Do you have any guilty pleasure TV shows? I went down a rabbit hole of Love Island UK last summer and now I'm obsessed with it. When I heard All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle had a reality TV-dating show element, my interest was piqued. Big thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy!
|Pub Date: 2-15-21|
YA - Contemporary
Cara Hawn's life went downhill the moment her father cheated on her mother and remarried a woman Cara can't stand. One night, Cara accidentally records a private conversation between her and her mother regarding the hurt her father caused them and posts it online. When the video blows up, it quickly catches the attention of TV producers casting for a new reality dating show for single parents.Soon, Cara and her mother are whisked away to Florida to film the show where they're to narrow down the suitors and their kids to the winning pair. Cara's mom is hoping to find a true love match, but Cara isn't so certain. Cara feels an instant distrust towards some of the suitors, and her concerns lead to some friction between her and her mom. Throw in some meddling producers and a crush on one of the contestant's sons, and Cara can't help but think they may have made a terrible mistake.
The premise of this sounded cute and I liked the reality show element, but it read a little too young. That's not to say it was a bad book or anything, I'm just a bit older than the targeted demographic so I couldn't connect with Cara or most of the other characters. I did still enjoy a lot of aspects of this, though. Particularly the relationship between Cara and her mom. I loved how they were friends as well as mother/daughter. I saw this compared to Gilmore Girls, and their dynamic does give off a little Lorelai/Rory vibe which I liked. I also liked how the romance between Cara and Connor felt like a footnote, and the real focus was on Cara's mom and finding her happiness. I just thought it was so sweet and loved how it played out. If you like books with a dating show trope, I'd still recommend checking this one out.