416 pages ~ ★★★☆☆ ~ Netgalley eARC
Imagine a brand new reality TV show, six women have just been dumped and left in a house together to learn about where they’re going wrong in relationships, would you watch it? With the world seemingly hooked to the next reality TV trend and programs like Love Island and Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle springing up all over the place I couldn’t decide if the premise of this show was believable or not, unfortunately it probably is and if someone did make it we’d probably all be hooked.
Amy has been with Jamie for two years, all her friends are settled with children and she’s sure that a proposal will happen on their next holiday, however Jamie’s got other ideas and quite literally leaves Amy on The Shelf with five other unsuspected women. I hate Jamie with all of my being, he embodies so many toxic traits and treats Amy appalling, because of this I think this book might be a bit triggering to some people. His ‘petname’ for her is Piglet, he’s given her a key to his flat but she has to give him notice when arriving, he once got angry when she got foundation on his pillowcase; he was awful – if anything this is a credit to Helly Action’s writing as I’m actually getting a bit angry describing a fictional character to you!
After being dropped off at the TV set all the women are given completely free choice on whether they stay and participate, their month on the show will have them take part in a series of challenges, therapy sessions and have 24/7 access to ‘The Wall’ a screen showing a live stream of tweets about the show.
I was quite addicted to this, I had to keep reading to see what hideous outdated idea/challenge the producers of the show would throw at the ladies next, I loved that the contestants were different so often when you watch reality TV the contestants are a bit copy/paste, young and Instagram-worthy but these women were different ages, races and seemed like actual people that you might know in real life.
The Shelf is released today and if you’ve ever planned your summer evenings around 9pm to get your Love Island fix or used to be a Big Brother addict then I’d recommend this as a hilarious take on our addiction to reality TV. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy this in exchange for an honest review.