Rummanah Aasi
 When their now famous ex-boyfriend asks them to participate in a teen reality show, two eighteen year old girls—one bent on revenge, the other open to rekindling romance—get tangled up in an unexpected twist.

Review: I am not a fan of reality tv dating shows. I have never seen nor do I have the desire to see a single episode of the Bachelor franchise, but I was drawn to the premise of this book because of the twist it promises. I am happy to say that this book is absolutely delightful and enjoyable.
  It has been two years since Maya was dumped by her posh, European royal boyfriend Jordy and she can't seem to get over that bump in her life. After Jordy's sister is married, Jordy is in the spotlight and declared Europe's most eligible bachelor.  He is in fact starring in a reality dating show called Second Chance Romance, which pits celebrity bachelors' ex-girlfriends against each other for a chance to win their ex's heart, and invites Maya to be on the show. After some moments of deliberation, Maya sees it as the perfect opportunity for revenge. She plans to publicly humiliate Jordy by dumping him on international TV--but she has to win first. When Maya gets to the fictional European country called Chalonne, Maya's plan goes awry when she alienates herself from the other Jordy exes, especially Skye, the girl whom Jordy cheated on Maya. 
    Gonzales's deconstruction of the reality tv show works beautifully. From the description of how each episode is created and edited for the audience to the large cast of strong female heroines who quickly understand the actual TV villains and refuse to give into the common tropes of backstabbing and sabotage usually associated with these shows. They actually form a tight knit support group. Jordy is insufferable with his antics, recycled dialogue that is meant to make contestant "special", his weird British accent, and his eye rolling body flexing for the camera. 
   Maya's reluctant friendship with Skye, which develops into something more has all the right beats to a romantic comedy. They are complete opposites, but they balance each other out. Maya is struggling with an inferiority complex, but at the same time she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. Skye is a free spirit who loves to travel around the world, but has trust and abandonment issues. I liked that the author made both characters not only older (about eighteen and nineteen years old) but also bisexual who didn't have to worry about biphobia, though there is some discussion about biphobia in Maya's past before they get together. I couldn't help but root for them. I finished the book with a huge grin on my face. If you enjoy Casey McQuinston's books, then definitely check this one out. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language and a fade to black sex scene. Recommended for Grades 
9 and up.

If you like this book try: Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston (for similar romance vibes), All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle
1 Response
  1. Any book where you end up rooting for the characters is a good one if you ask me. This sounds like fun.

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