The Shelf

Helly Acton

Everyone in Amy’s life seems to be getting married (or so Instagram tells her), and she feels like she’s falling behind.

So, when her boyfriend surprises her with a dream holiday to a mystery destination, she thinks this is it – he’s going to finally pop the Big Question. But the dream turns into a nightmare when she finds herself on the set of a Big Brother-style reality television show, The Shelf.

Along with five other women, Amy is dumped live on TV and must compete in a series of humiliating and obnoxious tasks in the hope of being crowned ‘The Keeper’.

Will Amy’s time on the show make her realise there are worse things in life than being left on the shelf?

A funny, feminist and all-too-relatable novel about our obsession with coupling up, settling down and the battle we all have with accepting ourselves, The Shelf introduces the freshest new voice in women’s fiction.




A fabulous romp of a novel

Clare Pooley, Author of The Authenticity Project
Clare Pooley , Author of The Authenticity Project

I absolutely loved it - such a clever concept, so well executed and with a perfect ending! Such a clever, brilliant book!

Katie Fforde
Katie Fforde

I really loved it! Subversive, feminist and a real breath of fresh air. I inhaled this!

Laura Jane Williams
Laura Jane Williams

I haven't been so immediately sucked in by a novel IN YEARS. Not only is the idea brilliant and original, but Helly's writing is also compelling and hilarious. The Shelf is a must-read and I cannot recommend it highly enough

Lucy Vine
Lucy Vine

I absolutely LOVED The Shelf. One of those delicious books you just can't put down. So many gorgeous witty one-liners. Utter PERFECTION!

Marian Keyes
Marian Keyes


Contemporary Fiction

UK Publication

Bonnier Zaffre, July 2020

US Publication

On Offer

Rights Sales

UK & Commonwealth: Bonnier Zaffre
TV: Monumental Pictures
Complex Chinese: Global
French: HarperCollins
Hungarian: Maxim
Romanian: RAO