‘One to Watch’ offers a relatable twist on love

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” — C.G. Jung

Everyone has something about their appearance that makes them feel self-conscious or that they wish they could change. Sometimes people allow their insecurities to dictate how they view their worth and believe that their waist size, height, or some other physical trait makes them less of a person. Our latest read takes us to a reality series stage as a plus-size woman tries to change the reality tv formula.

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

“One to Watch” is a body positive tale as the protagonist Bea learns to value herself and open herself up to love. Bea is a plus-size fashion and body positivity blogger who finds herself in a romantic rut after she has an unexpected fling with her unrequited love and best friend, Ray. When Ray ghosts, Bea is left heartbroken and confused over his behavior.

After a drunken blog post about how the reality matchmaking series “Main Squeeze” (think “The Bachelor”) fails to offer and diversity within the contestants appearance goes viral, the show offers to have her be its first plus-size contestant. Now that 25 men are competing for Bea’s affection she finds herself doubting whether the conventionally attractive men are actually interested in her or if they’re just trying to stay on the show longer for TV fame. As Kate Stayman-London’s novel unfolds, readers will find themselves rooting for Bea to find love and many will relate to Bea’s anxieties about finding love.

“One to Watch” is a heartfelt tale about Bea learning how to open herself up to heartbreak in an attempt to find love. The sweet novel is great for readers looking for a light and positive summer read and destined to be a popular book club pick after its July 7 release.

From the book jacket…

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 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, wickedly observant debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men—and herself—for a chance to live happily ever after.

If you enjoy…

Readers might enjoy the amusing love story between a young widow and former baseball star in Linda Holmes’ novel “Evvie Drake Starts Over.”