Friday, July 13, 2018

Fiction/Nonfiction Mini-Reviews: The Reality TV Edition

Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm (2017)

When Dylan's sister Dusty becomes engaged to a Scottish lord on a reality show, the whole family finds themselves traveling to Scotland to prepare for the wedding.  For shy and awkward Dylan, being followed around by cameras is a nightmare, especially with a blossoming romance and family issues coming to the forefront. 

I enjoyed this book so much; I couldn't put it down and finished it in a day!  I loved the royalty aspect; I loved the reality tv aspect; I loved the Scottish setting.  Everything worked!  The pacing of the story was perfect.  There were never any dull moments.  Dylan was an adorable main character.  She just wants to live her life and appear as little as possible on the show.  She and groomsman Jamie were so cute together; I loved their witty banter and how comfortable they seemed around each other, almost right away.  I was a bit wary of Jamie in the beginning, because he seemed a little cagey and too good to be true.  I mean, the producers of the show messed around with other storylines, so why not this one?  But by the end, I understood Jamie and fell in love with him even more, especially because of his love of reading.    4.5 stars


Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman (2018)

Confession: I love reality TV, but I don't watch The Bachelor.  However, I do read a lot of articles about it and I'll kind of keep up with it online as the season goes on.  And I'm a sucker for anything "behind-the-scenes"!

I wouldn't say that anything Kaufman revealed in this book surprised me too much, but it was still kind of shocking.  The producers and casting directors are very calculating, choosing cast members to fill particular roles.  Reading about how the contestants are manipulated and treated during the show made me never want to be on a reality show.  The contestants aren't allowed to watch TV or even read books during their time in the mansion, and there's alcohol everywhere.  Producers practically force contestants to say certain things, like they're in love with the bachelor or bachelorette even if they aren't.  The short timeline, the overly-romantic dates - this isn't how dating works in the real world, yet millions of us tune in every week, and we expect a proposal.  I could have done without the chapter on the history of TV dating shows and perhaps a little less on how contestants try to capitalize on their newfound fame after the show, but I did appreciate the research Kaufman put into the book.  I guess in the end maybe I wanted a little more, but I think other fans of reality TV will enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at one of the country's most popular and enduring shows.  4 stars

22 comments:

  1. Prince in Disguise sounds so cute!!

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  2. I have Prince in Disguise and can't wait to get to it!!! I don't watch The Bachelor either but am so interested in that book. I find the behind the scenes stuff so interesting! Great reviews!

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    1. Thanks, Grace! I know, I love behind-the-scenes stuff, too, even when I'm not a fan!

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  3. I love reality TV, so Bachelor Nation might be interesting. I’ve only seen a few seasons of that show, though. It was too gag-inducing and unbelievable for me.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I don't think I've ever watched a full season, but it's everywhere, so I was intrigued!

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  4. We don't have the bachelor here in Belgium but I love reality tv, the trashier the better and we really got some trashy reality tv in my country lol but I think it would be awful to be on one and most of it is fake anyway. Still can't stop myself from watching. xD

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    1. Haha, me too! Tom can't stand some of the stuff I watch! That's why I save Bridezillas for when he's asleep!

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  5. Yeah for Prince in Disguise. It was one of my faves last year, and Strohm is a go-to for me when I want something fun to read. I love her humor!

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  6. Prince in Disguise sounds so cute! I had to run over to Goodreads and add it to my list as soon as I read your review :)

    I don't really watch much reality TV so the second book probably wouldn't work for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. I think you would love Prince in Disguise!

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  7. I'm not a huge fan of reality TV either, much less The Bachelor (feels too boring for me). You'd think reality TV would be more "real" but it's really been influenced. 🤷

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    1. It really is, and I wanted to know how much of The Bachelor was faked!

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  8. My mom is obsessed with reality TV, especially the bachelor! I always thought the shows were filled with too much drama and shenanigans.

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. It's too over-the-top for me, just from reading articles about it, but I thought the book was interesting!

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  9. What an interesting and different pairing of books these are! I think Prince in Disguise sounds adorable, but yeah the reality of The Bachelor just made me go WOW!

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    1. Thanks, Verushka! I think both books did a good job of showing the manipulation of the producers in reality tv.

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  10. These both sound really good, especially Prince in Disguise. Great reviews.

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  11. Prince in disguise sounds so good. I think I will have to pick that one up. I am not a reality tv show fan but know that people do love to watch those shows. I like things like TWD or ER - not really reality - I get to much of that from my own life. =)

    Mary

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    1. Prince in Disguise was adorable - I hope you enjoy it!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!