Cover Image: Going Off Script

Going Off Script

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The summer before college, eighteen-year-old Bex moves from her small hometown in Washington to the bright lights of Los Angeles. She has her whole life planned out, from her internship on her favorite television show to one day creating her own show. But she’s hiding a secret she hasn’t had the courage to share with anyone, not even her best friend Gabby or her gay cousin Parker. You see, Bex is also gay. Follow Bex as she struggles with her bullying boss and with finding her identity. Bex’s courage and determination will lead her to make choices that will change both her life and the lives of those around her.

Bex is an endearing and engaging character who, with her constant movie and television show references, shows her geekiness every chance she gets. She is just one of a cast of wonderfully diverse characters in this cute lesbian romance, which also packs a powerful message.

Not to be missed.

Warnings: coarse language, LGBT themes.
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It’s time to be real here: I’ve been hesitating writing this review for a couple of days now because I’m afraid I won’t do this book justice.

I am a self-proclaimed Jen Wilde superfan. I’ve read all her books (except Echo of the Witch *sad hours*), and I’ve loved every single one of them. So in true Carolina fashion, I was scared I wasn’t gonna love it and that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations.

But ooh boy, it was truly fantastic. I’m confident Bex is Wilde’s most realistic and relatable character yet. She is struggling after having graduated high school and saving every penny of her job at a diner to finally move to LA and chase after her dreams of being a screenwriter. She snagged an internship working at none other than her favorite show, Silver Falls, but when she gets there, he stumbles upon an environment full of misogyny, sexism, fake allyship, homophobia, biphobia, and queer erasure.

It served as a reminder that not everything is as perfect as it looks. But yet, Bex fought for what she wanted since the beginning. Yes, it was hard. After all, she struggled with her anxiety throughout the entire book, and also, she was closeted and had a very strong fear of coming out. She stood up for herself, anyway.

She was quirky and insecure, sure of her abilities but terrified, proud but ashamed. We see her evolve from this closed-off TV show stan to a better version of herself that refuses to be put down by men. It was beautiful. She’s beautiful and I have a big fat crush on her.

The side characters all had such strong but fun personalities. They’re the kind of people you really want to be friends with. We see some familiar faces (if you haven’t read Queens of Geek and The Brightsiders, do it, it’ll truly enhance your reading experience) and some new ones, but they are all so amazing and nice and would die for each other, and I would die for them. Parker, Jane, Dante, Gabby, I want fanart of all of them so I can reminisce and think about how high my expectations on friendship are. They’re such great people I’m dying to read more about and they deserve: the world.

Shrupty is the sweetest and most talented bean, omg. Like, can she please adopt me? I’d ask her to marry me but I love her and Bex too much. In the topic of Bex and her, this is Wilde’s best romance to date. Okay? Okay. There is no argument. It’s a beautiful interracial f/f romance between an indian lesbian and a white gay questioning her gender identity; just two queer girls navigating their attraction to each other. The romance was there but it didn’t drive away from the main plot, and they were a part of it too. God, I can’t even form coherent words cause this is just one of the gayest and cutest romances of recent times. AAAAAA.

The way this book discussed the in and outs of the Hollywood industry was incredible, and you can tell Jen Wilde did her research. The descriptions and setting were vivid, and it felt like I was in a real TV set. But it also talked about the gritty and the ugly. How privileged cishet white men still hold most of the power. How there’s still a very long way for this industry to flourish without casual sexism and homophobia. How employees are constantly afraid to speak out because a privileged male holds all of the power and thinks he’s a god. How white celebrities don’t realize the impact of their words and actions. Cancel culture and how it’s not okay to give second chances to folks who really don’t care or give a fuck. It was outstanding.

I felt really seen with the anxiety representation, and it was amazing seeing a main character in a YA book taking medication for it. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to ask for help. Books like this serve as a nice reminder. Also, I can’t personally speak on the poverty rep, but it was really amazing to see, as it’s something that’s not very common in YA. Publishing, please give us more poor characters that reflect the lives of real teens!

