Review of One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London
One to Watch is engrossing escapism into a world of reality TV, romantic possibilities, and luxurious fashion, where things don't always go according to plan.
In Kate Stayman-London's One to Watch, Bea Schumacher is a popular plus-size fashion blogger who has Instagram fame, great taste and wit, wonderful friends--and an unhealthy obsession with a male friend who's attached to someone else.
After she drunk-blogs scathing comments about the unrealistic body images of the stars of Main Squeeze (a reality TV show in which a single woman dates strangers hand-picked by the producers and aims to marry one of them), Bea is surprised when a show producer reaches out to her with an unexpected question: would Bea consider starring in a season of Main Squeeze?
Bea finds the proposal laughable, then considers what it might mean for her career, for promoting body positivity, and maybe even for her lackluster romantic life. She's in--for a fantastic wardrobe, incredibly awkward moments, scripted romance, and a beautiful Malibu backdrop. What could go wrong?
I was especially intrigued by how Bea navigated multiple suitors and her attempts to give each his due while simultaneously dating and honestly considering the others. She didn't lose sight of embracing each new experience while reflecting on what she wanted her future to look like after the show, above and beyond what others attempted to script or suggest.
Bea's body inspires a few cruel comments from petty characters or online trolls, and her self-esteem flags briefly at times, but she is strong, resilient, and appealingly her own woman, not reliant on men for her self-worth. Stayman-London allows Bea to sink fully into the romance, fashion, and reality television ups and downs--while allowing room for the strong young woman's emotional growth, stumbles, and her creation of a new version of a happy ending.
Any Bossy thoughts on this book?
Stayman-London has written for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Malala, Anna Wintour, and Cher, but this is her first book.
I listened to this as an audiobook read by Kristen Sieh, and it was great.
I mentioned this book (along with Fable by Adrienne Young and Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March) in the Greedy Reading List Three Books I'm Reading Now, 11/10/20 Edition.