Oh Liam. You get it, girl. Such yum. Where was I? Oh yeah . . . . . Anyway, the potential Mr. Right here wasn’t a Hemsworth, but nearly as good . . . . In case you haven’t figured it out yet, One to Watch is the story of Bea, a size 20 influencer (I know, internet famous = barf, but she’s not a total asshole so it’s okay) who rages out on the interwebs about the lack of diversity in fake dating shows like Main Squeeze only to be offered a chance as the next star. Can a girl who only signed up to change the narrative and take her brand to the next level find love? I read this in a couple of hours out on the deck one Saturday before temps started reaching hot lava levels and thought it was a perfectly fine way to kill some time. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

  18. 5 out of 5

    JEN A

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. The release date for this book was 7 July 2020 To fully appreciate this book I believe you have to be a fan of the show the bachelor which I am not. This was a relatively easy read and one that I think a lot of people will like, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. This was definitely written with millennials in mind and the ending was rather predictable. It did touch on some very good topics with I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. The release date for this book was 7 July 2020 To fully appreciate this book I believe you have to be a fan of the show the bachelor which I am not. This was a relatively easy read and one that I think a lot of people will like, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. This was definitely written with millennials in mind and the ending was rather predictable. It did touch on some very good topics with regards to body image, fat shaming, etc. I think this book will be a popular read but it just wasn’t up my alley.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I was really excited for this one, but it was still so much better than I even expected. The writing itself is fantastic--effortlessly fun and clever, with a multimedia aspect that somehow never felt gimmicky (I'm honestly not usually a fan of these kinds of elements, but... I genuinely loved it? The podcast transcripts were possibly my favorite part of the book). Beyond that, I found the tension impeccable. I truly had no idea how this book was going to end, and that made my reading experience I was really excited for this one, but it was still so much better than I even expected. The writing itself is fantastic--effortlessly fun and clever, with a multimedia aspect that somehow never felt gimmicky (I'm honestly not usually a fan of these kinds of elements, but... I genuinely loved it? The podcast transcripts were possibly my favorite part of the book). Beyond that, I found the tension impeccable. I truly had no idea how this book was going to end, and that made my reading experience incredibly propulsive. Read it in a day and a half.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This is romance. I loved the character Bea, and I liked that she was plus size. I also like this bring up some of the problems with being plus size. I really did not like how the book changed between normal text, to emails, phone texts, messages, blogs posts, and more. It just took so much from the book for me, and that is the only reason I give it two stars. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher or author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review , and I want to sen This is romance. I loved the character Bea, and I liked that she was plus size. I also like this bring up some of the problems with being plus size. I really did not like how the book changed between normal text, to emails, phone texts, messages, blogs posts, and more. It just took so much from the book for me, and that is the only reason I give it two stars. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher or author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review , and I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. You can get this book from book of the month https://www.mybotm.com/zr12wnytgc8?sh...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wendy'sThoughts

    4 One To Enjoy Stars * * * * Spoiler Free This was a huge winner. Kate Stayman-London is an author to watch. Her resume is impressive and her style of writing is engaging, smart, and easy to read. It was a pleasure to have this tale told with such a sure hand. Women have been tortured about their body size for generations. Depending on the decade, there were "ideals" for us to fit our bodies in...The joke of it all is MEN never had to do it. Men were able to have pot bellies, beer guts, balding he 4 One To Enjoy Stars * * * * Spoiler Free This was a huge winner. Kate Stayman-London is an author to watch. Her resume is impressive and her style of writing is engaging, smart, and easy to read. It was a pleasure to have this tale told with such a sure hand. Women have been tortured about their body size for generations. Depending on the decade, there were "ideals" for us to fit our bodies in...The joke of it all is MEN never had to do it. Men were able to have pot bellies, beer guts, balding heads and no one made a huge issue of them Not fitting in. Instead, cute names were given for their body issues, like a little bear, or big man. There were Big and Tall Men stores for them and no one made fun. But women, we were not so lucky. Today's fashions have pushed for years the minus size leaving out the majority of women who are not a size 4. It has finally taken strong women to speak out and say enough is enough causing designers to step up and start to recognize the serious need to be inclusive in their designs and sizes. This is a tale of Bea who has stood up. She learned years ago, fashion could be her friend and she didn't have to use volumes of fabric trying to hide her size. She took her visions and gave the followers of her blog a voice and shared her experiences. When she saw the show Main Squeeze once again to only have these stick people who had no diversity, she posted to her blog her outrage. The honesty of her words rang so true, the post was picked up and went viral. Main Squeeze was a reality show that we all have seen, a man sees 25 women and then slowly works his way through them until he decides which one he is going to marry...Right, Reality, not. Due to Bea's post, the show goes through a huge change and they come to her to be their star. She has had a lousy relationship history, is shown how she can make a difference by showing how all people deserve love, and after much thought, decides to dive in. This tale had so much going on...you could enjoy the inside nod to the TV industry, reality shows, the inside delight to fashion, and the major insight to self-discovery of a woman learning she deserves better. It is a true romance with a HEA because in the end, loving one's self is equally as important as loving your partner. ~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~ Bea Schumacher Has Had It... She is Tired and Disgusted... With the Marginalization... Of Plus Sized Women... The Joke is Most Women... In These United Staes... Look Like Her... So Since She Had Learned... To Love Fashion... She Applied Her Style and Eye For Others Through Her Blog... It Was When One Season Too Many... Of The Dating Show, "Main Squeeze"... Finally Triggered A Life-Changing Event... Bea Let the World Have It... Told Them What For... How Dare This Show... Have Women Only Size 4... How Dare They... Never Have Any Diversity... How Dare They Claim Reality... When No One Looks... Like That In Real Life... Well, That Post Took Off... Viewers Chimed In... "Main Squeeze" Needed... To Do Something... And Something They Did... They Reached Out To Bea... Made Promises... Said She Could Make A Difference... If Bea Said Yes, She'd Be The... One to Watch-July 7, 2020 A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways

