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The Holdout

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  61 reviews
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
Published September 12th 2013 by PMI Books (first published September 8th 2013)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  173 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Catherine McKenzie
Ever wanted to be on Survivor? This is a fun and thoughtful exploration of what might happen if you made it onto the Island and what your life might be like afterwards.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-authors, kindle
I really enjoyed this, it's my first book by this author - I got it as an offer on Amazon after one of my Facebook Kindle groups recommended it and I started it with no great expectations - I'm not particularly a reality TV fan so I didn't anticipate anything too gripping.

I was wrong. Robin was a terrific character and by the time of the family dinner (with the challenge) - I was REALLY rooting for her :)

Interesting and well-rounded supporting characters - but what particularly sold me on it was
Julie Powell
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a reviewer as well as an author, I was lucky enough to be given this book to review - fabulous!

The style of writing hooked me at once and I immediately liked Robin, even if at times she seemed younger than her age. However, I thought the dynamics of the story brilliant, while she engages with family, contestants and jurors, while trying to combat her insecurities.

The plot is very realistic and extremely enjoyable. Themes such as justice, love and revenge colour the tale to a wonderful degree
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very well written, interesting book about "The Holdout," a "Survivor" type TV series.

Robin was the youngest in a family of boys who tried out for and was accepted on the TV series. The book contains some behind the scenes looks at how the series was filmed and then lets us watch the previously filmed episode as it airs each week (the actual game was played months ago and is just now airing on TV). The author then intertwines the weekly playing of that night's program with Robin's curr
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: requested, ebook
The Holdout is a book that follows leading lady Robin as she gets cast on a Survivor-like game show- The Holdout. The prize is a million dollars, and she has a decent shot at winning.... Until she falls for a guy named Grant in the tribe who lied, charmed, and schmoozed his way through the game, and she fell for it. In front of millions of viewers. She discovers during the after math, with the help of her dysfunctional family and her jury duty summons, who exactly she is, how strong she is, and ...more
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
I've never been a fan of reality TV, but I really like books about reality TV! The Holdout was addicting and I could not put it down. I read this book in one sitting (I stayed up late again) and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I don't know about you, but going on a reality TV show is always been a small fantasy of mine. More so in my younger, childless years, but a dream nonetheless. So it was voyeuristic fun for me to read about someone brave enough to go on a survival show.

I really like
Adriane Marshall
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading the synopsis and wondering how jury duty and a Survivor type show went together. But still, the premise of the book intrigued me enough to read it, and I’m really glad that I did.

Laurel Osterkamp did a great job of interweaving the two stories. I had never watched Survivor, except in brief snatches, but I, of course, know enough about the show to see a lot about ‘The Holdout’ to see parts of Survivor in this one. (I think Survivor is just that much a part of our culture these
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I heard this book wasn't about Lucy and Monty, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it as much as theirs. I didn't hesitate to buy it, though, as I am a big fan of writing by this author. Well, I enjoyed this book just as much as the others, if not more. The idea behind the book was completely fascinating to me and the characters were written with great depth and insight. I find it difficult to articulate why this author's books work so well for me, but I'll try. The writing is smooth, the dialog ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
I've been a fan of Survivor since the U.S. version first aired in 2000. Every season, I find myself wondering what goes on behind the scenes, how much the editing has affected my opinions about the castaways and to what extent cast members keep in touch after filming ends. I also love a good showmance, especially one that has gone bad, so I was very excited to read The Holdout. This book offers Survivor-like drama and an interesting take on what life could be like for a reality show contestant a ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free from IFB Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My Initial Reaction…
I literally COULD NOT put this book down. I kept renegotiating my bedtime until finally I had stayed up the entire night, finishing The Holdout in one sitting. Laurel Osterkamp presents an engaging story and wonderful characters that I could not pull away from.

The Characters…
Robin Bricker is an incredibly easy character to love
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A big thanks to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review

I’ve read some really great books this year, but, I won’t lie, this is not one of them. I’m giving THE HOLDOUT by Laurel Osterkamp 2 out of 5 stars. And yes, it even has a happy ending. Okay, I’m not gonna make this painfully long but I feel like it’s my civic do so. If you don’t like reading negative reviews, stop here. You’ve been warned.

I did not hate the story; in fact, I thought the premise was int
Kathy Cunningham
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Laurel Osterkamp’s THE HOLDOUT is a poignant, heartfelt romance sent against the backdrop of two American cultural standards – reality TV and the judicial system. Thirty-one-year-old Robin Bricker went on a reality TV show called “The Holdout,” clearly modeled after the successful CBS series, “Survivor.” As the novel begins, the show is being aired and Robin dreads the embarrassment she is sure to face when her behavior on the show (especially her on-screen “showmance” with fellow contestant Gra ...more
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Laurel Osterkamp book, but it is certainly not going to be my last! I wasn't even planning to read this one when I did. I just was loading them onto my kindle and had tapped it to load. But then it opened and then I decided to bring it to the first page and then I somehow accidentally got totally sucked into the story! I could have easily read this one sitting. Every time I had to put it down I was thinking about it, wanting to read it. Even after I finished it I found I wanted ...more
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only mistake was falling in love. Other than that I played a nearly perfect game. But it doesn’t matter.

Somehow, I have managed to live this much of my life under a rock, I think. I mean, how have I managed to go this many years without a single glimpse of one tiny moment of the crazed reality show "SURVIVOR"?! I supposed I figured that the premise of a bunch of real life strangers eating bugs together on an isolated beach didn't SCREAM entertainment for me -- but when I had the opportunity
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I was contacted by the author and asked to review her newest book, THE HOLDOUT. Fans of the Reality TV Show, SURVIVOR will be drawn into the Osterkamp's version in her new novel. Since I am a huge SURVIVOR Geek, I was eager to read it and find out what it was all about. I was not disappointed. Reading it during the final week of this season's SURVIVOR also made for interesting parallels and I almost expected to see the book characters show up in the show this week!

