By: Laurel Osterkamp

Published:  September 9, 2013


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 girl from Iowa, decides to catch her moment in the spotlight by trying out for a spot on the reality series, THE HOLDOUT.  She is chosen and when she tells her family, they surprise her with ridicule and insults.  Their jokes only make her more determined to win the million dollars.  What she doesn’t realize is that the social game is harder than expected.  Robin excels on the challenges and tries her best to play the game, but Grant, the hunky contestant with a sad back story makes Robin second guess herself and fall head over heels for a guy she barely knows.  Jump forward to when the show actually airs on television and we go through the emotions again with Robin.  Her friends and family, as well as the nation, watch the game play out on TV.  Unfortunately, Robin isn’t prepared for the phone calls, texts, tweets and message board’s responses judging her every move.  Robin tries to shut that all out while in her real life she is serving on a federal jury.  Can she truly be impartial when the plaintiff’s son reminds her of Grant from THE HOLDOUT who broke her heart?  Is there such a thing as justice? Will Robin win THE HOLDOUT or will she end up winning something even more important?

I found the coincidences between the book THE HOLDOUT and the show SURVIVOR hilarious.  From the scenario, the cast of characters, and the challenges to the show host and social dynamics, I found myself snickering and thinking back to previous seasons that reminded me of the characters in the book. Osterkamp is truly a SURVIVOR fan and has written a book for us to enjoy.  I read the book quite quickly because you want to know how Robin fares in the show and then how her real life situation turns out as well.

This is a light read, but with great metaphorical writing.  I ended up highlighting numerous quotes from the book to look back on.  My favorite quote was one I have said myself a number of times:

“There’s no better way to forget about how damaged your own life is than by watching someone else’s stupid, even more damaged life on television.  No wonder reality television is so popular.”

If you are looking for a quick, light read and a little escape from the holiday stress, grab a copy of THE HOLDOUT and watch a uncertain, timid woman grow into a strong, self-assured woman as you travel through the pages in the book.  You will be rooting for Robin the whole way through. I read this on my Kindle but it is also available in paperback.

Laurel Osterkamp – source

THE HOLDOUT is award-winning author, Laurel Osterkamp’s fourth novel.  For more on Laurel and her other books check out her website at  

Posted in

Posted Under ,

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.