I still think this review is a jumble of a mess, but, I am begging you, read Going Off-Script. It is such an important book, dealing with homophobia, biphobia, racism, white privilege, and a handful of other topics, while also managing to be this soft novel celebrating queerness in all its glory.
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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.
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I knew I wanted to read Going Off Script as soon as I read the synopsis. If I were anywhere to be seen, I’d be giving Jen Wilde a standing ovation right about now.


Going Off Script CoverA 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. (Goodreads)
Goodreads

I received an eARC of Going Off Script from Netgalley and Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Going Off Script needs trigger warnings for mentions of bullying, discussions of poverty, homophobia – both blatant and casual -, straightwashing fictional characters, on page panic attack, on page description of massive anxiety, characters being chased by police, loss of employment with threats, and a lot of workplace harassment.

I loved that we got to be in Bex’s head while she figured out exactly what she needed to do to be brave. She figured out what was important to her and how to live her most authentic life and she went for it, even though she was absolutely terrified to do it. She takes her past for what it is and brings everything she learned from it into the future she’s trying to build. I loved every minute of it.

It was also amazing that the characters who deserved to be shat on got shat on by the end of it. That made for such a nice change for me as a reader.

We get to see throwbacks to both of Wilde’s earlier novels with references to the Brightsiders and with Alyssa as a member of Silver Falls’ cast, which was absolutely delightful. She and Charlie are still together and life is good for them. It’s exactly what I wanted to see, honestly, even though I still need to read Brightsiders. The queer characters in this had a real community which was great.

If you’re a fan of Wilde’s other work, you’ll definitely enjoy Going Off Script! You can pick up a copy from Indiebound, Amazon or The Book Depository!
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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Having read Jen Wilde's Queens of Geek a few years ago, I knew what to expect -- a cute queer romance with a bit of Hollywood glamour thrown in and this book didn't disappoint. The romance was cute and believable, the cast of characters were great, and the story was light and fluffy enough for a light summer read. All in all, I would recommend this book, and her others, for anyone looking for a more diverse/own voice author.
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*4.5. Going Off Script follows Bex, who is interning for her favorite TV show, Silver Falls. She is a screenwriter who dreams of one day writing her own show. However, her perfect picture of Hollywood is ruined when she realizes instead of sitting in the writer’s room, she’s going to be doing all the grunt work. In order to prove herself, Bex writes an episode and gives it to the head writer, who rewrites her proudly lesbian character as straight! Bex and her crush won’t stand for it, so they have no choice but to fight back.

This was a new and refreshing type of contemporary that I’ve been wanting. All I’ve been reading is the normal type of contemporary in which a boy and girl fall in love, with maybe a few obstacles in between. It’s been monotonous when it comes to reading, and this book was like a coming up for air. This book reminded why I read.

First off, the diversity was so effortless. In a lot of books the diversity is the focus of the story. In 2019, that shouldn’t be the case anymore. We need to move away from diversity being the main thing to it being a normal idea. Of course as an Indian I appreciated the representation. It’s not something I’ve ever seen before, which made be appreciate it more.

Bex also has a wonderful support system. She is scared to come out, but when she does her family surrounds her with love and they don’t treat her any different which I think is very important.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this. It was a really cute story that took on some important issues and tackled them really well. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a different type of contemporary.
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4.5 stars

Going Off Script has all the elements for the perfect contemporary: great characters, diversity, romance, fandoms, friendship and so much more. This book will be a great summer read that leaves a smile on your face!

Our main character Bex just finished high school and is off to LA to live her dream. She wants to be a writer and is going to intern for her favorite show. She has worked hard to get where she is and sees LA as a way to escape and start all over again.

Going Off Script really shows what this world is like in many ways. Mediaculture is still mainly focused on straight relationships and men still try and dominate the entertainment world. Many people don't accept that anymore and try and fight. I think Going Off Script really showed how the world is developing these days and how diversity is something that people are starting to think needs to be represented more. What I loved the most about this book is that the diversity didn't feel forced. Everything felt natural. I love when authors are able to do that.

This book also latches on to a big thing these days, fandoms! Whether it's a show, movie or book, groups of fans really bond over things like this. They get very invested in the characters, storyline and the bond that forms with fans. A fandom can be a strong thing these days in many positive ways!

