The Shelf – Helly Acton


“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 Shelf by Helly Acton is one of my biggest anticipated releases for the second part of 2020, with me devouring it as soon as it was released in July! How could I not when I have been waiting for it to be released?.

I’m not going to lie, the entire premise behind this book is not the best.  Six women believing that their relationships are perfect, are then surprisingly dumbed on TV, put onto a Big Brother like show called The Shelf, being told what they did wrong and how they can improve in order to keep a man and be awarded the winner of the show and be called The Keeper.  This sounds like we’ve gone right back to the 1950’s or something.

However, while I was reading this book, I actually enjoyed this book so much. It had such a good message in the end end. You do get your characters who are irritating as hell and belong back in time, but you do need them if you are having a book with this premise. But, for the most part, this is such an empowering novel, with characters coming to terms with what their relationship was really like, now they are not looking through rose tinted glasses, being able to see that there was more negative emotions, than positive. They become to love themselves for them and realise that they don’t need somebody else, partner wise, in their lives to complete them and fulfil them.

This is a book that, even though I was looking forward to reading it, I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I didn’t expect it to be as empowering as it was and to be a book that I am going to be recommending it as much as I am going to be. One of my biggest surprises of 2020 and one of my favourite books I’ve read so far this year.

Published by ShayneysReviews

Hello! My name is Shayney Hardcastle. I am a massive book enthusiast so I created this blog as my own little place where I can write and express my thoughts and review each book I have read. I am 23 and am currently living in a small town in Wales, in the United Kingdom, and love how reading let's me explore the world outside of this small town. I have also recently been sent more and more books and ARC by authors to review and wanted a place to review them that wasn't just on Goodreads and Amazon.

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