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The Holdout [Kindle Edition]

Laurel Osterkamp
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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  • Length: 236 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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Paperback $12.95  
Burning Down George Orwell's House
Burning Down George Orwell's House
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Robert Stone describes Burning Down George Orwell's House as a "… most enjoyable, a witty, original turn … one part black comedy and one part a meditation on modern life. It is well-written and truly original." Learn more about the author, Andrew Ervin

Book Description

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 family was right all along; she’s not a survivor.

Yet she could surprise everyone, and have the last laugh.

Besides, Robin now has jury duty. And as she forges ahead, confronting her demons about bravery, justice, and romance, Robin will come to decide which is more important: the courage to stand alone, or the strength to love again.

Laurel Osterkamp’s award winning novels have been hailed as funny, intelligent, snarky and poignant. She is the author of four novels and two novellas, including the November Surprise series, which, like The Holdout, features the Bricker family. Laurel was recently on a federal jury, and she loves watching Survivor.

Visit her at

Editorial Reviews


"Captivating entertainment, like an episode of reality TV." - Kirkus Reviews
"Well written and smart, The Holdout is worth checking out." - San Francisco Book Review
5 Stars! "The Holdout is a definite gotta read book...pick up a copy and start reading. You won't be disappointed!" - Feathered Quill Book Reviews  
 5 Stars! "I wish that every book was as easy and as enjoyable to read as The Holdout." -Novel Escapes
5 Stars! "THE HOLDOUT is a fun, hard-to-put-down read, and fans of the chick lit genre will definitely enjoy it." - Indie Reader
 5 Stars! "Just as entertaining and addicting as reality TV, The Holdout is a must read for lovers of wit, strength, and Survivor." - Fiction the New Reality Blog
 5 Stars! "Laurel Osterkamp is a brilliant author and The Holdout is a winner. I shared Robin's pains and joys as she fought her inner battles dealing with love, pride, justice, and life. Don't miss this one." -Reader's Favorite Reviews

Product Details

  • File Size: 1484 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: PMI Books (September 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F2LSB6W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,363 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and thought-provoking story September 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Laurel Osterkamp has chosen an interesting way to pose the question - does justice exist?

Her likeable character, Robin Bricker, applies for and is accepted into a "Survivor" type reality show. Her mother having died when she was a toddler, she has been judged a wimp by her brothers, so she is determined to prove that she is anything but.

She is whisked off to the Phillipines along with the rest of the cast, where they have to survive on the show and win, to be awarded one million dollars. The machinations and deceit of her fellow cast members, particularly Grant, batter Robin emotionally and leave her feeling a fool in front of millions of Americans, all of whom have opinions and are not afraid to voice them.

One year later and the show is airing on television. Robin, who has been chosen for jury duty, spends her time trying to hide behind a disguise, ashamed of her public gullibility and hurt by stinging comments on Twitter.

Osterkamp cleverly intertwines the two plots - "reality" TV and jury duty - and the outcome is most satisfying. The romantic aspect is beautifully and quietly done.

Highly recommended novel :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
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 Grant Zane) becomes public. At the same time, Robin is on jury duty, hearing a civil suit involving a Greek yacht manufacturer and a wealthy client who claims the yachts he purchased were defective. Osterkamp cleverly juxtaposes what happens on the reality TV show with what eventually happens in the jury room. Is there any such thing as true justice, or is it all subjective?

At its core, THE HOLDOUT is a romance. Robin falls for Grant because he's charming, attractive, and a smooth talker, but he just might be a manipulative jerk who was only using her to cash in on the show's million dollar prize. She also falls for juror number ten, a real estate agent named Nick with whom she seems to have a lot in common. For a while, she manages to keep her appearances on "The Holdout" secret from the jurors she's serving with, but she knows that won't last long. And as she comes closer and closer to the airing of the series' incendiary finale, Robin begins to question all of her decisions, especially those involving men.

Fans of "Survivor" will clearly recognize "The Holdout" in Osterkamp's novel - there's a Phil Probst-style host named Joe Pine (he even mouths classic lines like, "Want to know what you're playing for?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Holdout October 22, 2013
Format:Kindle 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 week. In the meantime, in her real life she is serving as a juror in a trial. The holdout goes back and forth between present day, when the episodes of the holdout are airing, and flashbacks to when she she was in the Philippines competing.