Bex goes through a lot in this book. While interning she is faced with a lot of things she never expected. All she was hoping for was a way to write for her favorite show, but got a lot more than she bargained for. At times she got a bit on my nerves, but she grew so much in this book. Bex learns to not be ashamed of where she comes from or who she is. Everything she is and has been through had made her who she is. Bex becomes a very strong character.

The romance in this book was sweet, but compared to Queens of Geek and the Brightsiders it lacked a bit for me. While I love Shrupty and Bex together, everything happened so fast. I felt that we missed a bit of the time for them to connect. My feelings would've been different if they had more time to get to know each other before Shrupty became a part of the show.

Going Off Script is going to definitely stay on my lists of favorite for this year. I loved that we read about characters from this author's other books and how they all fit together in the way they did. I have said it many times, but I love when authors do stuff like that. And her cousin Parker needs his own book, I definitely need more of his character.

I will remember this book as a perfect balance of fandom, friendship, family, love and finding yourself and accepting who you are. Add some fighting for your dreams and ideal and that describes this book for me. If you're looking for an amazing contemporary you don't want to put down, definitely pick up Going Off Script!
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While this book was a bit too predictable for my liking -- just like the rest of Jen Wilde's books -- how could I not love this f/f rom com that's basically every queer fangirl's dream. Bex was a bit difficult to get a grasp on at times, but I loved Shrapty, If you want inventive story telling, this is probably not the right pick -- I guessed everything that was going to happen from the get go -- but if you love girls kissing and positive representation and NOT KILLING YOUR GAYS then definitely give this a shot.
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just like jen wilde’s pervious books, going off-scrips explores fandom and fame in a very real way that does not feel forced or awkward. i have learned to always be a bit wary when going into books where fandom culture is prominently featured, because if the author does not get it and is not familiar with it, that’s going to be very obvious. something as simple as a typed out text conversation between two teenagers can often be the absolute worst. they’ll be full of every abbreviation known to man, always with all capital letters, and with no feeling. there’s a difference between “u” and “you”, “No.” and “no”, “oh my god” and “omg”. what i’m trying to say is, fandom and internet culture can be very difficult to pick up on if you’re not familiar with it, but wilde is. it is such a huge part of this book, and she fucking nails it. this is one of the main things that keep drawing me back to her books. i have spoken about having different parts of your life, but parts that aren’t necessarily the most pressing ones, represented on page before (see: my gushy discussion about small time hearts by lillie vale), and this is one of them to me. as someone who grew up online, reading books about characters who did so as well, is extremely giving.

the second thing that keeps me coming back, is all the representation, especially queer rep. seriously, is there a single allocishet character in going off-script? maybe a handful, but a huge majority are unapologetically queer. during this book, bex, a lesbian, deals with coming out on top of everything else. her struggle with who she tells and how she does it is something i can relate to a lot. she moves to a new place, and has a much easier time coming out to the new friends she makes there than she does to her own mom. i’m still not out to my family or the people in the small city i live in, just the thought of having that conversation with anyone here stresses me out so bad, but i’m out to most of my friends and coworkers in the bigger city where i work. these are people i’ve only known for a few years, but telling them was much easier and came more naturally to me. i think it’s a combination of not having all these expectations from the people you grower up around, and just the big city feel in general. bex goes through the same change, but more extreme than me because she moved across the country, and i just got a job an hour away.

the characters in going off-script are real and three dimensional and relatable, and i love every single one of them. (well, there are some bigoted assholes, so turns out i don’t love everyone.) they all have their unique personalities and flaws, and while they work really well together they and have a lot in common, they are clearly different people. working with a big cast, it can be easy to fall into the trap of writing the same cookie cutter characters, but that is not the case here. i love that wilde gives her characters the freedom to be angry and impulsive and make mistakes at times. this might make them not as “likeable” as they could have been, but it makes them so much more realistic. these characters deal with sexism, homophobia, racism, and classism on the daily basis, like so many of us do, and it’s rewarding to get to see our rage reflected on page.

