America’s Next Reality Star by Laura Heffernan

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 256

Expected Publication March 7th, 2017 by Kensington Books

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.

Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .


My Thoughts

In a society where reality TV has taken over the cable networks, it is no wonder it has made its way to contemporary romance.

Jennifer Reid is a newly single and unemployed, smart, lively young woman who has just received an eviction notice due to her apartment becoming part of a condo unit.With her life turned upside down she is suddenly grasping as straws until she sees an ad for a puzzle-loving, quicker thinker, fun loving girl who wants the chance to win $250,000 as the Grand Prize in a new reality TV show called The Fishbowl. She jumps on that chance.

Jen started off as a character that was enjoyable, she hit a rough patch but she was still a go-getter and fun, but as soon as she was thrust into the Fishbowl and was charging into the unknown her character ceased to grow and basically regressed. The interaction with the other characters was petty because it was based on TV show interactions and it shows how much is scripted and prompted by the producers [book wise.]

Justin is her counterpart – someone we scarcely get to see or really interact with because other characters are continuously popping up and interrupting things, so we never get to feel the chemistry between Jen & Justin, we never get to see them grow together, either.

Because this is largely a character driven story I was expecting something more enrapturing, something grittier, but it wasn’t, it was exactly like I was watching reality TV. So by the ending I couldn’t actually believe what was transpiring, because it didn’t feel real and it didn’t feel as though that should have happened [yes, vague I know.] Everything felt relatively superficial.

While my rating may or may not seem harsh, my 2-star ratings are just an “It’s ok” rating, it doesn’t mean it was awful, it simply had more flaws [in my opinion,] than what I enjoyed.

So if you love to eat up reality tv, this is a book for you!

What’s your favorite contemporary romance?


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