Going Off Script – Jen Wilde

Release date: 21 May 2019
Goodreads link
Book Depository link
Rating4.5 stars

Going Off Script blurb:

Sometimes you’ve got to live outside the lines.

Seventeen-year-old Bex is thrilled when she gets an internship on her favorite tv show, Silver Falls. Unfortunately, the internship isn’t quite what she expected… instead of sitting in a crowded writer’s room volleying ideas back and forth, Production Interns are stuck picking up the coffee.

Determined to prove her worth as a writer, Bex drafts her own script and shares it with the head writer―who promptly reworks it and passes it off as his own! Bex is understandably furious, yet…maybe this is just how the industry works? But when they rewrite her proudly lesbian character as straight, that’s the last straw! It’s time for Bex and her crush to fight back.

While not technically a series, all of Jen’s books take part in the same universe, and there are a multitude of cross-over characters. If you liked this one, then I recommend trying:

Also, I’ve given it 4.5 stars here, but on my GR it’s 4. This book is probably the closest I have ever come to wanting to rate a book 4.25 stars.

I mean, just coming back to this world, and saying hi to some of my absolute favourite characters was the real MVP of this book. (Not really, there’s so many other things about this book that I love.) But I mean, REALLY, we’ve got Alyssa, Will, Ryan, Chloe (Chloe is seriously one of my fave characters in the world. They are amazing, and I would die for them.), Charlie is at least mentioned… is just a whole cast of old faves, ok?! The new ones were mostly good too!

The power in these characters taking back and fighting for what they believe in made me so proud. Did they do it in the best way possible? No. Did they kind of make new messes for themselves (and others)? Yes. Were there better (less dramatic) ways of doing things? Sure. But they’re teens. They did it how they could, and really, just the fact that they did it makes me want to adopt them all.

The diverse representation in these books warms my smol, cold, black heart to almost beating. And not just one kind! There’s LGBTQIAP+, POC and mental health discussions in this book. We got a new lesbian couple to adore (I mean, Alyssa and Charlie are #goals, but these two are way cute as well). But we also got more characters with diverse backgrounds as Shrupti is Indian, and we learn so much about her family. AND the characters talk about mental health issues with NO STIGMA. Can we all just take a moment that it is now 2019 and FINALLY there are characters who discuss the use of medication to combat anxiety like it’s a normal conversation (Bex and Parker have this chat). I just… I’m crying over here, ok? This book is going to do so much good in the world.

Finally, can we all just take a moment for the absolutely heart-wrenching coming out moment and the beautiful mother-daughter relationship that I didn’t realise was missing from my life until now. I mean, family means SO MUCH in this book anyway. Bec and Parker’s relationship is sibling/cousin goals. But that one scene just makes me want to cry all over the place.

“But most of all, I’m sorry for feeling ashamed of us. I’m sorry if I ever made you feel like we weren’t good enough, or if I acted like I was better than you. I’m not better than you. I’m better because of you.”

I mean, if this doesn’t spark a whole host of good family relationships in books then I don’t know what will.

Ok, even after allllll that love, this book still wasn’t quite 5 stars for me. But hear me out, ok, because this may not break it for you!! These are just my opinions!!

I know we’re supposed to hate the villain, because that’s their job (and I want to make it very, very clear that I ABSOLUTELY HATED this villain), but he was this weird kind of mish-mash of every terrible boss I’ve ever had, and Dick Dastardly from super old Warner Brothers cartoons.

A clip of Dick Dastardly from a cartoon. He is an white man with an evil look on his face, grinning while twiddling his moustache between his fingers. He is also probably chuckling evilly as his plans come together.
Dick Dastardly. The epitome of a moustache twirling villain

I kind of didn’t know whether to laugh or scream at him. However, I can totally understand how a man of this age, regard, size and complete douchery would be terrifying for a teenager to stand up to. So maybe it works for other people.

Overall, I really loved this book. It’s another gold star for Jen Wilde, and an absolute confirmation that she will be an auto-buy author for me.

Jen – if you see this, can we please get some more Parker in the next one? x

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