there are so many things i loved about this book. it’s fun and cute and relatable, didn’t stick a love triangle in a place where there easily could have been one, has a small rebellion, and lots and lots of queer kisses.
 while it's sweet and happy a lot of the time, it also deals with some very important topics.
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*SENT TO ME THROUGH NETGALLEY/EXPRESSOTOURS

It is about time I got a 5 star read in for the year isn't it? Also, can we just talk about how this very much relates to the event that is happening with Georgia and people in the movie industry pulling out of their abortion law gets passed? This book features what it is like to stand up for what you believe in an environment that can basically make or break you. I read this in one sitting and it just sucked me right in. I loved Bex and the fact that they are(PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG) non-binary and that they fall in love with an Indian who is also gay. I highly recommend this book to LITERALLY EVERYONE.
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Thank you to Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tour and Netgalley for providing me with a digital Arc in exchange for an honest Review! All quotes featured are from the Arc and therefore subject to changes.

Why You Should read Going Off Script

"Why is it that when assholes act like assholes, everyone else just has to ignore it? It doesn't make him [Malcolm] less of an asshole. It just gives him the power to take it up a notch."

🎬 Bex's growth was truly empowering. She is a closeted gay teen and aspiring writer, who just wants to move past her upbringing in poverty and make it in Los Angeles, which is why she decides to do the internship. Bex worked really hard for that so I constantly felt for her when Malcom and someone else was trying to bring her down. I loved that we got to explore so many of her layers and her background story. Bex was severely bullied in school and always had a difficult situation at home, money was tight and her as well as Parker's dad took off and never came back. That's why Parker and her are so close, even though they react very differently to their upbringing. Parker is proud of it and completely owning it, while Bex still has some issues with it. She realizes that she is ashamed of where she came from. Bex tried so hard to leave her past behind, but in the end she managed to face it and own her insecurities, as she does not want to be embarrassed about her home, especially her mother. I loved that growth in her and that the book explored being ashamed about where you come from, why that doesn't make you a bad person (Bex certainly was never vilified) and how it is possible to confront these feelings head on. I also loved that Bex taking medication (Ritalin) was also incorporated in such a casual way. Furthermore, the book explores Bex coming out and how she deals with that throughout the course of the book. The story really highlights what it means to be erased, silenced and pushed aside. It is about Bex finding her voice, the courage to be herself and to speak up against injustice. I love that so much! Jen Wilde rally created a relatable character whose growth is truly empowering!

🎬 Discussion of Privilege and Discrimination in the Media. Throughout the book we see the toxic, bad side of the media industry, which relies so much on privilege and caters to those that are in charge: predominately straight white people. A perfect example is Malcom, Bex boss, who is the showrunner of her favorite show. He is basically your privileged straight white guy who uses his power to control everything and get rid of everyone who questions him. He gets away with all the abuse he distributes and no one is daring to turn against him. Malcolm uses his privilege not to uplift others but to bring them down. Everyone always has to bend to his whims and prioritize his feelings, to the point where no one feels safe working with him anymore. Another fact that is shown is the horrible Treatment of interns and social hierarchy on set as a chance to bully those at the bottom. Malcolm is disrespectful to Bex all the time: not calling her by the right name and yelling at her for the most mundane 'mistakes'. His colleague Dirk is no better, he makes clear that he has a more powerful standing than Bex and instead of helping her adjust, he uses it to push her down. The book really talks about all these issues from this horrible treatment Bex has to endure to having her script stolen and being afraid to speak out because there is a warped power dynamic. Malcolm is the boss and Bex is afraid no one will even believe her. In the end the book touches upon the erasure of queer characters (more in a second) and the sexism that is very much prevalent. Jane is pretty much the only woman in the writers room and constantly undermined by her boss. Even the big boss Ruby has an all-male board and is constantly questioned for her actions.

