I'm always fascinated by books that take place behind the scenes of so-called "reality" shows, since there's such a gulf between what we see on TV and the hours of footage that need to be trimmed down and carefully crafted into neat storylines. "The Bachelor" in particular has spawned numerous novels, including “If The Shoe Fits” by Julie Murphy, “One To Watch” by Kate Stayman-London and "The Charm Offensive" by Alison Cochrun. Julia Argy's "The One" is the latest in this genre, following 24-year-old Emily, recently laid off from her job and recruited to go on a long-running dating show.
Emily has never even seen an episode of "The One," but her religious upbringing and good looks quickly make her a favorite of her ruthlessly competitive producer, Miranda (who reminded me of the Constance Zimmer character on the "Bachelor"-inspired TV drama series "UnREAL"). However, the odd hours the contestants get to be around with the man they could be engaged to at the end of filming pales next to the days and weeks they spend with one another; phones, TV and books are verboten, so the women have nothing to do but gossip, talk, conspire, and give each other beauty treatments. These relationships are at the heart of "The One," not the supposed love story America hopes to see every year.
I found Emily to be kind of an amorphous character who seems immature even for the young age of 24; occasional chapters are told from Miranda's point of view, and I wondered how much sharper the book could have been if we'd been able to hear more of her voice. The contestants are playing to find love, but the folks behind the scenes are competing in an entirely different game.
I just could not get into this one, it has a great cover and plot but it was not for me. Thank you netgalley for the chance to check it out!
I want to say I enjoyed reading this one but it was a little difficult to get through. I feel like the main character really didn't have a good reason for being on the show and didn't want to be there...which made it feel like the book was just dragging the character through the plot(s).
The multiple POVs was a little off and honestly I just didn't really connect with or root for any particular character. Kind of a bummer because the premise of this book is great.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
The One by Juila Argy is a wry take on the reality TV phenomena. It's a riff on The Bachelor (or maybe Unreal). I am a big fan of reality TV, and I found elements of the book engaging and others a bit polarizing. All in all, I enjoyed it.
Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for sharing this book with me. All thoughts are my own.
The One is essentially a season of The Bachelor in book form, with a focus on the women competing for The Bachelor's affection. The main character, Emily, is recruited off the street to join the reality show The One (like The Bachelor). Once she’s there, Emily realizes she’s the producer’s choice to win the heart of Dylan, The Bachelor. But, Emily struggles with the manipulation of the show and her interest in another contestant. If you're fascinated by the behind-the-scenes of The Bachelor or reality TV in general, there's a lot to love in this book. I loved the direction this story took and I know what happened in the book has to have actually happened on the real Bachelor at some point…though, if it has, they haven’t let it make air. I loved exploring how they might handle it. I suspect the ending could be divisive, so if you like things tied up in a bow, this may not be for you.
I know reality shows are contrived and this capitalizes on this fact and the concept of the novel is based on that concept. A reality dating show, one destined to win and all the drama that comes with a reality show! I was all in!
Thank you #gpputnamsons and #NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review
So I thought i would like this book, since I'm a fan of reality TV like the Bachelor. However, I couldn't get into the characters and the story was all over the place. I tried to give it a chance, but it never caught on. It's not often I just don't finish a book, but this just had to be one of those for me unfortunately.
I may be getting burnt out on celebrity reads. The behind-the-scenes look of a Bachelor-esque reality dating school was interesting, but it didn't wow me.
Thanks to @Netgally for the advance copy!
The One is a fun concept, but a mess of a book. Motive for being on show? None. Why is the main character drunk and with a cow at a mansion? Who knows, I didn't stick around long enough to find out.
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC for an honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley and Putnam Books for providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Wow! Where does one begin to discuss “The One?” Impossible to put down is where I’ll begin. Think of “The Bachelor” on steroids. Seriously, have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a bachelorette on “The Batchelor?” What if you knew you had an inside track to winning? How would that change your perspective? I can’t give anymore away. But this is a 5 STAR READ.