  22. 4 out of 5

    abby

    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 feel 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tierney

    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. T 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 Bea...and 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 little more fashion 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.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joce (squibblesreads)

    I have watched the Bachelor franchise shows since I was 10, and finally someone writes a book perfect for me. And it beyond exceeded my expectations. My favorite book of the year 😭

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katie (never.ending.reading.list)

    This may just be my favorite rom com ever! I loved everything about this book - now full disclosure I’m a huge Bachelor fan (guilty pleasure) so that probably helped but there was so much to love! One to Watch tells the story of Bea, a plus-sized beauty blogger who becomes the romantic lead in a major tv dating shows. First, the representations. I feel a lot of stories nowadays throw in representation for the sake of doing it and the characters fall flat, or are clearly just in to fill that one This may just be my favorite rom com ever! I loved everything about this book - now full disclosure I’m a huge Bachelor fan (guilty pleasure) so that probably helped but there was so much to love! One to Watch tells the story of Bea, a plus-sized beauty blogger who becomes the romantic lead in a major tv dating shows. First, the representations. I feel a lot of stories nowadays throw in representation for the sake of doing it and the characters fall flat, or are clearly just in to fill that one role. Stayman-London creates such detailed, well-developed, and lovable characters. The main love interests for Bea are Black, Asian, French, and plus-sized. Other characters are bisexual, asexual, gender-nonconforming, I would seriously read a spin-off of every single character. The way this book is told is so unique and fitting for the times. It is mostly told through Bea’s POV but also through blog posts, tweets, chat messages, TMZ reports, magazine articles, episode overviews. It was all so fun! I seriously don’t have enough good things to say about this one! If you love the Bachelor, are looking for a good body positive story, or just want a fun rom com read - this one is for you!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee

    I listened to "One To watch" by Kate Stayman-London on audiobook and I Loved it!! This was just what I needed. This is a new fun favorite! It's about Bea, a plus size fashion blogger. She is chosen to go on the "Bachelor/Bachelorette" type TV show called "Main Squeeze"!. I loved getting to know all men she was dating, and the pros and cons of all of them. I loved Bea and was really rooting for her to find her one and only. I thought the narrator did a fantastic job bringing this book to life, an I listened to "One To watch" by Kate Stayman-London on audiobook and I Loved it!! This was just what I needed. This is a new fun favorite! It's about Bea, a plus size fashion blogger. She is chosen to go on the "Bachelor/Bachelorette" type TV show called "Main Squeeze"!. I loved getting to know all men she was dating, and the pros and cons of all of them. I loved Bea and was really rooting for her to find her one and only. I thought the narrator did a fantastic job bringing this book to life, and I loved how it ended. Totally not what you will be expecting!! Excellent summer read that was so entertaining and heartfelt! Highly recommend it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    aarya

