Robin wanted to win The Holdout, a cutthroat reality TV show, so she gave it her all, challenge after challenge. Then she fell for Grant, with his irresistible eyes and heartbreaking life story.
But Grant was only using Robin as they competed for a million dollars. Once home, Robin wants to hide from the humiliation as episodes of The Holdout are aired, and she worries her family was right all along; she’s not a survivor.
Yet she could surprise everyone, and have the last laugh.
Besides, Robin now has jury duty. And as she forges ahead, confronting her demons about bravery, justice, and romance, Robin will come to decide which is more important: the courage to stand alone, or the strength to love again.
The holdout really surprised me. I went into it expecting to like it, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. It had a really great amount of depth, while still being just as addictive as the reality tv it was about. Robin is a contestant on a show called the Holdout, which is basically exactly like the tv show Survivor. But the cool thing about the story is that it takes places after the show has wrapped filming and Robin is back in the real world watching the show as it airs week to week. In the meantime, in her real life she is serving as a juror in a trial. The holdout goes back and forth between present day, when the episodes of the holdout are airing, and flashbacks to when she she was in the Philippines competing.
I saw the holdout as a book about personal growth and discovery for Robin. I really felt for her that people started out seeing her as stuck up and kind of snobby on the show, because she comes off as so genuine and nice to me in her real life. But as the story went on, and we got to know her more and more of the episodes aired, I felt like we got more insight into her life and who she is as a person. I also really enjoyed that we got to know the dynamics of her whole extended family.
I couldn’t stand Grant! I felt so bad for Robin as I watched her get used. He just pissed me off so much. But even though I hated Grant, I liked the part that he played in the story. He was so integral to Robin finding herself, and getting over her embarrassment of getting played. One of the great things that Laurel Osterkamp does with the Holdout, is how she really captures the nature of reality tv on our society, especially with social media. All of the feedback that Robin was getting over twitter, and on the streets and in magazines is just like stuff we see everyday in real life. All of the flak she caught for every single one of her decisions. People are such harsh critics about everything and it is so easy to judge while sitting in your house watching it all play out on tv.
The holdout is a fantastic book! I loved how the author moved back and forth between jury duty and the airing of the episodes, and the actual filming of the competition. It added a real depth to the story. I read The Holdout in one sitting and when I finished, I found myself wanting more.
Laurel Osterkamp’s award winning novels have been hailed as funny, intelligent, snarky and poignant. She is the author of four novels and two novellas, including the November Surprise series, which, like The Holdout, features the Bricker family. Laurel was recently on a federal jury, and she loves watching Survivor.
laurel.pmibooks.com | twitter.com/laurelosterkamp