The One (Hardcover)

The One By Julia Argy Cover Image

The One (Hardcover)

$27.00


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A razor-sharp and seductively hypnotic debut novel about the very fantasy of falling in love.

Emily didn’t join the cast of The One for fame or for a relationship. She simply didn’t have anything better to do. Newly fired from her dead-end job, it doesn’t take much convincing when she’s recruited as a last-minute contestant for the popular reality dating show. Emily has been performing her entire life—for her family and friends, former boyfriends, and coworkers. How different could it be playing herself in front of cameras?

But the moment Emily arrives, it becomes clear she’s been tapped to win it all. Emily’s producer Miranda sees her as the golden ticket: generically pretty, affable, and easily molded—all the qualities of a future Wife. Emily herself is less certain. It’s easy enough to fall in love under romantic lighting and perfectly crafted dates, but it’s harder to remember what’s real and what’s designed. And as Emily’s fascination with another contestant grows, both Emily and Miranda are forced to decide what it is they really want—and what they are willing to do to get it.

A brilliant send-up of our cultural mythology around romance, The One examines the reality of love and desire set against a world of ultimate artifice and manipulation.
Julia Argy received her MFA in fiction from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan in 2021. Before that, she graduated from Harvard University with a degree in statistics. She lives in Massachusetts.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593542781
ISBN-10: 0593542789
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: April 18th, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English
One of:
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“Incisive and insightful, Argy’s debut novel [is] a thoughtful meditation on female competition, love and beauty as currency, and the many other threads underpinning America’s obsession with reality television.” Harper’s Bazaar
 
“Argy does an admirable job of describing the flimsy cheapness of everything that surrounds the contestants…[She] has a keen and often funny eye for detail [and] evokes the fetid coziness-meets-eroticism of female friendship with aplomb. Her prose is absorbing.” The New York Times Book Review

“[A] fast-paced and literary debut novel…The One manages to be entertaining in its examination of behind-the-scenes, and searing and true in its send-up of love.” Salon

“If you've ever found yourself wishing The Bachelor franchise was more (or even a little bit!) gay, this is the novel for you. A parody and love letter to our culture's obsession with reality TV and romance.” –E! News

“A clever spin on the reality TV romance craze.” Elle

“A debut that packs almost as much drama as Scandoval.” Rolling Stone

“Brimming with criticism of our current socio-political climate…The One makes an extremely well-rounded argument against how society treats its own people as a commodity.” Chicago Review of Books

“Julia Argy’s debut novel reminds us that identity is hard to grapple with when it has to be declared online.” Electric Literature

“[A] must read for fellow reality TV enthusiasts…Get ready to dive into a book universe that mirrors the captivating allure of reality shows.” Feminist Book Club

“Perfect for reality romance fans…[Argy] capture[s] the almost sci-fi uncanniness of the ‘Bachelor’ concept and environment, and even provides a hint of wish fulfillment by the end.” –Claire Fallon for “Rich Text”

“[A] remarkable debut, an unforgettable exploration of reality television and celebrity-obsessed society.”Largehearted Boy

“Takes readers behind the scenes of a reality TV dating show, exploring the seductive allure of fantasy, the cost of self-deception and the consequences of denial.” –WBUR.org

“[A] great read to dig into the behind-the-scenes drama that drives [The Bachelor].”Book Riot

“This exploration of love, self-perception, and performance is at the top of my spring TBR!” BookBub

“[A] smart debut…Argy takes on voyeurism, feminism, and gender norms, as Emily wonders if she really ought to put all her energy into finding love, which is what she was conditioned to do all her life.... [A] winning portrait of a young woman trying to come into her own.” Publishers Weekly

“Argy is fantastic at showcasing the subtle power dynamics among Dylan, the women, and the producers in all iterations.... A reality TV novel stripped of fluff and fantasy.” Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of reality TV will appreciate the insider feel first-time novelist Argy creates for her version of a very famous dating show….The characters are flawed and likeable….It’s up to readers to decide if they’re disturbed or charmed and amused by Argy’s knowing satire. A pop-culture send-up bound to inspire lively discussions.” Booklist

“Riveting, astute and darkly comic, The One takes us behind the scenes of reality television: Julia Argy’s delicious novel is more engrossing than the show itself.” –Claire Messud, author of The Emperor’s Children and The Burning Girl

"I could not stop reading Julia Argy's smart, funny, and tender debut novel about falling in love and finding oneself on and offscreen. Set in the world of reality TV and populated by unforgettable women, The One is everything I want in a novel - deliciously readable prose, a surprising love story, and insights that linger long after the last page. It's a stunner, and I'm counting the days until Argy's next book." –Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

The One is a whip-smart exploration of what happens when the pursuit of romance is performed for an audience, and the line between the scripted and the real begins to blur. Julia Argy is tremendous on desire, ambition, and self-invention in this sharply funny and powerfully moving debut.” –Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

“Incessantly sharp and consistently funny, The One shows how the strange, singular experience of being a contestant on a reality dating show pales in comparison to the strange, singular experience of figuring out who you are. Argy packs an incisive examination of how external perception clashes with self-perception into a novel that’s never less than captivating and delightful. This is a memorable story about how our desires define us, and how we don’t know who we really are until we know what we really want.” –Gabe Habash, author of Stephen Florida