Book Review: The Shelf by Helly Acton

To be honest, I didn’t expect this book, The Shelf, to turn out to be this good. I thought it might be just another subtle rom com with the usual knick knacks but this book completely surprised me. If anybody is going for this book, I would suggest listening to the audiobook for a greater impact.

The Shelf Official Synopsis

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 fiction.


The whole theme of the book is totally messed up. I mean if you hear the synopsis of the book will be like….. What ? are you serious? trust that was what I said when I read the context of the story. But see ! I still went for it because even if the idea feels weird I wanted to still see how things will work out and Oh boy !! am I happy to have done that. 

I am so glad that I decided to go for the audiobook ( yeah its a new addiction, I have picked up). They have sound effects and the way the narration goes, it literally makes you feel as a part of the show. As if you are watching it on your telly with the equal intensity you feel while watching any another reality TV show. Tuning in to see who gets to stay and who gets kicked out. The book simply kept it rolling.

You have to admit that sometimes the whole sexist things thrown into the plot boils your blood. But then that’s the whole point. It makes you realise how in today’s world, there are still some ideologies that needs to be looked at twice and needs a renovation. Like BIG TIME.


Ironically for a rom com book, the book actually shows you how ludicrous is the idea that every happy ending happens only when you ride into the sunshine with the one you love. NOPE ! you can ride into the sunshine alone but perfectly being happy. I love that the book tells you a lot of stuff so gently but that will stick on for so long .

I came because of curiosity and stayed because of the valid and very strong messages it raised throughout the story without preaching.

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