    2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Plus-size Heroine on the Cover‬ CW: (view spoiler)[fatphobia (internalized and otherwise) (hide spoiler)] 2.5 stars Sooo... I have no idea how to rate this. I truly don’t. I devoured it in a few hours once my library hold came in, but I also disliked so many things? I couldn’t quit, either. It’s like, I know I’m reading something that scratches my trash id but also the Smart Criticism part of my brain is saying, “Hold on, what the fuck just happened and w 2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Plus-size Heroine on the Cover‬ CW: (view spoiler)[fatphobia (internalized and otherwise) (hide spoiler)] 2.5 stars Sooo... I have no idea how to rate this. I truly don’t. I devoured it in a few hours once my library hold came in, but I also disliked so many things? I couldn’t quit, either. It’s like, I know I’m reading something that scratches my trash id but also the Smart Criticism part of my brain is saying, “Hold on, what the fuck just happened and why aren’t we mad about this?” Ironically, this conflict is what I feel when I watch The Bachelor. Fitting. I would not recommend this book without a gazillion caveats. The most important of them: the hatred Bea endures from trash/miserable stains on the human species is very real and very painful. It’s a lot, and please don’t read this book if you think 400 pages of external fatphobia will hurt you. At the same time, I don’t think the book is bad fat rep either. I really related to Bea’s insecurities, self-love, and advocacy for fat women in the fashion industry. I don’t want to go into detail because once I start, I’ll end up writing thousands of words. I have complex feelings, mostly in the positive and “I don’t know” direction. I need a book club where we can argue about this book, because there’s a lot to talk about! At the end of the day, Bea loves herself and her body; she has zero intention of ever changing herself. And she finds a man who loves her exactly the way she is. That’s a win for me, conflicted feelings aside. I truly have no clue how to rate this book, so I’m going with 2.5 “well, I don’t fucking know” stars. The funny thing is I disliked so many characters by the end (even Bea to a degree. I didn’t like anyone)!!! I wasn’t in love with the final ship. Hell, I was shipping these random Main Squeeze fantasy league players (Beth/Colin antagonize each other in the frequent excerpts of fantasy league texts) more than I was shipping Bea with her suitors! Then again, I devoured the story and couldn’t take my eyes off the page. I realize that I’m contradicting myself here. In my defense, it’s 2:30 am and my brain cells are too sleepy for reviewing. As my friend Jenica said to me, it’s “right in the middle as compulsively readable, messy as hell, and somewhat problematic.” That just about sums it up.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Becca Gibbs

    Bea is extremely unlikable. It seems that her only personality trait is “poor me, I’m fat and no one could ever love a fat girl”. Her size is drilled into the reader’s head on every page. The dialogue between Bea and the men is unrealistic, cheesy, and completely exaggerated. The subplot with Ray is stupid, and the side characters - Marin and Lauren - are flat. The overuse of transcripts, news articles, even food delivery receipts (I mean really??) is lazy and to cover up for the fact that Londo Bea is extremely unlikable. It seems that her only personality trait is “poor me, I’m fat and no one could ever love a fat girl”. Her size is drilled into the reader’s head on every page. The dialogue between Bea and the men is unrealistic, cheesy, and completely exaggerated. The subplot with Ray is stupid, and the side characters - Marin and Lauren - are flat. The overuse of transcripts, news articles, even food delivery receipts (I mean really??) is lazy and to cover up for the fact that London could not create a fluid narrative no matter how hard she tried. The overuse of parentheses is irritating and the writing throughout is poor, not to mention to multiple spelling and grammar errors throughout. This book could’ve been great, but the writing was absolute garbage.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mari

