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The Shelf

"A bright and witty and thoroughly entertaining read."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Plenty of people (myself most definitely included) have been swept away by the pressures and expectations to work towards big life milestones: getting that promotion, finding a relationship, hearing those wedding bells and welcoming a bundle of joy into the world. This is how we are introduced to Amy, scrolling through the perfect lives she sees on Instagram while waiting for her boyfriend to pop the question. What actually happens lands her not only single in her thirties but a contestant on a gameshow where she must compete with a cast of other women to get off "the shelf" and be crowned as "The Keeper".

The Shelf is an anti-Love Island held in the Big Brother house, where the six women, each with their own values and personalities demonstrate that the most important thing in life, love and relationships isn't to "keep C.A.L.M" but to stay true to yourself, your values and you requirements for a relationship. 

I loved the dynamics between all of the different women, the differences in their life stories, motivations and plans for the future. The Shelf clearly demonstrates that you don't have to fit any stereoptype to be a strong and independent woman. I laughed and cried with them as they participated in each outrageous task and the absurdity of the (male) production staff and presenters. This is a bright and entertaining plot that still manages to hit on key and thought-provoking points about what it means to be a woman and single, at any age and life stage.

I found that the most powerful part of this book is the differences between each of the contestants, and the message comes from each of them undergoing their own journey and revelations: whether you want a more traditional role in your relationship, or to strike out on your own, don't settle for anything that compromises your core requirements for a happy and healthy relationship. A bright, feminist read that will have wide appeal amongst women.

Charlotte Walker

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