The Shelf

The Shelf

By Helly Acton

What it’s about?

From Goodreads

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 fictio

What I think?

I was lucky enough to take part in the Tandem Collective Listenalong for the audio book version of The Shelf and it is a great read/listen!

I loved Amy. She knows that her boyfriend Jamie is an arse! She finds a lot of the things he does irritating and he’s so critical of her. He calls her “Piglet” as a nickname! But with all of her friends settling down, engaged, married, having kids, Jame is better than being single.

Until he puts her on The Shelf. A reality TV show to teach women how to become The Keeper.

Amy is devastated, heartbroken and then furious! And decides to make the most of the opportunity.

This is a really funny book. But amongst the humour realnissues are being explored. Why are women still expected to be wives and mothers? Why are women’s careers second to their husbands? Why do they focus on pleasing men?

Amy and her housemates question stereotypes, confront challenges and explore how they feel about themselves and future relationships.

There are so many great characters in this book. Strong women – all different – some wives and mothers, some working, but all passionate, determined and supportive.

Amy finds herself learning so much during her time on The Shelf. And accepting that loving herself and being single might be better than a relationship with someone who cares more about getting a Range Rover.

I loved this audio book. The use of sound effects adds to the experience and makes you feel like you are actually watching the show. Helly Acton gets the tone of the reality TV show and social media spot on

I would definitely watch The Shelf and absolutely recommend the book.

If you fancy the audio book book read by Daisy Edgar-Jones try a sample click here

Waterstones: click here

Amazon.co.uk: click here

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