The set up of this novel is smart and well drawn. I think I went in expecting something different which effected my experience of the read. It is well written, compelling, and has sharp things to say about romance, reality tv, and patriarchy. Its cynicism is understandable and probably correct, it just didn't translate into a good read for me.
I received this book in exchange for an honest from Netgalley.
I thought I would love this book, as I’m a big fan of the dating show this book is based off of, but I also recognize its problematic elements. However, it was a miss for me in a few ways. I actually think it would have been better suited to a reader less familiar with the show, as the author spends a lot of the plot focusing on how the show works. A lot of it may be meant as a look behind the scenes, but there was nothing revelatory for me. It didn’t much help that the characters weren’t very fleshed out and so I had a hard time rooting for any of them. I don’t mind an unlikable character, but it was more so that even the ones who are supposed to be likable as just kind of bland. I did love a lot of the snappy dialogue, I just wish it had been carried over into other parts of the story.
Calling all fans of The Bachelor (and reality TV in general)! The One is essentially a season of The Bachelor in book form, with a focus on the women competing for The Bachelor's affection. The main character, Emily, is recruited off the street to join the reality show The One (like The Bachelor). Once she’s there, Emily realizes she’s the producer’s choice to win the heart of Dylan, The Bachelor. But, Emily struggles with the manipulation of the show and her interest in another contestant. If you're fascinated by the behind-the-scenes of The Bachelor or reality TV in general, there's a lot to love in this book. It's clear Argy reads and listens to a lot of the same commentary on the show that I do (Reality Steve, She's All Bach Podcast, and UnReal TV series on Lifetime) and Easter eggs abound. We hear from Emily's and her producer's perspective. I loved the direction this story took and I know what happened in the book has to have actually happened on the real Bachelor at some point…though, if it has, they haven’t let it make air. I loved exploring how they might handle it. I suspect the ending could be divisive, so if you like things tied up in a bow, this may not be for you.
I love the bachelor and other shows of its type so I was thrilled to get an advance copy of this book. unfortunately, my excitement quickly faded when I began reading it seemed to miss the point entirely. I was looking forward to a novel on the commodification of love, but this book went on too long without much substance..
This is my review as posted on Goodreads. I apologize that it was not submitted on time, as my family was dealing with a very serious health issue with my son at that time.
I had received an advanced copy of this book earlier this year, but was unable to read it before the publication date due to family needs. I had saved it for this summer, thinking it would be a really fun read based on one of my favorite shows. Unfortunately, it ended up being very different from what I expected. It left me with the same feeling as watching the show during some of the cringy seasons…the writing wasn’t especially great and I didn’t like all the current social issues brought into the book. I guess I just didn’t get what I expected and it left me feeling blah about it. I did enjoy the “behind the scenes” parts of the book where you get an insight into how reality television is staged and manipulated, hence the 2 stars as opposed to just 1 star.
This was a fun read and I enjoyed the behind the scenes looks at a show that was similar to The Bachelor franchise. Crazy how manipulative and mean the production aspect of things good be. I didn't super love Emily's character, she was a bit lacking there, but she showed wonderful growth throughout the story. Thank you to Netgalley and G.P. Putnam's Sons for the ARC.
I’m not a fan of reality shows but I thought experiencing it in a book form might keep me intrigued. Unfortunately, I can’t say I enjoyed it any better. There were too many things happening in this book that I couldn’t really focus. I became bored and ended up not finishing this book.
Thank you to #NetGalley and Putnam Books for the early copy. All the above opinions are my own.
An interesting premise with shaky pacing and characterization, though I appreciated the nuanced look at how "reality" tv collapses the boundaries between authenticity and performance and the deleterious effects that can have on identity.
This premise sounded fascinating to me, but the execution was just mediocre. There were too many topics in one story and it felt too unfocused as a result. The actual romance was also too obvious, which didn't keep me as engaged.