Hi everyone, and welcome to my stop for the Going Off Script Blog Tour!
As a big fan of Jen Wilde’s previous novel, Queens of Geek, obviously Going Off Script has been on my TBR from the moment it has been announced. And I’ve been so lucky to have been chosen as a host for the Xpresso Reads Blog Tour and to receive an advance copy to read and review. So please check out my (spoiler-free) review below and if I managed to convince you, then please enter the international give-away to win a print copy of the book for yourself!
Note: Check out the other stops on this blog tour here.
Title: Going Off Script
Author: Jen Wilde
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary – LGBTQ – Romance
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
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.
ARc Review (spoiler-free):
Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, this in no way impacted my opinion.
About a year ago I picked up a little book called Queens of Geek, because I heard a lot of fellow book bloggers rave about it, because I heard it had a great f/f romance and autism rep AND because honestly, the cover looked awesome. And let’s just say that this completely adorkable, inspirational, diverse and relatable book put Jen Wilde on my auto-buy list. So when I got the chance to participate in the blog tour for Jen Wilde’s newest release, Going Off Script, you better believe I jumped at the opportunity!
Going Off Script immediately caught my attention. Not only because it was written by Jen Wilde, but also because it was set in TV land (and I looove TV land) and because it would be dealing with the portrayal of LGBT characters in the media, something very relevant to today’s society.
And though Queens of Geek left some pretty high expectations, I am so happy to say that Going Off Script did not disappoint. In fact, it solidified my love for Jen Wilde’s writing even more. Let me explain why I liked it so much:
The plot and the important issues it deals with. I mean, this story is about a young girl who gets to intern as a tv writer for one of her favorite shows. Hello, fun! Add to that the fact that she has to fight her boss when he steals her idea and wants to turn her original lesbian character straight, and you have a great commentary on the importance of LGBTQ+ characters in the media. Not only that, but we deal with homophobia and misogyny in Hollywood, gender identity and we get a positive view on medication which helps fight that stigma as well. I mean, this entire story tackles so many big and important issues and does it all in a really fun, natural and relatable way.
The importance of family. When Bex moves to Hollywood, she moves in with her cousin Parker, who she grew up with and is very close to. Their relationship is just so beautiful and I love the importance that their family ties have in this book. And not only theirs, but also the relationship between Bex and her mother gets explored and IT. IS. EVERYTHING. to have this focus on family in a YA novel.
The absolutely adorable romance. Though the blurb does not give it away, an important part of the story is that Bex is lesbian. She hasn’t told anyone yet, not even her cousin Parker. But when she meets Shrupty, the beautiful lesbian Indian Youtuber/actress, Bex is crushing hard. And me with her, because the romance between Bex and Shrupty is built up so adorably, so awkwardly and so naturally that I was swooning with every scene they shared.
The cameos. Throughout the book, we get cameos from characters from Jen Wilde’s other books, Queens of Geeks and The Brightsiders. You definitely don’t HAVE to have read them to be able to read Going Off Script, since it’s a standalone, but if you have read them, it is a fun and welcome surprise.
So while I do highly recommend this book, I did have a small issue with it. And that is that it does require you to suspend your disbelief a bit. I mean, I didn’t quite buy Bex, who is seventeen, to make it that far as a tv writer for one of the most popular tv shows out there. Sure, she encounters some issues and horrible people, but for the most part she gets to hang with actors and actresses and big writers who immediately like and respect her. It just moved a bit too fast and easily for me. But hey, I also love stories with paranormal creatures and kdramas, so I have zero problem suspending my disbelief for a bit if I’m enjoying the story, which I did!
Overall, I highly recommend Going Off Script. It’s an inclusive and diverse story that talks about marginalisation and social issues in a natural way and is filled with fun characters and pop culture references. Give it a try and see for yourself!
My rating: 4 stars
The fact that he felt the need to point out that three queer people are having a conversation, like it’s a novelty or something to be gawked at, doesn’t make me feel like I can trust him with my own queerness. I don’t know if I’m ready to declare it proudly to someone who might not be receptive to it. So I grit my teeth as he erases my sexuality and cracks jokes about it. And then I go fetch a green juice for him, the whole time kicking myself for not speaking up.
Why is it that when assholes act like assholes, everyone else just has to ignore it? It doesn’t make him less of an asshole. It just gives him the power to take it up a notch.
“This is a fucking television show, for Christ’s sake. Why do you care so much?” “Because I am Lyla!” I shout. “And Shrupty is Lyla. Alyssa is Lyla and thousands of Silver Falls fans are Lyla. By doing this, you are telling them that they don’t matter. That they can be erased and no one will care. Well , I care. And I’m not going to let you do this.”
“What . . . what’s happening here?” he asks. Shrupty giggles at her dad’s confused expression. “Oh, nothing . We’re just rebelling against the heteronormative culture that permeates our current media climate.” Her dad stares at us blankly for a second, then shrugs. “Okeydokey. Keep up the good work.” And with that, he turns around goes back up the stairs. “Honey,” he calls to his wife. “Did you know there’s a rebellion happening in our basement?” Then the door clicks closed, and we all burst into laughter.
This is bigger than us. This is for all the women out there who have been intimidated, bullied, or blackmailed into silence by insecure men trying to hold on to their power. This is for all the Silver Falls fans who feel ignored and erased because of decisions Malcolm made.
Everyone fucks up, but few people are willing to swallow their pride enough to actually apologize and try to do better.
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 next book, THE BRIGHTSIDERS, came out May 2018, and GOING OFF-SCRIPT releases May 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.
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