If you love reality tv and are looking for a fun, easy-read then The Shelf is for you. Told from the perspective of Amy, the book follows 6 women who are dumped on the new reality show ‘The Shelf’ and then compete in different challenges to be named The Keeper (and winner of £1 million) whilst living together in a house for 4 weeks.
Although this book wouldn’t have been my first choice in a bookshop, I got it through a book subscription service and it was the perfect book for a busy week. It was light-hearted, funny and I couldn’t put it down. It was truly as addictive as any good reality tv show is and that is the genius behind it. It is not trying to be anything but fun.
I’ll admit there are a few heavy-handed comments on sexism and less than subtle commentary on the more toxic aspects of reality tv, but it all comes from the right place. You are not being told to give up binging love island or stop talking about love is blind, instead this book fully appreciates the joy those shows can bring you. The Shelf knows that at the end of a long day, vegging on the sofa to some mindless episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians is exactly what you need, it just also shows how quickly things can escalate for those more directly involved in some of the shows being aired.
At the times the book also leaned a bit further into being cheesy than I usually go for, particularly in the final few chapters, but that didn’t surprise me. I knew what I was getting with this book and it definitely delivered.
For me this book was a solid 3.5/5 stars because I enjoyed it and that’s all. Was it one of the best books I’ve ever read? No. But did I have fun reading it? Yes. I couldn’t put this book down, reading it in just a couple of days, and would definitely recommend it.