going off script review

It feels like it has been so long since I last wrote a book review! I admit, with all the moving I haven’t had time to do a lot of reading. However, because we are currently without wi-fi, I decided to try and get some reading done. The first book I picked up was Going Off Script by Jen Wilde.

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.

Trigger warnings: homophobia (challenged), anxiety, harrassment, queerbaiting

So I think that everyone knows that I love Jen Wilde’s books. Queens of Geek is one of my favourite books of all time, and The Brightsiders is pretty awesome too. Therefore I went into this book with high hopes, especially because it is all about queerbaiting and representation in the media, which is something that I’m very passionate about!

Like all of her books, Going Off Script was a very quick read. I read it in about a day! I flew through the pages, and really felt that I was a part of Bex’s world in LA and in the writers’ room. (It also helps that I have done my fair share of internships in publishing houses, so I definitely empathised with the whole internship aspect.)

As always, there were a lot of diverse characters, as well as characters from her previous books! Bex, our main character, is a lesbian with ADHD, and it is lightly implied that she might be questioning her gender, too. Her love interest, Shrupty, is an Indian lesbian. There’s also a lot of discussion of Bex’s life with her mom, and how different life is in LA, with its glitz and glamour. I feel like there aren’t a lot of books that discuss coming from a poor family.

Plotwise, I kind-of predicted what was going to happen. Which is fine, but I would have liked maybe a couple of twists! I also thought that the central conflict was wrapped up very neatly – perhaps too neatly? I also thought that the main villain was a bit over-the-top, though reading him getting his comeuppance was very satisfying to read because of it.

For me, this wasn’t Jen Wilde’s best book. While I liked Bex, I didn’t quite connect with her as much as I have done with her other characters. Like I said, the plot was a bit predictable, and while I always enjoy books that talk about media representation, I feel like Jen Wilde did it better in her previous two books. Having said that, I still really enjoyed it, and I would definitely encourage you to try any and all of her books!

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