I saw the holdout as a book about personal growth and discovery for Robin. I really felt for her that people started out seeing her as stuck up and kind of snobby on the show, because she comes off as so genuine and nice to me in her real life. But as the story went on, and we got to know her more and more of the episodes aired, I felt like we got more insight into her life and who she is as a person. I also really enjoyed that we got to know the dynamics of her whole extended family.

I couldn't stand Grant! I felt so bad for Robin as I watched her get used. He just pissed me off so much. But even though I hated Grant, I liked the part that he played in the story. He was so integral to Robin finding herself, and getting over her embarrassment of getting played. One of the great things that Laurel Osterkamp does with the Holdout, is how she really captures the nature of reality tv on our society, especially with social media.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Excellent"......."Finding Your True Self".......... September 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Author, Laurel Osterkamp wrote an excellent novel about complicated families, romance and behind the scenes look at reality TV shows, such as: "Survivor" or "The Bachelorette Show"...I fell in love with this novel and the entire Bricker family..You will be in a sea of rolling emotions throughout..The plot is compelling, sad, humorous and very thought provoking at times..Once I started the novel I couldn't put it down until the surprise ending...There are two stories going on at once the filming of "Holdout" the challenging game show for 1 million dollars in 2011 and the present 2012 post the game show that is set to air..All the characters are quirky and relatable..There is an air of mystery because once the game show is completed the tribe is sworn to secrecy..So, for a year until the show unfolds you follow contestant Robin Bricker's life as she tries to become incognito due to the fact of some embarrassing mistake on the island.. The rest of her life is a complicated mess and she is unsure of the future..

In 2012, Robin Bricker finds herself back in the U.S. with no job but she is picked for a trial as a juror..At the same time though she feels her life is an open book and she is being judged not only by her family but all of America..She went on the show to prove that she is somebody to her family and herself but instead forgot the rules and fell in love..Only to be duped in the end and feel like a fool..Will Robin find her place in the world and be able to fall in love again....

The main point of the whole story is about love, trust, loneliness, friendship and never settling for less..Always "Holdout" for the best....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Unapologetic rip off of the Survivor tv show that I thoroughly enjoyed
Published 6 months ago by Metsfan17
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read!
OK, so this book may not convey the wisdom of the ages, but it's funny & touching. The characters are full bodied, neither all evil or or all saint-like--and believable. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Carolyn Earle Billingsley
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, riveting read.
Great mix of the survivor type game unfolding and the lead character's personal journey. I wanted to race through the book to find out what happened in the game but I didn't want... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars If you've always wondered ...
What it was like to be on a reality show like Survivor, this is the book for you. Osterkamp does a good job of imagining both the mental and physical challenges of the game itself,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Catherine McKenzie
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun quick read
I am a big fan of Survivor so I really enjoyed this story told from a contestants point of view on a show like Survivor. Fun to read and it goes quickly! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Katie Orost
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging book that pokes a little fun at family dynamics
While it's technically a romance novel, The Holdout has a lot more going for it than the cover might suggest. Read more
Published 14 months ago by savingsinseconds
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to rate
Wanted to give this another star, but Robin was really annoying to me. And since this was her story, she was everywhere. Read more
Published 14 months ago by shopzilla
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional reality tv ride
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.**

“The Holdout” by Laurel Osterkamp may feel similar to the hit reality television show... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Rambling Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprisingly Good Drama.
I read this book on my daughter's recommendation, and was sceptical considering this wasn't a genre I'd normally read. But I was totally wrong. Read more
Published 14 months ago by M. Perks
4.0 out of 5 stars Very fun read
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. Read more
Published 14 months ago by bookmaven623
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More About the Author

I love writing because I get very attached to my characters. Lucy debuted in Campaign Promises, a free novella that I released to thank all my awesome readers. Then Lucy's story continued with November Surprise and Blue State. More recently there's The Holdout, also featuring Lucy, but the main character is her cousin Robin, and it's about love, justice, and reality TV. And you can find both Lucy and Robin in my newest book, American Angst.

I'm on Twitter but I don't tweet super often. A better idea is to follow my blog,, or Lucy's blog,, where you'll read about Lucy's career, marriage, and politics.

I teach in Minneapolis, MN, where I enjoy my boot collection, spending time with my husband and two chatty children, and finding time to write. My other novels are both award winning - Following My Toes and Starring in the Movie of My Life. Visit me at

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