Patricia Wants To Cuddle by Samantha Allen

Patricia Wants To Cuddle is a horror comedy novel in which dating show contestants find themselves on a remote island and don’t get the season finale they were expecting. Renee is one of four contestants left on The Catch, a TV dating show, but she’s really pretty apathetic towards Jeremy, the man whose attentions they are meant to be competing for. The other three contestants—a Christian good girl, an influencer, and a model—seem determined though, fighting to win even as they start seeing a strange figure on the island, known for being a queer haven, that they are staying on to film the next episode.

From the opening, you know this is going to be a fun ride. The book combines the perspectives of a range of characters, mostly the four contestants, alongside blog and forum posts and letters, to slowly set up the mysterious story whilst taking a satirical look at TV dating shows, before the horror element suddenly ramps up at the end. The characters’ personalities are purposefully over the top (sometimes making the style of the writing over the top too), but the book really does delve into how reality TV treats its contestants, stars, and crew alongside a wild plot line that offers some satisfyingly queer monster horror. It’s a short book that doesn’t overstay its welcome and could easily be adapted into film or TV, playing up both the comedy and horror.

There always needs to be more queer monster horror, but I didn’t expect adding reality TV to the mix would make such an enjoyable read.