The Final Rose by Eliza Lentzski is a fun look into the world of the reality television craze. While the people are real, the events that usually transpire are scripted or manipulated for a specific outcome. Lentzski takes us on a trip behind the camera to show the “real” reality of being on one of these shows and just what happens when the women decide to go off script.
Nokomis Reed has no love life to speak of. So when her mother nominates her to be a contestant on a Reality TV Show, she decides to go along. Soon she finds herself in this strange land with twenty other women, all of whom are vying for the attention of one very handsome man, Jacob. It’s an environment that leaves Nokomis a little confused when she first arrives. But with the help of the resident expert, Candace, and the sweet kindergarten teacher, Lee, Nokomis starts to think she can stick around long enough to make all of her mother’s hard work pay off.
The more time Nokomis spends in the house, though, the more she realizes there is a problem with this whole charade. She should be attracted to Jacob, yet it’s Lee that she wants to be with. Can Nokomis keep up the farce of liking Jacob? Or will she be able to give her final rose to the woman she has also given her heart?
The Characters And Story Are By Design
Whether it’s reality or scripted television, there is a formula that is followed to make the series popular with viewers. In a sense, authors do the same thing to their stories. Then they can appeal to readers’ specific interest and curiosity. Lentzski’s genius with this story is playing it out like it is reality television and not just a backdrop for unfolding drama. This is very apparent in her first release of this story, which was a chapter a week on the Wattapad site. She wanted it to feel like an episodic reality show. That format followed through every aspect of the story, including the characters she’s created.
We are introduced to the main protagonist, Nokomis. Nokomis is the bachelor (or bachelorette in this case) that is the focus in her search for love and happily ever after with the person of her dreams. While she is vying for the affection of Jacob, the true bachelor on the show, it is Nokomis we wish to see succeed in her pursuits of love and happiness.
After our bachelorette, we must have a good host. We need that person who knows everything about everyone and the expectations that are likely to transpire through the course of filming: who’s destined to become fan favorites, who’s destined to be a villain, and who will make it to the final ceremony. Meet Candace everyone. The reality TV show expert who guides our charming Nokomis on this strange journey, where the “reality” on camera isn’t as genuine as the drama behind the scenes.
And last, but certainly not least, you must have the love interest. This is that one person, or persons, whom are vying for the attention of our bachelor. They must be charming and endearing. And it doesn’t hurt if they are beautiful as well. First, we have Jacob. While Nokomis must charm herself to him, he must also charm her. Otherwise, what is the whole point of her being there? But trying to compete with twenty other women for the attention of one man is exhausting to Nokomis. And with so little time for them to spend together, how are they supposed to fall in love? And then there is Lee. She is blonde, charming, beautiful and relates to Nokomis on a level that Jacob hasn’t been able to uncover. She and Nokomis go on dates, have one-on-one moments of deep discussions about life and love, and share a passion that goes beyond what the camera can see. They are basically doing everything together that each woman is trying to accomplish with Jacob. It’s unfortunate because Jacob is sweet, delightful and attractive. However, as our lovely host Candace pointed out, “Only two kinds of women win this show…Flight attendants and kindergarten teachers.”
While I love reading about Nokomis and Lee, I give big kudos to Lentzski for creating Candace. She’s such a fun supporting character to read about with all her expertise and advice. She’s a good friend and confidant, and she has no qualms about not being considered for the final ceremony. It’s refreshing that in this land of “reality,” there is one person who is genuine besides the main protagonists.
The only issue I had was the ending, but I understand that was by design. Television producers postpone happy endings to grab big ratings, and that’s exactly what Lentzski conveyed here. It keeps it in line with her story format and it does help build the suspense like any good television show does to bring viewers back time and again.
This story is so much fun because of the format and the way these characters are written. Even if you don’t like reality television, you will find a lot of entertainment reading about these characters, how they play their roles, and how they all end up finding their happiness. Please don’t pass on The Final Rose for your reading pleasure. It will not disappoint.
Excerpt from The Final Rose by Eliza Lentzski
“What’s your tattoo of?” She leaned toward me for closer inspection.
I twisted my right arm to give her a better look. “It’s a thunderbird. It’s kind of the symbol of my people,” I explained.
She ran the tip of her pointer finger down my tricep, stopping to trace the fine black lines of my tattoo. “It’s beautiful,” she murmured. “They did a great job.”
The gesture was meant to be innocent, but I couldn’t ignore how her touch enflamed my already sun-baked skin. My tattooed skin had always been more sensitive than the surrounding skin.
I stood quickly from the lounge chair. “I’m going into the pool,” I announced somewhat awkwardly.
Only the sound of Lee’s panicked voice kept me from immediately jumping into the water: “Nokomis, wait!”
She scrambled to her feet and caught me firmly around the waist before I could dive in. I was taller than Lee by at least half a foot, but she was small and sturdy and managed to hold me back.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781535030593
Eliza Lentzski Online
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This book comes from the reviewer’s private collection.