It’s the unwritten rule of Bachelor Nation: When you become a contestant on the show, you will likely leave your job for good.
No matter how much of a BOSS any given Bach contestant may be (think: Andi Dorfman, Rachel Lindsay), at the end of the day—or should I say the end of the Rose Ceremony—these lucky ladies and fortunate fellas are not headed back to the office. Thank goodness for #sponcon, amirite? Did you really think they all liked FabFitFun boxes that much?
When the Insta ads don’t do the trick, former contestants hit up their nearest publishing company on a quest to make bank from a book deal. There are many former contestants- turned-authors in the franchise’s history, but before you grab a book on the go, check out my (completely biased) breakdown below to help you navigate which books are actually worth the read.
They may not be the next Great American Novel, but I’m all for a good Bachelor Nation exposé.
I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain
by Courtney Robertson, The Bachelor season 16
Yes, yes, and yes. For those who may not remember (though IDK how), Courtney was the token villain of her season with Bachelor Ben Flajnik. She was painted the mean girl—and at times most definitely fit the description—and had a gang of angry housemates against her. She was so disliked, that ABC even had her attend the Women Tell All before the finalé aired to try to get her on America’s good side for when Ben would ultimately propose to her on national TV the following week.
Her book is nothing short of some good Bachelor dirt. Not only does she talk about what really went on—according to her side of the story at least—inside the house, but she even gives a peek at Bachelor Nation contestants from here, there, and everywhere. Court is a no-BS kind of gal and her book is an unapologetic look at her time at the show and beyond.
It’s Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak into Happily Ever After
by Andi Dorfman, The Bachelor, season 18 and The Bachelorette, season 10
Andi Dorfman penned her debut book based off of her mic drop exit from Juan Pablo’s season, #NeverForget. It was no surprise when she went on to become The Bachelorette, but ultimately, her fairytale ending quicky turned disaster.
Her book gives an overview of her entire Bachelor experience, beginning with her audition for The Bachelor, and leading up to her present NYC-lovin’ lifestyle. Some may classify it as a “self-help” book due to the dating/life advice (and I will use that description lightly) at the end of each chapter, but we all know why we are here. We want know what really caused the picture-perfect Andi Dorfman and Josh Murray duo to turn trainwreck in the blink of an eye.
Skip the self-help, stay for the secrets.
For the Right Reasons: America’s Favorite Bachelor on Faith, Love, Marriage and Why Nice Guys Finish First
by Sean Lowe, The Bachelorette, season 8 and The Bachelor, season 17
Half the time I can’t decide if I am obsessed with Sean and Catherine, or if I should unfollow them on Instagram to avoid their endless sappy posts. At the end of the day, they are the poster couple for everything that the show
claims to stands for, but that we viewers so often forget. I suppose I can’t really hold it over the couple’s head to be happily married. Keep these posts coming!
In his book, he humbly accepts the titles that the show labeled him with, by explaining that, “The camera doesn’t really lie, at least not on The Bachelorette.” The pages tend to get a bit cheesy, but is that really surprising? It also comes off as super sincere, where he tells all about his experience as a contestant vying for Emily Maynard’s heart and his time as The Bachelor, which led to the “happily ever after” that the franchise so rarely achieves. If you can deal with the occasional so-sweet-you-want-to-roll-your-eyes story every couple of pages or so, then add this bad boy to the list.
Nobody’s Perfect: What to Do When You’ve Fallen For a Jerk but You Want to Make It Work
By Helene Eksterowicz and Gwen Gioia, The Bachelor, season 2
Let me start by saying, this book title is so bad, that it is, in fact, good. Secondly, Helene and Gwen’s friendship is a perfect example of the saying, “sisters before misters.” The two vied for Aaron’s heart, and though Helene was the last lady standing, the relationship did not last. Her friendship with Gwen, however, was the real deal, and led to their little brainchild of a book.
The book is super cheeky—in the best ways possible—and offers the girls’ take on navigating the dating scene. Am I mostly putting it on the “Must-Read” list due to the female camaraderie? Maybe… but, #girlpower for the win!
What a Difference a Year Makes: How Life’s Unexpected Setbacks Can Lead to Unexpected Joy
by Bob Guiney, The Bachelorette, season 1 and The Bachelor, season 4
Truth be told, Bob’s Bachelor Nation stint was before my time. That said, from what I’ve learned about him on the world wide web, he sounds like a real stand-up guy! His book accounts his divorce (by a post-it note!) prior to his big Bach debut, as well as his journey on The Bachelorette. Bobby Boy also goes into some dark places, discussing his battle with depression, knee injury, and struggle with weight gain/loss.
I know what you’re thinking—another book accounting a former contestant’s personal life experiences?! Who cares? Me, I care! No matter how many times you hear about what goes on behind the mansion doors when cameras are off, it still feels like juicy intel every time. It’s also pretty cool to take it all the way back to the first season of The Bachelorette. My, how things have changed.
Happily Ever After: The Life-Changing Power of a Grateful Heart
by Trista Sutter, The Bachelor, season 1, The Bachelorette, season 1
Trista is Bachelor BFD. Not only was she a contestant on the first season of The Bachelor, but she was also the first Bachelorette ever. Trista gave her final rose to Ryan Sutter, and the two —in a strange turn of events—have been happily married since.
I would be lying if I said that I was attracted to Trista’s book for a reason other than she was on the first seasons of both Bachelor Nation shows, but hey, at least I’m a straight shooter. That said, Trista’s book is all about loving life and taking in every moment, and I am here for that zen.
by Melissa Rycroft, The Bachelor, season 13
Before there was Becca Kufrin, there was Melissa Rycroft. After being chosen by Bachelor Jason Mesnick, Melissa was soon after dumped on national TV because—shocker—Jason still had feelings for runner-up Molly Malaney. Where did you think Becca learned to handle herself so calm, cool, and collected?
Her book reads much like you are talking to your BFF, as she shares her highest of highs and the lowest of lows. If you want to get a look into how the OG “Dumped on TV” girl picked herself up and moved on with life, then you came to the right place.
Look out for Also My Reality, the companion book coming soon from Becca Kufrin (This is #FakeNews that I just made up… but you never know)!
I Said Yes: My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love
by Emily Maynard Johnson, The Bachelor, season 15 and The Bachelorette, season 8
I was a fan of Emily during her stint on The Bachelorette, but I’m not going to lie, this book was borderline on the No List. After much scholarly consideration, I decided it was worthy of the read. Sure, it’s a little preachy at times and pokes near annoying here and there, but the moral of the story is all about self-love.
After many failed attempts at trying to find “The One,” Emily decided to spend some much-needed self-reflecting time and strengthened her faith and relationship with herself, which is like, pretty cool.
by Shawntel Newton, The Bachelor, season 15
Brad Womack must have really been a winner. He drove not one, but TWO ladies to write books accounting their time vying for his heart. Yes, Shawntell joined Emily Maynard as they both vyed for Brad’s heart. Both had completely different experiences, but in the end, the same outcome.
You can probably already predict the way this book is going to go: Tells of times before, during, and after The Bachelor; shares off-camera stories and accounts from the show; and offers advice you didn’t really ask for. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, do it for the dirt!
Now that you have enough juicy reading materials to last you a whole month of commuting, go forth and read on!