📚 One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

Reviewed Aug. 2020

Narrators: Kristen Sieh
Length: 11 hours 42 minutes
Publisher: Random House Audio⎮2020

Available purchase options for this title (via affiliate links) are located below. Purchasing through them helps keep The Audiobookworm going. Learn more here.

Summary

USA Today best seller

Real love...as seen on TV. 

A plus-size bachelorette brings a fresh look to a reality show in this razor-sharp, “thoroughly charming” (Hillary Clinton) debut.

“Relatable, incredibly smart...an extraordinary debut.” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times best-selling author of The Wedding Date and The Proposal)

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.

The Audiobookworm's Review

Rating: 5 Stars

Just kill me now, because as long as I live, no book will ever compare to this one. It's so perfect, I want to cry!

One to Watch was EVER-Y-THING. It made me want to hug every woman who has ever been made to feel the way Bea did and also want to relive my Bachelorette watching glory days. It was light and funny, but carried a deeply concerning message about society pretty close to the surface.

My emotions ran the gamut while listening to this. I raged at the (almost too) realistic hate comments hurled at Bea for being a plus size woman and daring to live her life. I "squee-d" at all the cute moments, fist-pumped at all the empowering ones, and constantly swooned over the romantic cuteness. I even cried a little. It's been a while since a book has made me tear up, but it's also been a while since I've enjoyed one this much.

Bea was the ultimate main character. I had no problem liking her and wanting her to succeed. If anything, I may have gotten a little too attached to her. Almost from the first page, I felt like I had taken Bea under my wing and was very protective of her. Needless to say, I became very emotionally invested in her life and in this story, overall. She was endearingly flawed. I didn't always agree with her actions, but I always understood where they were coming from.

Not only did One to Watch write a killer story with a plus-sized and badass main character, but it also did a pretty great job with Ace (Asexual) representation as well. The ace character in the story wasn't the protagonist, or even in the spotlight that much, but he still made a substantial impression. If Stayman-London ever decides to write a spin off with this character, I would definitely read it.

One to Watch also had a unique formatting. The story wasn't always told from the POV of our main character. In fact, many of the defining moments were told through blog or social media posts, magazine articles, or chat room transcripts. It was a very unique way to tell the story and it kept my mind from wandering.

I think One to Watch would make a great Netflix original film. I could see Netflix optioning this story. And, more than anything, I really want to see these characters come to life! I need to see what each of them looks like and I need to see this story play out before my eyes.

Before I was even halfway through, I had already recommended it to a couple of people. And now, the week after finishing it, I'm still recommending it. One to Watch was an all-around amazing book. The writing was on point, the characters were dynamic and realistic, and the overall message of body positivity and self-love was inspiring and empowering!

Narration review: Kristin Sieh deserves all the awards for One to Watch. There's no way that this was an easy story to perform, but this girl knocked it out of the park! There were so many characters here, most of them men, but Sieh voiced them all flawlessly. Honestly, the one that stands out most was her voicing of Luc, the French chef. Sieh provided a full, well rounded accent that sounded authentically French.

But the most noteworthy part of her performance was her character distinction. She managed to make each of the Bea's suitors sound unique and appropriate to their character. When reading tweets, news articles, and the like, Sieh and viewed each of them with the appropriate emotion and inflection. ♣︎

Let me know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.