Going Off Script by Jen Wilde
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.
Going Off Script was one of the contemporary books I was most looking forward to this year. I read The Brightsiders last year and loved it. Going Off Script was just as good and Jen Wilde is now an auto buy author for me. (And there are little bits of The Brightsiders in this book.)
The book starts with Bex arriving in LA and seeing it for the first time. She was bullied and didn’t have many friends back home in Washington. Her cousin, Parker, moved to LA to do make-up. Bex just got an internship at a studio and is going to stay with Parker. I loved “seeing” LA through Bex’s eyes. Parker is gay and is out. Bex is gay, too, but she hasn’t told anyone. She struggles a lot with how to tell Parker, and then everyone else around her.
Bex shows up for her internship and her boss, Malcolm, is rude and intense. But Bex gets to help Jane and she’s really nice. Malcolm is behind schedule on writing the next episode of Silver Falls, but he lies and says it’s almost done. Bex decides to write an episode bringing in a gay character and gives it to Malcolm. She just wants to show him that she can write. But Malcolm shows up with her script with tiny changes and takes the credit for it. Bex is heartbroken, but she doesn’t want to lose her job. So she stays quiet.
Because of Parker, Bex gets to spend more time around some of the Hollywood elite. She meets Shrupty at a party and feels a connection to her. Shrupty is a youtube star and Bex pictures her right away as Lyla and tells her about the role. Shrupty auditions and gets the part. She and Bex start spending a lot of time together. Bex finally starts to come out to some of the people she is around, including Parker and her best friend, Gabby. But Bex is still lying about her life. Shrupty grew up rich. Bex was poor. Her mom didn’t make much money and she lived with her mom, Parker, and Parker’s mom.
Something bad happens at a party with one of the show’s stars. After that, they find out that the script was rewritten. Lyla is now going to have a relationship with the male star instead. Shrumpty is pissed and thinks Bex did it. Bex was pissed and had to find a way to make the story happen the way she wrote it.
What I really love about Jen Wilde’s writing is that it feels so natural. Nothing ever feels forced to me. She showed Bex’s struggles with her sexuality and gender very well. And also about her insecurities. Bex is on ritalin and lexapro. Those medicines are just mentioned in a normal way without any real focus on it. Everything just flowed and I found myself so immersed in this story. I read it in a 24 hour period.
One more thing before I end this review. I loved Parker so much. I would honestly love a book about his life. He was so much fun and so caring. Parker was a standout to me. Also, I loved the relationships in the book.
Thank you to Swoon Reads for sending me a copy for review. I gave this book 5 stars and will be ordering it asap.
Have you read this yet? Have you read any of Jen Wilde’s other books?