    Why you may not like this: I think that whether or not the fat rep is something you enjoy/relate to/appreciate is going to be a big deal breaker here. It's almost a strange one because the premise would have you believe that the main character has things all figured out, at least in terms of self-esteem and self-acceptance. If you expect that and then read this book, it might feel like you've been bamboozled, because while Bea does have a measure of confidence, I think her actual arc in this boo Why you may not like this: I think that whether or not the fat rep is something you enjoy/relate to/appreciate is going to be a big deal breaker here. It's almost a strange one because the premise would have you believe that the main character has things all figured out, at least in terms of self-esteem and self-acceptance. If you expect that and then read this book, it might feel like you've been bamboozled, because while Bea does have a measure of confidence, I think her actual arc in this book is one of realizing she's internalized a lot of fatphobia. Essentially, this is the story of a plus-sized woman confident enough to star in front of millions on a Bachelor-type show, who quickly finds she isn't great at a Bachelor-type show because she doesn't think anyone (especially "conventionally attractive" men) would find her dateable or attractive. She has to do a lot of unpacking, even about why she's always talked about "accepting" her body or why she thinks it's something for others to get past. If this is in any way triggering or not the fat rep you are in the market for, this book is not for you. Other trigger warnings, in addition to the fat shaming, include cheating and mentions of suicide and rape. Why I really liked this book: Ya girl is a sucker for The Bachelor. It's one of the only reality TV shows I get a kick out of. Usually, when people try to mimic a Bachelor set-up, I think they miss some key ingredients about what makes it appeal to so many people. There is something about both accepting that it is utterly ridiculous but also buying into the idea that it could work, love COULD happen that is like TV crack. It's a bunch of people you almost only see one dimensionally, who develop these very one-note exaggerated versions of themselves because of the nature of the show. This book captures that so well. It's a bunch of handsome men we don't really get to know a bunch about other than they want to date Bea. At times, this is fun and everything I wanted. Other times, I was like "who's this guy again?" That lack of depth is something I expect from the Bachelor but not necessarily from my books. Overall, I had fun, but there were times I felt that lack. I enjoyed Bea, even when she was making bad choices. It's always tough when a character is in the thick of not being able to get out of their own way. Whether or not you can stomach it or tolerate it? Who can say. But I just felt for her because she says from the very beginning that she's going on to fake it, but ends up having to confront a lot of real things. It's almost like she didn't completely sign up for this... even though she signed up for this. She faces some genuinely crappy though not unexpected things and I completely understand how that was feeding into the ways she closed herself off and thought badly about herself. I loved the sort of mixed media format we get. Again, the whole thing about the Bachelor is the sort of communal way people consume that (I watch with my sisters!). Adding that element was a treat and also had some of the funniest moments of the book for me. Overall, I just had a good time reading this. It delivers at the end with a Happily Ever After, too.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review. 'One to Watch' follows Beatrice 'Bea' Schumacher, plus sized fashion blogger and instagram star, as she accepts a role on the fictional tv show 'Main Squeeze'. While on the show she must decide which of the 25 young, beautiful men she will get engaged to at the season finale. The plot itself is well written, and from very early on opens up a conversation about the concept of 'plus sized', why it seems to only apply to women's bodies. It addresses id ARC received in exchange for an honest review. 'One to Watch' follows Beatrice 'Bea' Schumacher, plus sized fashion blogger and instagram star, as she accepts a role on the fictional tv show 'Main Squeeze'. While on the show she must decide which of the 25 young, beautiful men she will get engaged to at the season finale. The plot itself is well written, and from very early on opens up a conversation about the concept of 'plus sized', why it seems to only apply to women's bodies. It addresses ideas that women must conform to a certain image in order to be successful in life and attempts to redefine what the wider world classes as beautiful. It's well written, and the plot itself is fast paced and I really enjoyed the mixed media format of story telling which encompasses text messaging, emails and tv show transcripts. However, I do feel that it falls short in a number of areas. While the idea behind the novel is good, there is a lot of vitriol and hatred directed at Bea that made me feel very uncomfortable and which I don't believe is really addressed properly. Bea is incredibly self deprecating and unsure of her body - despite her constant declarations that she loves the body she has and wants to 'own' it. She's incredibly angsty and dramatic at times, which boarded on the extreme, and I found it difficult to connect with her because of this. There are also a number of trolling comments left scattered throughout the novel, which I'm sure are there to demonstrate just a small portion of the hate that Bea is subjected to on a daily basis and gain her sympathy and support from the reader, but which I found just left me feeling a little cold. There was a lot of hatred there that some people may find very triggering and upsetting. The male secondary characters were all a little superficial and very stereotyped. I know that this was probably the point, given that its a dating reality tv show and every man looks like a carbon copy of each other, but some greater development in the characters would have been nice. I thought that what little diversity that was included didn't really have the affect the author was probably going for because there were too many male characters, and very little emotional attachment to any of them. This is very much Bea's story, and the men felt a lot like props to her story advancement. In terms of the story itself, I wasn't surprised at the direction this took at all (view spoiler)[although I wold have preferred Bea to just stay on her own, reaffirming her own declaration of self love rather than end up with a man that I didn't really like (hide spoiler)] although I did find myself surprised at how much I wanted to know how Bea's story ended. It does feel a lot like the build up to a season finale, and I have to give the author points for having me so gripped to the end. There were some nice ideas here, but a lot of the self body hate and fatphobia left me a little cold. My lack of interest in any of the male characters, and for Bea herself really affected my enjoyment of this one but I have to say that the writing was really well done.

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