In She’s the One, a romantic comedy by Bronwyn Stuart, the famous snowboarder Banjo Graham and aspiring producer Eliza Peterson participate in a reality show. The former must choose his life partner from the twelve contestants, a list that includes a reluctant Eliza.
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Eliza Peterson wanted a prime-time slot on national television for her documentary on the troubled teenagers of Sydney. As the daughter of Malcolm Lynch, this should have been a piece of cake. Unfortunately, to convince her father of her capability, she had to produce a reality show for him. Titled ‘She’s the One,’ the show would feature the millionaire snowboarder-cum-eligible bachelor, Banjo Grahams, choosing a prospective life partner from the pool of twelve contestants. Only, Banjo got cold feet at the eleventh hour, requiring a change of plan that would entail Eliza’s participation, not as the producer but as a competitor. Bronwyn Stuart’s romantic comedy, She’s the One, narrates the string of incidents that follow this momentous decision.
I admired Stuart’s adept portrayal of a complex storyline within such a short span. Considering the brevity of the book, the characters were well-developed. Stuart adopted a showing-not-telling approach and carefully-crafted bits of dialogue to highlight the personalities of the contestants. We got a fairly good idea of the genuine girls, the tough ones, and those who sported a damsel-in-distress behavior to receive attention. I liked how Malcolm’s character had multiple layers, a polished
attitude belying a selfish and manipulative nature. I rooted for both the central characters. Banjo was a misunderstood hero whom everyone saw as a fickle playboy. His money and fame attracted countless girls, yet none of them ever searched for the real person behind the mask. Until Eliza arrived in his life, Banjo himself never explored the depths of his character. With his considerate and respectful nature, he had more to him than met the eye. Although he joined the reality show pretending to be a changed person, he found his true self along the journey. Similarly, Eliza was smart, sensitive, and passionate about her work. Yet, her childhood experience did not teach her enough self-esteem, making her seek validation in the wrong places. I loved how she never mimicked a frail heroine but was a strong character who could hold her own. The reality show turned out to be a life-changing deal, enabling her to make better decisions and realize her full potential.
While not exactly following an enemies-to-lovers trope, Eliza and Banjo started with utter indifference to each other. Both were too keen to reach their professional goals to give love a chance. Stuart showed how love did not bother with careful plans, calculations, and masquerades. Lifelong ambitions could take second place when you found the perfect person for you. As a romantic comedy, there was no shortage of sizzle in the plot. With twelve high-profile girls keen to woo the hotshot hero, sparks flew all around, with palpable tension and unresolved feelings on the rise. I loved that the explicit scenes were not overly erotic but tastefully written. The reader would be able to feel the highs and lows of the characters’ emotions. My only complaint about the book was that it seemed to end too soon. I would have loved to see more of the interplays between the girls and the bachelor. I would recommend this book to readers who appreciate contemporary romance.
- Title: She’s the One
- Author: Bronwyn Stuart
- Genre: Contemporary Romance
- Theme: Romantic Comedy, Love, reality show
- Publication Date: 1 November 2016
- ISBN or ASIN: B01M1YB72Z
- Number of Pages: 224
- Minimum Audience Age: 18
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 4
- Religious themes: 0
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 0
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 4
- Other adult themes: 4
- Content: 4 stars
- Writing Style: 5 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- UnUniqueness: 4 stars
- Editing: 5 stars
- Other factors: 5 stars
- Overall: 4.67 stars
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