Review: One to Watch by Katie Stayman - London
“And you're not lost?" "Maybe I am. But the difference is that I want to be found. I'm not happy pretending everything is fine when I know it's not." "And just who is it that you suppose will find you?" "It'll be me. I will find myself.”
Name: One to Watch
Author: Kate Stayman - London
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
One to Watch is painted as Bea's (a plus sized fashion bloggers) adventure to find love and fame as she partakes in starring in show called "Main Squeeze" where 25 men have to compete for her heart. However, the book was more of Bea's adventure within recovering from a tough break up and discovering who she really is on the inside and not the facade that she has built over the years with her blog. There were many things that were done correctly in the book (specially torwards the ending) and many ideas and plot lines that for me fell a little bit flat.
Key aspects that are required to be mentioned: there is a lot of representation in this book, the main character is Plus Sized, there are love interests (the main ones) that are Black and Asian and we have characters who define themselves as asexual or gender nonconforming. All in all there was a clear focus on the author wanting to create a very inclusive book. Now, the downside with this and I mean it in the nicest way possible is that the story lacked descriptions to these groups of people that were used. For the two love interests(out of the many), Asher who was an Asian professor had 2 kids and stole my heart completely, and Sam, who was the youngest and only Black suitor in the competition and living with his parents yet his nice banter was amazing, there was no depiction of their race or heritage. I forgot that Sam was Black until the ending, and in my head I failed to acknowledge Asher was Asian because no where in the book do we these descriptions. However, we get 100 descriptions of Luc and his body being hot and him being French. For all the representation that existed in the book (which was AWESOME) I feel that it wasn't written in a way that show cased the beauty of these different races, and genders.
The main character Bea, wasn't my favorite. However, towards the end I really was able to connect with her (both with her insecurities and her adventure into loving herself and her body). It was wonderful how the story was set up with mixed media and we got perspectives from Bea, but also interviews and fan based conversations that added to the feel that we were really watching a show. This part of the book played really well on my mind.
I recommend this book as a good and heartfelt story, that uses a lot of important factors that need to change in today's society. However, I do think many of these strong messages the author had were lost due to her implementation of her writing techniques.
--- 3.5 stars ---