The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .
I’m not a fan of reality TV. I’ve never watched an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians or The Bachelor. I think that overall, reality shows are lazy TV for networks who don’t want to pay for good writers to come up with original, scripted shows. Further, I think that every time someone watches a reality show, a book dies. But a book about a reality show? Well, I’ll admit the concept intrigued me, so I gave this one a read.
I can very well imagine seeing this at the theatre starring Anna Kendrick as Jen and a young Owen Wilson as Justin.
Jen is a fun heroine. She’s smart, funny and quick-witted. She’s also not afraid to laugh at herself, and doesn’t fall to pieces when she finds out her perfect boyfriend isn’t so perfect after all. If there’s one thing I can’t tolerate, it’s a heroine who lays down to die when she runs into romantic troubles. (I’m looking at you, Bella Swan)
Justin was a decent hero, too, but we didn’t get to know him as well as we got to know Jen. If I was to get all judgey, (which, let’s face it, I often do) I’d probably complain that there wasn’t more interaction between Jen and Justin so that we could better understand Jen’s attraction to him.
I will warn y’all of this: If you go into this book expecting a contemporary romance, you’ll be sorely disappointed. This one is straight-up romantic comedy. Lots of laughs, but no sex, barely any kissing, with a HFN (happy for now) at the end.
Long-story-short, this one’s a fun, light, quick read that will appeal to fans of reality shows and romantic comedies. It’s definitely worth a one-click.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
I don’t think that applies here, since this wasn’t really a romance. It’s certainly not hurting the genre in any way.
Other reading suggestions
For a sexy contemporary romance about a fun, quirky heroine who agrees to televise her weight loss journey and ends up falling for her hot trainer, try He Loves Lucy by Susan Donovan. And for a hot read about a bachelor who loses a bet and ends up on a reality show to settle it, try My Bachelor by Tess Oliver. (Psssttt: I hate to be shallow, but check out the cover hottie on My Bachelor. You’re welcome.)