Title: All the Right Reasons
Author: Bethany Mangle
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: February 15, 2022
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The Bachelor meets Gilmore Girls in this laugh-out-loud young adult romance about a girl who joins her mother on a reality dating show for single parents—only to fall for a contestant’s son.
Cara Hawn’s life fell apart after her father cheated on her mother and got remarried to a woman Cara can’t stand. When Cara accidentally posts a rant about her father online, it goes viral—and catches the attention of the TV producers behind a new reality dating show for single parent families.
The next thing Cara and her mother know, they’ve been cast as leads on the show and are whisked away to sunny Key West where they’re asked to narrow a field of suitors and their kids down to one winning pair. All of this is outside of Cara’s comfort zone, from the meddling producers to the camera-hungry contestants, especially as Cara and her mother begin to clash on which suitors are worth keeping around. And then comes Connor.
As the son of a contestant, Connor is decidedly off-limits. Except that he doesn’t fit in with the cutthroat atmosphere in all the same ways as Cara, and she can’t get him out of her head. Now Cara must juggle her growing feelings while dodging the cameras and helping her mom pick a bachelor they both love, or else risk fracturing their family even more for the sake of ratings. Maybe there’s a reason most people don’t date on TV.
All the Right Reasons is a beautiful story that confronts the downfall of a failed marriage, but also the joy of starting a new relationship, even if that relationship starts on a reality TV dating show. The book showcases beautiful character development, adorable romance (more than one, might I add!), and a strong, relatable mother-daughter relationship.
This book was such a cute romantic contemporary! I loved the mother-daughter relationship. It reminded me a bit of my relationship with my mom, including all the bumps in the road between mother and daughter. But no matter what, I really liked that Mangle showcased a healthy mother-daughter relationship in an unique setting. I prefer to read books with a mother-daughter relationship like this, so that part of All the Right Reasons really played a role in how I felt about this story. But, of course, so did the fact that this story takes place on a reality TV dating show (which is so cool)!
If you’re wondering if this story is a good comparison to The Bachelor, then all I can say is yes. It’s got drama, single parents looking for second love, romance, and fun. But it’s so much better because it’s not just one relationship we get to read about, it’s two. Two blossoming romances that made me fall in love with this book. I loved the aspect of the dating show being for single parents and that the kid also played a huge role in the deciding factor. And while Cara’s mom is potentially falling in love, so is she…with one of the contestant’s sons. So it turns out to be quite a pickle for both of them as they struggle with the expectations of a reality TV show, love, and maintaining a somewhat cordial relationship with the person that ruined Cara’s life.
Cara is still reeling from the fallout between her parents. She’s struggling with her father’s relationship with his new wife and the fact that every time she sees him, all she can think about is all the pain he’s caused her and her mom. So not only do we get to see Cara struggle with her anger toward her father, but also her feelings for another contestant’s son and the pressure of being on a reality TV show. This is a lot for anyone to juggle at once, and I applaud Cara for the way she handles (mostly) everything – she handles it a lot better than I probably would have.
Overall, I really enjoyed All the Right Reasons and how the story took place on a show similar to The Bachelor. I definitely think All the Right Reasons is a book many readers will enjoy! If you love books with courageous female protagonists, budding relationships, a strong mother-daughter relationship, and
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars