Pop Culture

Are These Bachelor Books Here for the Right Reasons?

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Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals (www.booksquadgoals.com). She can be reached at emily.ecm@gmail.com.

The newest season of ABC’s The Bachelorette, starring last season’s winner/loser Becca Kufrin, started yesterday, and that means my desire to consume all things Bachelor-related is once again at an all-time high. Thank goodness, for people like me who feel like two hours (or more) of this ridiculous show every week is just not enough content, there are a wealth of Bachelor books out there for us to devour like the delicious and fluffy cotton candy they are. But which books are the most delicious? And which will leave you with, at best, a toothache and, at worst, regrets about your life decisions? To help you pick which book is worth your time, I have rated the offerings in true Bachelor style.

Disclaimer: The Bachelor has long been under fire for a lack of racial diversity. Only recently, after 12 seasons of The Bachelorette and 21 seasons of The Bachelor, did the show feature a black woman as its lead. People of color historically do not make it far on the show. As for winning, an Asian woman won one season of The Bachelor, and a Latino man won one season of The Bachelorette. Other than than, all winners have been white. Since the show has such a huge problem with representation, the Bachelor books listed below are extremely white. Apologies in advance, on behalf of this trash show.

the man code: a woman's guide to cracking the tough guy by david goodthe man code: a woman’s guide to cracking the tough guy by david good

This book, written by Bachelor Pad winner David Good, is 97 useless pages of Good trying to do damage control on his Bachelor image. If you’re coming to the book for Bachelor dirt, then get ready for Good to just talk about himself. A lot. If you want sound dating advice, Good’s advice is nearly non-existent and what is there is sexist trash.

Verdict: The Man Code is sent home on the first night before the rose ceremony for drunken and disrespectful behavior.

Diamonds & Hearts: A Poetic memoirDiamonds & Hearts: A Poetic memoir by chris siegfried and desiree hartsock by chris siegfried and desiree hartsock

Okay, this book…I hate to say it because Chris and Desiree seem like nice enough people, but if you watched Desiree’s season of The Bachelorette, then you know that someone needs to tell Chris Siegfried to stop writing poetry. And I guess that someone is me. The title of this book and the accompanying image on the cover should be enough to get you to steer clear, but just in case that isn’t enough, let me tell you this: each poem is accompanied by a detailed analysis of the hidden meanings and metaphors. Hard pass on this one.

Verdict: This book of poetry is sent home during the first rose ceremony after revealing too many intimate details about its life way too soon.

the perfect letter by chris harrisonthe perfect letter by chris harrison

What list of Bachelor books would be complete without host Chris Harrison’s foray into romance novels, The Perfect Letter? Heck, this book is even a mainstay of Bachelor in Paradise; Chris Harrison can be seen reading his own novel during the opening credits. It’s very telling that the description of this novel on Amazon and Goodreads is all about the writer and his belief in a “fairy tale ending” and says little to nothing about the actual plot of the book itself. Hmm…

Verdict: This novel is cut from the show after the other contestants discover it has a secret girlfriend back home.

happily ever after: the life-changing power of a grateful heart by trista Sutterhappily ever after: the life-changing power of a grateful heart by trista Sutter

If you can get through that title without rolling your eyes, then maybe you’re a more pure and hopeful soul than I am and this book will work out for you. But my heart, apparently, is not grateful enough for the original Bachelorette’s self-help book, which is stuffed with a lot of filler, such as inspirational quotes and song lyrics, and not much substance.

Verdict: Sent home after singing improvised song about your dates and creepily vowing to “guard and protect your heart” one too many times.

single state of mindsingle state of mind by andi Dorfman by andi Dorfman

This is Bachelorette Andi Dorfman’s second book. Her first book will be appearing on this list later, but it’s hard to discuss book #2 without comparing its content with that of book #1. This book picks up where the second book left off and explores Andi’s life post-Bachelorette as she explores the single life in New York City. It’s like Sex and the City without the interesting stories and characters, and it keeps all of the things that annoyed you about her first book while leaving out all the juicy tell-all bits you really wanted. Andi seems like a great person, but I really wish she’d stuck to being a lawyer and left the writing to someone else.

Verdict: This book came on the show with its twin, which is weird because this is a dating show. It gets sent home in favor of the other twin who has a better personality.

my realitymy reality by melissa rycroft by melissa rycroft

Melissa Rycroft is the original Becca Kufrin, which might make you think it would be worth checking out this Bachelor contestant–turned–TV host’s book before starting in on Kufrin’s current Bachelorette season. Stop. Don’t do it. Melissa seems like a decent enough person, but the writing in this book is terrible and the content is all surface level, even in Bachelor book terms, which is pretty bad. There’s nothing terribly offensive about this book, but it’s not really worth reading either. Save your time and wait for the later books on this list.

Verdict: This book is sent home mid-season before the overseas dates, and it cries a whole lot about being kicked off because it didn’t get a chance to wear all of the outfits it packed.

I Said yesI Said yes By emily maynard Johnson By emily maynard Johnson

On the plus side, Bachelorette Emily Maynard Johnson shares some pretty good behind the scenes intel about her seasons on the show, both as a contestant on Brad Womack’s season and as the star of her season of The Bachelorette. However, she doesn’t share the same kinds of juicy details that some of her Bachelor brethren have in their tell-alls. This book can’t decide whether it wants to be a book about spirituality and God or about being a reality TV star, so it ends up just being okay at doing both sometimes.

