E-galley Review: On the Plus Side by Jenny L. Howe

Posted December 11, 2023 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 13 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

E-galley Review:  On the Plus Side by Jenny L. HoweOn the Plus Side by Jenny L. Howe
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on December 26, 2023
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 333
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: five-stars
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What Not to Wear and Queer Eye meet All the Feels in this sparkling romantic comedy by Jenny L. Howe, in which the new guest on a popular plus-size makeover show has her style―and her love life―transformed.

Everly Winters is perfectly happy to navigate life like a good neutral paint color: appreciated but unnoticed. That’s why she’s still a receptionist instead of exploring a career in art, why she lurks but never posts on the forums for her favorite makeover show, On the Plus Side, and why she’s crushing so hard on her forever-unattainable co-worker. When no one notices you, they can’t reject you or insist you’re too much.

This plan is working perfectly until someone secretly nominates Everly for the next season of On the Plus Side. Overwhelmed by the show’s extremely extroverted hosts and how much time she’ll have to spend on screen, she finds comfort in a surprising friendship with the grumpy but kind cameraman, Logan. Soon Everly realizes that he’s someone she doesn’t mind being noticed by. In fact, she might even like it.

But when their growing connection is caught on camera, it sends the show’s ratings into a frenzy. Learning to embrace all of herself on national TV is hard enough; can Everly risk heartbreak with the whole world watching?

My Review

This is my first book by this author, but I don’t think it will be my last! I really enjoyed all of it! As someone who had become a bigger/fat woman at this point in my life, it was great to read this and see myself in the main character. All the things that the story talked about, the things that Everly was dealing with and pushing for the reality show to actually portray were things that I either don’t think about even though I want, or things that I don’t think other people realize.

Now it did take me a bit to get into it, but I’m blaming that on the dog that I was watching for two weeks when I started reading this. The times I was able to sit and just read with no interruptions I was completely absorbed in the story. I did get what the producer was trying to show, that a “fat” woman could attract a “hot” guy. People are so negative that it can’t happen. There’s even a woman I follow on TikTok that is in that very situation and she gets horrible comments from people, and her husband I guess even gets women in his DMs offering to take care of him.

So all of the stuff in this story was real and just worked. I loved that even though the tagline and that this is a romance makes you think that is all it is, it is more. It is about Everly realizing her own self worth, NOT because of a guy being interested in her, but because she is talented and is worth all she wants. I did have a little inkling that part of the “hot” guy’s reveal/secret was what it was. I did not get the whole idea. But I am totally with her in how annoying it is when guys do things that seem more than nice, but then when you think they like you, they say they don’t. I get that some people are just more flirty than others, meaning nothing, but it’s harder for some of us to deal with when other people are so standoffish or rude in how they treat us because of our looks.

A wonderful story and I highly recommend it! Also, I wish I could get on a show just like this!

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13 responses to “E-galley Review: On the Plus Side by Jenny L. Howe

    • Lisa Mandina

      I wouldn’t probably watch a reality show like this, but maybe if the actual contestant was like her and it wasn’t just one of the shows about losing weight.

  1. danielle hammelef

    I’ve read this author’s previous book and liked it enough to add this one to my TBR. I’ve read a couple of books based on reality TV–one of them If the Show Fits, which I adored. I’m so happy you liked this book because I’m also looking forward to getting a copy.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I wanted to read her other book, but never got around to it. Now I want to go back and read it! I enjoy reality tv show books more than the actual shows, lol.

  2. I like that we are getting more diverse MCs across the board in romance. I’ve not read this author before, but I like the premise of the book. I’ll have to keep an eye out for future review titles. Thanks.

  3. Suzie B

    I’m pretty sure I know the TIKTOKer you are referencing, and yes, its very sad the comments that her posts get. I love the premise of this storyline and helping to try to change the mentality of people out there on full figure being attractive!

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