🎬 We have such a fantastic supporting cast. We first meet Parker, Bex's cousin and honestly such a sweetheart, I immediately liked him. He is a gay makeup artist living in Los Angeles and allows Bex to live with him during her internship. Due to growing up together and sharing a lot of bad times, they are more like siblings than cousins and I loved their strong familial relationship! I also liked the friendship that Bex strikes up with Jane, one of the writers at her internship. This definitely showed that women in the industry have to hold together against injustice and discrimination. Like I said we also have Alyssa and Will as the cast of Silver Falls and of course Shrupty. She is a an queer Indian YouTube star and the newest cast member as Bex is trying to get her on board ever since she meet her at a party. I really liked Shrupty, she was very loyal and caring about her friends. Despite being rich now, I liked that she was very down-to-earth and that we got to know that her parents had to fight very hard to get there. They came to the US as immigrants and worked their way up, so they did not always live this way. Lastly there is Gaby, her best friend from home that we get to see through some phone calls and later in person: she is such a great, supportive friend!

🎬 I really liked the romance as well! Shrupty and Bex are so sweet together and immediately had great chemistry. They are honestly so soft together, so you cannot help but melt a little bit around them. I liked that their relationship was very "unnecessary drama free", meaning that they dealt with conflict in a very mature way. Of course their relationship had ups and downs, but they always managed to talk through it. In the end I also appreciated that the poor/rich divide between them was well-explored and didn't become a big thing that hinder their relationship. Like I said Shrupty is very down to earth and knows what it is like to not be blessed with privilege. Meanwhile Bex also acknowledges that she is very insecure about her upbringing still and reminds herself that she doesn't want to let that affect her relationship, as this really is not Shrupty's fault. Honestly, I love such a respectful, adorable relationship, it was so well done! You know I love my occasional drama but it is nice to have a relationship that is all about communication and growth!!

🎬 Cameos of Alyssa, Will & Co. I LOVE that the author puts in cameos of her characters from her previous books, because I read all of them and it's nice to see her include beloved characters once again. What I really appreciate is that this never feels forced or like "fan service" but genuinely makes sense for the story. As this one is set in Los Angeles and a lot of the characters are based here close to the industry it makes sense that the run in the same circles. Alyssa for example is now an actress for the show Bex works on and we even get a glimpse of Charlie (both from Queens of Geek), as we know they are all living in LA now. We also get to see Will from the Brightsiders who is an actor on the show (and along with Alyssa later gets involved in the fight against Malcolm and his erasure) as well as a glimpse of Ryan and Emmy!

🎬 Fighting straightwashing, having a voice + the power of fandom. Once her character is rewritten as straight Bex decides to fight against the erasure of queer voices and characters in the media, because not only was her script stolen, now people like her are once getting sidelined and shown that the industry considers them as not important. I feel like this is a very timely topic and LGBTQ characters are constantly either killed off, sidelined or watchers are queerbated. I loved how the author shows Bex struggle to speak up against the injustice and her courage in going against a very powerful person because she knows what it's like to be ignored and put down. In the end using her voice is risky, but Bex realized that she cares too much to stay silent in the face of this great injst8ce. I liked how all her friends came together to use the power of fandom to make a stand and show that they won't be silenced. I found it truly great to see an author acknowledge how powerful fandom and social media can be in order to speak up and in general I like that all of Jen Wilde's books put such a huge emphasis on fans and the impact they can have. The fandom references always feel genuine, you can tell that Jen Wilde is a fan herself and just gets it.
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This book was everything!  I loved Bex character so much. As an intern on the set of her favorite t.v. series Silver Falls (Total TVD vibes), she quickly realizes that the show she loves is being written by a tyrant of a man.

I loved Bex’s character! She’s uncertain of herself when she first starts her internship, and even more so after she meets the writer she’ll be interning for. When she takes a chance and gives her script to the head writer she soon finds out that decision could be the end of her writing career. Showbiz is a cutthroat industry but Bex decides she’s going to change the game and fight for what she believes in, and what she knows is right.

Bex faces some challenges when it comes to adapting to the extravagance of the movie business. She’s from a small town and when she finds herself at this big fancy birthday party filled with celebrities she feels uncomfortable. She questions whether the people she’s made friends with will stick around if they found out she comes from a single family household in small town America. She’s also exploring her sexuality more now that she’s on her own. That brings another challenge when it comes to whether or not to tell her mom that she might have a girlfriend.

