One to Watch

Kate Stayman-London. Dial, $17 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-525-51044-4
In Stayman-London’s charming debut, 30-year-old Bea Schumacher is a plus-size blogger whose star is on the rise. After a late-night drunken blog post about the lack of body diversity on Main Squeeze, a dating show where 25 contestants compete for the hand of a bachelor or bachelorette, goes viral, Bea is tapped to be the next star of the show. Though reluctant about putting herself out there, Bea eventually signs on, enticed by the opportunity to expand her platform and potentially play the princess in a love story. Once on the show, Bea finds herself subject to the rejection and mockery she feared, but she also meets good, smart, and kind men who seem to genuinely love her and whom she could love back—if she lets herself. Peppered with chatlogs, text messages, social media reactions, and splashy People articles, Stayman-London’s debut is chatty and fun, brilliantly capturing the highs, lows, and drama of reality TV. Occasionally, Bea’s critique of Main Squeeze’s lack of diversity reads more like the author is signaling wokeness rather than genuine concern about underrepresentation, and the villains make easy targets. Still, this smart, delightful page-turner is a great way for dating show fans to pass the time while waiting for the next season. Agent: Julia Masnik, Watkins Loomis Agency. (July)
Reviewed on : 03/26/2020
Release date: 07/07/2020
Genre: Fiction
Book - 978-0-525-51043-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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