Publication date : May 21st, 2019
Publisher : Swoon Reads | Macmillan
Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary
Page Count: 336
Synopsis : A TV writer’s room intern must join forces with her crush to keep her boss from ruining a lesbian character in this diverse contemporary YA romance from the author of Queens of Geek.
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.
Jen Wilde’s newest novel is both a fun, diverse love story and a very relevant, modern take on the portrayal of LGBT characters in media. (From Goodreads)
*I received an Arc of this book from the publisher for the blog tour, this has in no way affected my opinion*
CW: Anxiety, harrassment, homophobia, queerbaiting.
I have such an amazing history with Jen Wilde’s books. Queens of Geek was one of my favourite reads of 2017 (was it 2017? I think so.) and I read The Brightsiders earlier this year which also was a book I adored. And although I did have a couple qualms with Going off-script, I enjoyed it a lot and it just cemented the idea that this author writes just my kinds of stories. Stories that deal with important issues but still manage to be cute and light and fun and give me all the warm fuzzy feelings.
The writing is the first (and only) part I couldn’t connect with and I’m not sure what it’s due to because as I’ve previously stated, I thoroughly enjoy Jen Wilde’s books and part of that is the writing. But here it felt a bit cliché with a couple scenes and sentences that have been done time and time again, and although I usually don’t mind them but in this case, there were quite a few of them. This might also be, and probably is, a case of “it’s me not you” since it’s not a complaint I’ve seen anyone else make so far.
The thing I love most about Jen Wilde’s books is how wonderfully queer they are, and this one is no exception. Going off Script is basically queer culture bundled up in a book, everything from its characters and setting to the references screamed unapologetically queer and I lived for it. I also love how the author sets her books in the same universe and since all of them happen in the entertainment industry, all her characters meet and the books kind of bleed into each other to make one giant story, but the great part is that you don’t need to read one to read the others, they’re fully fleshed out stories all on their own. We got to see Alyssa and Charlie from Queens of Geeks as well as Will and Ryan from The Brightsiders and we also met new characters.
Most important of all is Bex, our lesbian main character. She’s anxious and (maybe?) has ADHD and moves to LA to follow her dreams of becoming a screenwriter at the beginning of the book. She’s shy, awkward and a bit of a pushover but as the novel progresses, she grows into herself and grows comfortable with herself, who she is, who she wants to be and where she comes from which is something she struggles with for a while. I loved seeing her “bloom” and grow into this still anxious but a lot more confident and badass person who wants to make the film industry a lot more inclusive and less shady and white straight male dominated.
There’s also a mention of her questioning her gender and I loved how casually that was put into the story and how she was comfortable with the questioning label and was in no rush to figure it out. As that’s not something we see a lot in fiction but that happens quite a lot in real life. And as an anxious person myself, I loved seeing her kind of navigate life in a very unfamiliar setting, find her footing, have doubts, consider qutting and keep pushing through.
Then we have Shrupty, her lesbian Indian love interest who’s a youtuber trying to pave her way as an actor and she was such a fun character to get to know. She was confident but also dorky, sweet and thoughtful. And I lowkey screamed at the fact that their relationship is one of my favourite tropes: Awkward shy queer meets confident bubbly queer, the latter flirting and teasing while the first is absolutely flustered and losing their wits. A+ content, and very entertaining. They had me giggling well into the night.
There were so many other characters I absolutely adored. The whole friends group was amazing, like I said, they’re all queer and make up this little family that filled my heart with so much joy but special mention to Parker who’s Bex’s cousin and basically her brother. They grew up together under the same roof and shared everything. He was there for her to support her in her decisions but also call her out and pt her in her place when she needed it most. so I liked how it’s not a sibling relationship in the most literal sense of the term but still had all the dynamics that make it one, if it makes sense.
All in all, this book was such a good balance of cute and important, with characters who shared heartfelt moments while dismantling a flawed system and taking down a showrunner who cared about nothing and no one but himself and went to extreme lengths to oppress the people working under him. Like steal scripts. And queerbait. And threaten. And lie. And bribe. And… you get it. And I loved seeing him get his ass handed to him.
Buy the book
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About the author
Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (AS THEY RISE), witches (ECHO OF THE WITCH) and fangirls (QUEENS OF GEEK). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller. Her book, THE BRIGHTSIDERS, released in May 2018, and GOING OFF-SCRIPT releases Summer 2019.
When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay.
Many thanks to Xpresso Tours for hosting this blog tour, you can find the schedule here.
Enter the INTERNATIONAL giveaway for a print copy!
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Going Off-Script? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.