I had heard a lot of good things about this book, so I was excited to dive into it.
Everyone in Amy’s life seems to be getting married (or so Instagram tells her), and she feels like she’s falling behind.
So, when her boyfriend surprises her with a dream holiday to a mystery destination, she thinks this is it – he’s going to finally pop the Big Question. But the dream turns into a nightmare when she finds herself on the set of a Big Brother-style reality television show, The Shelf.
Along with five other women, Amy is dumped live on TV and must compete in a series of humiliating and obnoxious tasks in the hope of being crowned ‘The Keeper’. Will Amy’s time on the show make her realise there are worse things in life than being left on the shelf?
A funny, feminist and all-too-relatable novel about our obsession with coupling up, settling down and the battle we all have with accepting ourselves, The Shelf introduces the freshest new voice in women’s fiction.
There was something very interesting about the concept of this book I will admit I was a little unsure at first if I would like the reality TV aspect because I’m not a big fan of reality TV in general but I was very curious to see how it would work in this book.
I immediately felt very drawn to Amy there are so many similarities between us at the moment and so it was quite fun to go through this journey with her and what a journey it was. This book is just so much fun, it deals with a subject that probably plays on a lot of women’s minds; being single past a certain age and feeling out of touch with friends that are reaching different milestones; but in a lighthearted and empowering way.
I loved all the female characters in this book, they were all so different and each brought something unique to the house, I liked that they all had their own ways of fighting back against the misogynistic tasks. I have to say there was a lot about the ‘show’ that riled me up just as much as it did the contestants, especially the presenter, but it also added a lot of humour to the story.
The growth that Amy goes through in the story is great, being able to accept herself and realise that she doesn’t have to have the same life goals as everyone else, or at least not at the same time. Most of the contestants are also changed by the end of their time on the show, and it was good to see the variations of that, but they all felt stronger within themselves and it was nice to see them all band together.
My only slight criticism is that I would have maybe liked one likeable male character, Jason was the only one who came close but even then, he wasn’t a big feature of the book and he still wasn’t a shiny example.
I love it when I read a book at the perfect time that I need it and that was definitely the case for this book, it helps that it was funny and entertaining and really has the feel-good factor. This is one that I would highly recommend and I am very much looking forward to what this author will come up with next.