One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

 Happy Publication Day to One to Watch! From the moment I read the blurb for this book, I knew I wanted to read it. This book did not disappoint.

Let me introduce you to Bea Schumacher. Bea has always been overweight. She has tried dieting and exercise with limited results. After a semester abroad in Paris, she has learned to embrace herself with fashion. Indeed, fashion is the backbone of her successful blog. Bea’s love life, however, is not so successful. She has had a relationship with a man for many years and she believed it would lead to a commitment. When this man moves away and becomes engaged to another woman, Bea is disappointed but still hopeful they will eventually be together.

Bea is also a fan of reality TV show “The Main Squeeze” - a Bachelorette-like show. One day, in frustration, she blogs about how the women on these shows are always a size zero which is not representative of how the majority of American women look. This particular post draws the attention of many, including the producers of The Main Squeeze who present her with an offer. They want Bea to be the next woman to find love on the show. She presents a list of demands she wants for this season of the show, and the producers agree.

This book created a lot of emotion for me. Bea appears strong and confident in her blog where she has all control. All this confidence disappear during the first weeks on the show as the producers put in her environments that are outside of her comfort zone. I think this book clearly represents how those with weight issues are often stigmatized and stereotyped. I felt sickened at times, reading and admitting the way society often looks at the obese. Bea is very vulnerable during this time and puts up barriers which she likely hasn’t used for quite some time in her every day life. As she opens up and becomes more confident and aware of what she wants in life as the show progresses, it was joyful to see her grow. Having said that, I was disappointed with the choice Bea makes near the end of the filming of the show. I was fooled into thinking she might make a more responsible choice. Instead I was saddened to think how confused she obviously still was on what she truly wanted.

I appreciated the banter of the social media commentators throughout which gives perspective as to how others are feeling about Bea’s appearance on the show. Indeed, I thought this was quite clever of the author to provide this. The book, although sad at times, is very humorous at other times. I loved the backdrop of foreign travels, especially having visited several of these locations myself. I also appreciated the author’s use of characters who do not fit neatly into a box. This is a book of personal growth and acceptance as well as coming to understand what it is that we want and strive for. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️💫/5.


  1. I’d heard many good reviews of this book. I might pass though.

  2. I understand it may not be for you but thanks for stopping by!

  3. This sounds like a good story! Thank you for sharing :)