Book Review | One To Watch | By Kate Stayman-London








Women’s Fiction

One To Watch
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.  ( Goodreads)











My thoughts



Narrative and Plot






One to Watch is a reality TV themed story told entirely from the main character Bea Schumacher’s perspective. The book stays true to its promise and mixes the right amount of drama, fantasy and reality as one would get from a show like the Main Squeeze.

The book is adequately paced with intrigue building up until each stage of the show. It gives you that addictive experience of reality TV which is surreal yet unavoidable at the same time. Besides, who doesn’t love Chris Evans?









Characters and Conflicts





The premise of a reality TV show itself renders the opportunity to create an ensemble of eccentric but real characters. Often, reality shows make you wonder if such personalities exist in real life. Half of it is mostly theatre, but, there is some truth to it as well. This complex characterization is effortlessly managed in the book. Whether it be the genuinely warm Wyatt, or the charming European chef Luc, who believes in grand gestures. On the other hand we have, Asher and Jefferson who compensate with their grounded yet heightened existence. All of which contributes to establish Bea as a strong and liberating character.

Bea is such a relatable character. Being a plus sized woman and one who is still struggling to decode the modern day relationship scenario, I felt seen when I read Bea. Her fears and apprehensions seem relatable and not just from the body image angle. Those are the kind of worries that can happen to people of any size or shape. Because, let’s face it, most people magnify their own flaws in their eyes and focus so much energy fixating over those flaws. What they don’t realize is that one becomes a complete person with all those flaws as well as their strengths.

















Regardless the fact, that she finds her true love or not, Bea Schumacher and her journey of love is a glimpse into the complex world of modern dating with the touch of reality TV. If you remove the exotic locations and fantasy dates, Bea and the guys are just regular people trying to find their place in the world. That is perhaps the reason the book resonates  with most readers and is a must read romance. 









About the Author







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