Verdict: Sent home on a 1-on-1 date because it’s just not a match and it’s not fair to keep this book away from its kids when you know it’s not going to work out.

final rose by shawntel newtonfinal rose by shawntel newton

This book might be more interesting if you’re picking it up hoping to get an inside look at the funeral director business. Unfortunately, when it comes to Bachelor gossip, Shawntel decided to keep it classy, which is a major bummer. I just feel like Shawntel and I expect different things from a Bachelor book, and so I have to send this one home.

Verdict: Left alone in the desert after a 2-on-1 date.

for the right reasonsfor the right reasons by sean lowe by sean lowe

This is the book in which the “virgin Bachelor” Sean Lowe discusses his experiences and difficulties starring in a dating show as a Christian man. Sean Lowe is clearly the producers’ favorite Bachelor of all time, which is evident in the way they parade him out every season so that he can offer advice to the newest Bachelor on how to not be Juan Pablo. Since Lowe is a producer darling, he’s a lot less willing to dish the dirt on the show, which is too bad. He still manages to share some interesting stories, though.

Verdict: Survives the 2-on-1, but as with every contestant who is doomed to a 2-on-1, this book’s days are numbered. Predictably, this book is sent home a week later.

better single than sorrybetter single than sorry by Jenn schefft by Jenn schefft

I have to hand it to this book. It has a good message that I can get behind, which is more than I can say for most Bachelor content, let alone Bachelor books. In this book, Schefft (who admittedly is a contestant from before my time watching the show) says what I’ve been trying to tell my single friends for ages: it’s better to be single than to be with someone you don’t like that much or who treats you like garbage. You’d think you wouldn’t need a whole book to tell you this, but a lot of people do.

Verdict: Meh…This book is basically that one contestant who makes it really far even though it never gets any screen time and never has a one-on-one date. Inevitably, this book is sent home before things get too serious.

the selectionthe selection by keira cass by keira cass

I had to throw in a couple of Bachelor-inspired titles to spice up the list a little bit. If you love The Bachelor and want to read some fiction based off of the show, The Selection is a good place to start. This is a nice fluffy romantic YA book about women competing to win the love of a prince. This is the first book in a series, and full disclosure, I haven’t ready any of the follow-up books yet. This book was fun, but I haven’t been dying to find out what happens next; however, it was interesting enough that I’ll get to it eventually.

Verdict: This book leaves on its own accord during a date after a tearful goodbye. It just realized it wasn’t working for either parties involved and wanted to go where it would be more appreciated (like maybe a YA Romance Series book list).

bachelor nationbachelor nation by amy kaufman by amy kaufman

I was really excited to read this book by a Los Angeles Times reporter who got banned from attending Bachelor events due to her unfiltered opinions of the show. Kaufman’s book has some interesting insights into the world of the show and how it became the cultural phenomenon it is today. I could do without the celebrity mini-chapters in which random other people proclaim their love for the show, though, and most of the gossip that was advertised to be juicy and revelatory ended up being stuff I’d heard before. Overall, though, this was a pretty fun read. It read like a super long Internet article about The Bachelor.

Verdict: Sent home after hometown dates because its family was too weird.

It's Not Okay by Andi DorfmanIt’s Not Okay by Andi Dorfman

Finally, here’s Andi Dorfman’s first book, which makes it all the way to 3rd place on this list of Bachelor books. It’s Not Okay became somewhat infamous after it featured heavily on a season of Bachelor in Paradise featuring two men Andi dated on the show and dished about in her book. One guy (Josh) claimed everything in the book was fiction, and the other guy (Nick, who went on to be the next Bachelor) admitted that everything written in the book about him was true. This probably did not hurt Andi’s book sales, as everyone was dying to know what was said about these two. Dorfman delivers the gossip in this book, not only about Josh and Nick but about former Bachelor Juan Pablo…and so much more. The gossip is so juicy that it’s even worth wading through Dorfman’s clunky prose.

Verdict: Sends itself home after fantasy suites because “it’s not okay.”

eligibleeligible by curtis Sittenfeld by curtis Sittenfeld

Like The Selection, this book is another novel partially inspired by The Bachelor. In this modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice, the Mr. Bingley character is a former star of a fictional reality tv show called Eligible, which is clearly based on our favorite real-world reality show The Bachelor. This novel is a pleasant and easy beach read, which means this is the perfect time of year to pick this one up.

Verdict: This book proposes on the final episode but is ultimately rejected because I’m in love with someone else…

i didn’t come Here to make friendsi didn't come Here to make friends by courtney robertson by courtney robertson

If you want to read a Bachelor book with all the gossip and salacious behind the scenes details, Robertson’s book is the one. This former Bachelor villain/winner is not afraid to tell the world how she really feels about fellow contestants, former lovers, and her former fiancé Ben Flajnik. Sure, a lot of it may come off as trashy, but this book is just giving Bachelor Nation what it really wants, and for that it’s winning.

Verdict: I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends, I will never find a Bachelor tell-all book that tells all quite like you do. You are one of a kind. Will you accept this rose?

The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Mondays, 8/7 c, starting tonight.