On the Plus Side by Jenny L. Howe: My Book Review

On the Plus Side is my first Jenny L. Howe book but it won’t be my last as it totally delighted in all the best ways.

Check out my book review of this contemporary romance about a curvy heroine who finds love while on a make-over reality TV show.

*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

On the Plus Side is one of the most anticipated new romance book releases for December 2023.

On the Plus Side
by Jenny L. Howe

Category: Contemporary Romance
Tags: Cinnamon Roll, Reality TV, Curves
Published December 2023
Amazon Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★
Book Boyfriend: ★★★★★

On the Plus Side Summary:

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?

On the Plus Side: My Review

Jenny L. Howe delights in this must-read romance that has a cinnamon roll hero you’ll totally fall for and a sweet heroine you’ll be cheering on as she steps out of the beige to paint her world bright again!

I just love it when a book from an author I have never read before catches my eye and then over-delivers on my expectations.

I am not someone who likes watching reality TV AT ALL but I do love reading romance books featuring reality tv show storylines and that’s what initially caught my eye about On the Plus Side.

Everly Winters finds out that she was been nominated as the next contestant for, On the Plus Side, a reality TV show working to change dialogue around fat representation and take back the negativity surrounded by the word “fat.”

She’s the perfect candidate because she’s changed in recent years from the carefree woman who lived out loud like her plus-size grandmother but who now tries to blend into the background and wants to remain unseen.

What I Loved About On the Plus Side:

Everly’s Transformation

Everly is such a wonderful heroine – someone who’s so down to earth and definitely someone you’d just love to hang out with or have design your own tattoo 😊.

I loved how Howe weaves in her backstory about her close relationship with her grandmother and her strained relationship with her mother without making it all about them.

You can absolutely see that there is this beautiful, creative, fun woman who’s hiding herself and therefore depriving the world and herself of all the gifts that she possesses.

Her “makeover” didn’t make her into something she’s not or something “socially acceptable” but focused on bringing out her true self which is the beauty of what that reality tv show is all about. Howe also gave us two co-hosts to adore that helped Everly along the way.

Logan – the Quiet Hero

While Everly was clearly the star of the show (and book!) Logan is another character that absolutely made this story.

Despite being more behind the scenes, literally behind the camera following Everly, his presence and support of Everly was EVERYTHING.

I loved how he was this quiet, grumpy cinnamon roll who totally and utterly supported Everly. And yet, despite his quiet nature, when he chose to engage and speak it was oh so good.

Their banter together was perfect, showing their chemistry and growing feelings for one another. I loved their honesty and the way they just fit. He became one of my favorite book boyfriends of 2023.

The Writing

The main characters and storyline are fantastic but the writing is top notch too, making it so effortless to read this book that I never wanted it to end.

Howe made the story just flow with a good moment of conflict that didn’t cause unnecessary drama between Everly and Logan.

If you’re looking for a fun, enjoyable romance with characters you’ll completely fall for a super cute storyline, then you’ll definitely going to want to read On the Plus Side.

It’s right up there with The True Love Experiment as my favorite romance books featuring reality TV shows.

The punny title is just so perfect too.

*Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own.

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Don't miss She Reads Romance Books' review of On the Plus Side by Jenny L. Howe to see if this romance book about a reality TV show is one worth reading.
Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

Leslie Murphy, Author

Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion along with raising her two amazing children who love to read! Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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