This book brings light to the prejudice found in the entertainment industry, especially when it comes to tv and film. It touches on finding your own identity and learning to stand up for what you believe in. LGBT relationships are portrayed in such a positive and loving way which I think was my absolute favorite part. The friendships are beautifully done and I  hope we get to see Bex and her crew again!
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I received a copy from Netgalley & Xpresso Tours in exchange for an honest review! Any quotes used in this review is from the ARC & may now match up with the final copy.

I’ve erased the first sentence of this review so many times, because wow, I’m at a loss for words. This is the book that I needed as a teen & this is the book that I need now. When I reached the concluding sentence of Going off Script, I was in actual tears.

— listen, I might be bias, because ~name twins~ but Bex Phillips is officially one of my favorite book characters. We have a lot in common — from our name to our brand of antidepressants to our dream occupation. Almost every page had my mouth dropping open, because wow — is this book actually about me? I’ve never connected more with a character in my entire life.

Bex Phillips’ anxiety is an extremely relatable subject for me. I remember all of the times that violence has erupted around me & I searched to make sure I had an escape route, if needed. I remember the fear that I felt as someone fell into a drunken rage. When Bex looks around for any exit to run for, I feel as if I’m right there next to her.

As for LGBTQ+ rep, wow. Throughout Going off Script, Bex struggles to come out as queer. She fears that people will think she’s copying her gay cousin, Parker — or that this is simply just for attention. Y’all ever felt this way before coming out? Because I sure did. Going off Script also covers issues for LGBTQ+ in media. Bex & her friends fight for the fictional show Silver Falls, because the showrunner, Malcom, is trying to erase a character’s sexuality, in order to save the reputation of a homophobic actor.

I am so incredibly proud of Bex for standing up for what she believes in & fighting for the LGBTQ+ community; if I made a list of strong book characters, Bex Phillips definitely would have a place on there. On top of the LGBTQ+ commentary, Going off Script tackles sexism in the industry. Even with all of these heavy subject matters, Going off Script manages to be an incredibly fast & fun read.

Throughout Going off Script, Jen Wilde slips in so many geeky references (a Thor reference?! Bless). & as mentioned multiple times in the past, I love geeky references (see reviews for Geekerella & Princess & the Fangirl).

Going off Script was my introduction to Jen Wilde & wow, did it leave an impact. I have two of her other books on my kindle that I am so excited to dive into now!
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This book was SUPER fun with a side of serious — in other words, it struck the perfect tone. While there was some definite suspension of disbelief required (the  super famous cast of a super popular TV show befriending a writing intern that quickly? The utter lack of care most of the wealthy, famous characters had for status?) — but I loved how the author used this to explore issues of class identity and class anxiety. The relationship between the main character and her cousin was one of my favorite parts of the book, as it called into question traditional ideas of nuclear family.
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This book blew me away in all the best ways. I was expecting a fluffy little summer contemporary and that's definitely what this book is but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so powerful. Standing up for yourself, queerbaiting / straightwashing, coming out...everything was combined and balanced together so perfectly and the result made me cry more than once.  As a writer who has heard, on more than one occasion, that my stories are 'too gay' or 'unnecessary' I completely connected to Bex's frustration and hurt. But Jen Wilde writes in such a way that I think even someone without a similar experience would still feel as passionate, still completely understand her emotions and response to that situation, and many others within the book.

It's honest and genuine and the story flows seamlessly through trials and tribulations, highs and lows. Friendship, family and romantic connections are all given equal importance but so is independence and the bravery it requires to be yourself. There was no beating around the topic in this book - everything was dealt with in a face on, full on, let's go type of way and I adored it. But that's not to say this is a loud and shouty book - in fact it's almost the total opposite.  Jen Wilde manages to deal with the largest topics in the simplest way while also twisting through a layer of subtle comedy that brings the smaller details back into focus. The intricate weaving of multiple themes and not to mention the 10/10 relatability factor meant that Going Off Script shone as bright as the studio lights. 

The representation of a lesbian main character and a Indian lesbian love interest was so beautifully portrayed; nothing felt crammed in or out of place and the effect was absolutely breathtaking to read. The Coming Out Arc was again, stunning, and definitely proof that those stories are still so important to create. Everyone's journey is different and that is something that is definitely portrayed accurately and honestly in Going Off Script.  Like, I might actually cry again just thinking about the representation in this book.

