The Shelf by Helly Acton

The Book

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.


My Thoughts

Whilst I enjoyed the concept and enjoyed the ending, I wasn’t a huge fan of the men in this book. Their views and words really grated on me and unfortunately that lead to me not being a major fan of this book overall.

The shelf is about a new reality TV show where 6 men dump their girlfriends/wives on live TV and leave them on ‘the shelf’. The women must then compete against each other to become ‘the keeper’ and win £1m.

I started off reading this book thinking wow this is a unique concept and was very excited. However like above I just wasn’t a fan of the men and their cliche thoughts.

Whilst I enjoyed the fact that Acton wanted to take a different approach to feminism and wanted to highlight that women can be who they want to be, I just wasn’t a major fan of how the show itself came across. I just think in my mind, I read the show differently and topped of with the opinionated host of the show plus with the tasks they had to do just felt a bit odd.

I can totally see it becoming an actual show though! I mean people love Love Island and Big Brother so why should this be no different. I actually pictured the Big Brother house the whole way through this book!

Honestly though, this is just my opinion, so please do give it a read if you like reality TV! I
Thanks to netgalley for a free copy of the e-book in exchange for an honest opinion. Oh and I really would read another one of Helly’s books! So can’t wait to see what she does next!

Really would love to hear your thoughts on this one! Let me know in the comments below or over on Instagram/Twitter @fueltheblog

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