Going Off Script by Jen Wilde (292 pages)
Overview: Bex has dreams of being a show runner, but, first, she has to rise through the ranks of the writers' room. Luckily, she's scored an internship with one of her favorite TV shows, Silver Falls. Unfortunately, the LA dreams she's fought so hard to get aren't as fun as she imagined. The show runner is horrible and even steals a script that Bex wrote. In an environment that has far too many echoes of high school for Bex's taste, she has to figure out how to make the most of her situation. Overall: 4.5
Characters: 4 I really like Bex. She's made a major life change from living in Washington state and working at Sonic with her mother to help support her family. Living with her cousin makes the transition slightly better, but her new life feels both too different and too familiar. Bex is also dealing with understanding her sexuality. She's nervous about telling her friends and family, even though she knows they'll be accepting. My only issue with Bex is that she seems to worry over issues and blow things up in her mind far bigger than makes sense to her general character or the narrative.
Bex grew up with her cousin Parker, who is a make up artist in LA. While he's not a huge part of the story, he creates a great support system for Bex and is fun with Dante, his boyfriend, on double dates when Bex goes out.
On set, many of the characters are wonderful and inclusive. They help Bex cement her identity, and people like Jane, a head writer, introduce Bex to this new world. She also finds homophobia and clear threats and theft with Archer, the show's star, and Malcom, the show runner. Each person on set creates an interesting contrast to Bex and allows her to grow or fight back in a new way.
Plot: 5 I had a blast reading this book. It had taken me well over a week to finish the last book I read, and I felt like I was walking through mud reading it. This was the total opposite. I finished it in a little over the day, and I marveled at how much I finished every time I sat down to read.
It is so much fun to get in inside look at the world of television. The romance component of the book was also done super well.
Writing: 5 I loved the style and writing in the book. I thought it was a wonderful story that was just fun. I really needed a book to absolutely fall into. I also have a soft spot for books about television because I'd love to work in the field. If you're looking for a post high school, fun, summer YA, give this one a try!
I also found out that Jen has written a book about all of my favorite topics in books. I will be picking up The Brightsiders and Queens of Geek this summer!
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