Jen Wilde has written the book I needed to read. The book that so many others no doubt need to read as well and I cannot speak more highly of it. I truly, honestly recommend this book with my entire lesbian heart, it is an absolute gem and I could not love it more.
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Bex busted her butt to land an internship at her favorite tv show, the werewolf drama Silver Falls. However, her supervisor Malcolm is cartoonishly awful: he demeans her, yells if she dares to do anything but fetch coffee, and keeps calling her Becky. When she tries to impress him by writing a script, he passes it off as his own. On the other hand, he does offer her casting input for the new character she wrote, kickass lesbian werewolf hunter Lyla. And Bex just met a really cool girl named Shrupty she would love to . . . work with. Cute romance with a side of social justice.
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Jen Wilde books are continuously fantastic! She has excellent diversity, compelling stories, and wonderful characters. This new book is no exception. I devoured it in a day.
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Bex is psyched that she's finally getting out of her dead-end Washington state hometown and moving to LA as an intern for her favorite show Silver Falls. But instead of sitting in the writer's room and helping to pitch ideas, she's picking up coffees and is basically shunted aside. Bex stays silent when the misogynistic showrunner steals her idea, but when he tries to straight-wash her queer character in order to mitigate another actor's homophobic rant, Bex can't stay silent.

What an exciting read!

It's a story that's about the straight-washing of media culture and how that shit just isn't going to fly in 2019—people want queer storylines, and they need representation. Mixed into #DontKillYourGays are themes of sexism, inequality and double standards within the Hollywood industry.

I also liked that Bex's background played a key part in her insecurities, as she slowly begins to realize that there is nothing to be ashamed of for how you grew up, and there's no need to reinvent yourself to make shit happen. Be you and shine like the star you are.

Additionally, we've got some ADHD and anxiety rep and a character who is gay but not entirely sure exactly what her labels are, but she's figuring them out as she goes. Bex grew really quickly, from shy and insecure intern into someone who began to realize that you have to fight for what you need—and that some fights mean risking your entire future employment possibilities in order to what what is right.

I felt like her relationship with Shrupty went from zero to sixty really quickly, and aside from one mention from Shrupty when she accused Bex (who is literally the lowest of lowest interns) about hiring her onto the show to get into her pants, the fact that Bex was fighting for her girlfriend (who played a character she created) to stay in the show, was a little weird and probably should have been mentioned a bit more in the story? Bex and Shrupty had chemistry, but their relationship seemed superficial, and I felt like it was Shrupty using Bex to get her big break on the show (that wasn't the case but I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop).

Anywho, there are some not-so-subtle jabs at popular paranormal TV shows that feature two prominent male characters and a revolving door of women who serve only to boost the male characters' development and plotlines. If you're thinking, wow, what a supernaturally odd thing to say, then perhaps you need to read this book—because aside from these criticisms, it's clear that much love is shown back to the show and its fans.

So, reasons to read this:

1. Sapphic relationship between a girl with ADHD and anxiety and an Indian-American girl
2. #DontKillYourGays
3. Kickass queer secondary characters
4. The funniest dad in the planet
5. Commentary on sexism, double standards and homophobia in Hollywood
6. The impact of social media
7. The importance of diversity in all aspects of media—from the board room, to the writing room, to the camera crew and to the talent
8. The poverty roller coaster

Reasons not to read this:

Honestly I can't think of any unless you're homophobic?

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
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Another unapologetically queer book! This one is all about finding your voice and standing up, not only for yourself, but for what you truly believe in and know is right. 

This book has a sapphic romance with an Indian love interest. 

SO! MANY! GAYS!

If you're super tired of all your tv shows being super hetero and white. If you're sick of watching that one queer character they throw you, die. If you've ever felt alone and unseen. This book is for you! I loved it so much.
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Going Off Script was a good concept but often felt rushed and read more like fan fiction than a novel. I love the underdog story and wish it had been fully fleshed out in a way that didn't leave me wanting something better.
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