Robin, a 31-year-old single gi
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
There is currently a giveaway up on my blog ( for a chance to win a copy of THE HOLDOUT! Synopsis: All Robin wanted to do was win The Holdout, a reality TV survival show, where the winner walks away from a million dollars. Winning would not only mean fame and money that she desperately needs, but also the glory that might finally get her older brothers to stop treating her like a baby, and more like the 30 year old woman she is now. A couple of months after Robi ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What more could a reader ask for than to have a story that includes a Survivor like Reality TV show with a journey of self-discovery and a little romance added into the mix? Well ... author Laurel Osterkamp does just that in her latest novel, The Holdout!

Author Laurel Osterkamp weaves an entertaining tale that is set in two places: Des Moines, Iowa and the Philippines, and told in the first person narrative with an alternating past/present timeline. The reader follows thirty-one year old Robin B
Sabrina Olteanu
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Itching for Books for letting me be a part of this tour.

Laurel Osterkamp did an amazing job with The Holdout. A different story from what I’ve read by now. A tale combined with what reality shows can do to a girl’s life, and doing jury duty a year after that show. Laurel is a great author; I really like her books and her sense of writing. But, this is one of my favorite books so far.

The main character is Robin Bricker. She is a be
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 w ...more
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve looked forward to Laurel Osterkamp’s books since I first read Starring in the Movie of My Life in 2011. Laurel’s latest release, The Holdout is here, and I’m excited to read it.

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 a
Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!
This review is also posted on my BLOG!

I lovvveeed this! I’m a fan of reality shows (especially Survivor) so when I have read the blurb,I know that I will love it.

The story centers Robin, a woman who wants to win in the reality show,The Holdout. Robin Bricker is such an incredible character and so easy to love. She grew up with only her father and brothers because her mother died when she was still 2 years old. I think this is why I loved the book so much, it’s because I get her. Because all of h
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
The author contacted me and offered me a copy of the book in return for my honest review. This in no way effects my final review of this book.

So...I finished this book earlier this month, wrote a very lovely review, it disappeared before I could submit and then I forgot to go back and rewrite it. Here we are about a month later and I can still say that I liked this book. Did I think it was ground breaking, no, but I still enjoyed it.

I would consider this book to be along the lines of romantic c
Henry Simpson
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a cleverly constructed tale about judgment, justice, and strength of character.

Robin, a fan of a Survivor-like TV reality show call Holdout, manages to become a contestant, quits her job to play, and participates in an island adventure involving various teams, individual and group trials, popularity contests, and votes among players and judges regarding fitness to continue and, ultimately, pick a winner. She returns home after her show, upset with herself for having been conned by a male
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review by the author and Chick-Lit Plus blog tours and all opinions are my own.*

You don’t have to be a fan of the reality show ‘Survivor’ to enjoy Laurel Osterkamp’s novel “The Holdout’. This was a fascinating story about young woman and her strength to prove to her family that she’s not a child anymore, and her courage to stand up for what she believes in.

The story follows Robin, a recent contestant on the reality show, The Holdout.
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love to read, but when I do watch tv I like to indulge in some "reality" tv shows. When I read the bio for this book, I knew it was right up my ally. I won a copy of this book on goodreads, and was very pleased to receive my copy. The author was nice enough to include a bookmark, and a sweet note, I think this shows how much the author really cares about her readers. Normally I would have breezed through this book, but the holiday season had me reading it over a few nights. I found the storyli ...more
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by a story that wove together a Survivor-like reality show with jury duty, wondering how one of the themes of the book - justice - would come into play within the various plot threads. The first 3rd of the book read more as a slice-of-life story than a romance, but that was fine since I like the slower-paced stories if the characters featured are intriguing. In this portion of the book, we meet the protagonist Robin's semi-dysfunctional family as well as the various members of th ...more
Susan Anderson
I loved The Holdout. I lost myself in it, as Robin tries to find her place in her family and in society. It’s a tale of groups gone awry—not terribly, just sort of. It’s a story of reality TV, of jury deliberations not in sync, of family dynamics slightly off-kilter. Laurel Osterkamp handles these group scenes effortlessly. Her writing is vivid, smart, poignant, punchy, her style unique and savory. Here’s an example: “I feel like I swallowed a carpet sample.” (Loc 421) And the pace is swift, sto ...more
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I always wondered what being on a reality show like Survivor would be like, I eagerly picked up this boo. The author has presented a very good but tasteful rendition of what such an experience would be like. Robin Bicker is on a reality show and, with the rest of the cast, is whisked off to the Philippines to survive for the duration to win the million dollar prize. However, Robin is a victim of the ruthlessness and deceit of her fellow cast members, in particular Grant, who uses her to ge ...more
Daphne Bois
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-lit
The Holdout is a truly enjoyable book, not to mention a touching love story and a clever critique of modern ‘reality TV’ culture. I found it very interesting that after her experience in an eponymous reality gaming show The Holdout (similar to shows like Survivor) the heroine, Robin, kept drawing parallels between that experience and the real world. I love how Robin grow sot believe in herself and trust in her own judgement, whether it be about men, jury duty or complex family relationships.

Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin has always been seen as the low man on the totem pole in her family. She is the actress and viewed as the adult that isn’t really an adult. When she finally gets a real chance at hitting it big by competing on the reality television show she is met with skepticism and ridicule by her brothers and cousins. Robin sets out to prove to all her critics that she is tougher than anyone thinks and very capable. What Robin doesn’t anticipate is during the game being played by one of the players and ...more
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