Robin Bricker’s “only mistake was falling in love.” An aspiring actress, Robin decides to showcase her skills on the reality show The Holdout. Like Survivor, The Holdout challenges participants to survive in the wild and to rely on one another. Robin and her fellow cast members must survive on an island in the Philippines for thirty-nine days while competing in challenges. They also have the opportunity to vote one another off the island, so alliances play a key role. Robin forms an alliance with a handsome man named Grant whose manipulation and deception prove to be her downfall.
The story of Robin’s participation in the reality show would be interesting enough—the narrative is well-written and the characters well developed—but I found the story outside the show to be even more interesting. Robin’s desire to prove her abilities to her all male family and her need to cope with the repercussions of the show make her a sympathetic and fascinating character. While the show airs, Robin receives a summons for jury duty. Osterkamp’s comparison of reality television to the court system raises interesting questions about the fairness of democracy and the fantasy of real justice. Entertaining and smart, The Holdout is worth checking out.
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