Cover Image: Off the Record

Off the Record

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Member Reviews

I tried reading this several times, and recently I was able to read the whole book. I thought maybe once I started, things would shift. I really wanted to love this book, but unfortunately, it just didn't do much for me. I felt very detached from Josie's character.
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I loved the complexity of feelings that this novel gave me. Everyone looks up to someone and most of the time those people are artists, actors/actresses, CEO's, celebrities, etc. The sad reality is that living life on a pedestal like that leads to secrets and truths that you hide because you don't want the scrutiny because someone else always has more power. I loved this novel because it is a good teenage introduction into the #MeToo movement and it didn't shy away from the tough emotional aspects. This novel showed women and men that they can have a voice and that if they are willing to speak up others will follow and their is power and strength in numbers.
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I loved Camryn Garrett's debut novel Full Disclosure and when I found out she was writing another novel, I was super excited to read it. I went into Off the Record with high expectations and I was definitely not disappointed!

Off the Record follows Josie, a black bisexual teenager journalist who wins a competition and gets to write the celebrity profiles of and follow the cast of an upcoming movie. Gradually, when she finds out a terrible secret from a young actress, she's confused and surprised but as many more women come forward with the same story, she decides she needs to uncover this story, even though it puts her career on line.

-I loved Josie as a character, she was relatable because even though she didn't have all the answers, the way she dealt with problems that showed up which made her a great narrator.
-The way Garrett conveyed Josie's feelings of being black, fat, bisexual and having anxiety were phenomenal. Though I can't speak for the aspect of being black and fat and I would suggest you check out ownvoices reviews, the anxiety and bisexual representation were great.
-This story deals with themes of sexual assault in the film industry, which is more common than we think so it was a quite eye-opening experience reading it.
-The only thing I didn't enjoy was the pacing and how after some time, the focus switched from Josie's struggles to romance.
-Overall, I highly recommend Off the Record to readers who are looking for more #MeToo stories narrated by a strong and inspiring voice!

Representation: Black bisexual and fat MC with anxiety, bisexual li, black SCs.
Content Warnings: Talks of sexual assault, fatphobia, racism

I received an arc from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not impact my thoughts or review in any way
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Off the Record is one of those young adult books that full-blown adults can enjoy as much as teenagers. I put this down to the subject matter: sexual assault.

This is not to say that sexual assault is entertaining, of course. Far from it: as most of us know, harassment and assault have been making huge headlines for several years now, with Time’s Up and #MeToo showing up in so many headlines and news stories. That messaging, though, is often focused on adult survivors, whereas Camryn Garrett has chosen to view the issue through the eyes of a teenager.

Josie’s assignment seems simple at first: wrote a profile of a heartthrob actor. She lucks out when he proves to be interesting and fun, and there are—naturally—sparks flying every time they meet. In the course of following said heartthrob on a press tour, Josie meets an array of other people and ends up stumbling into a much deeper assignment, one that could cost not only her career, but those of others, as well. 

The new story? Let’s call it something along the lines of “How to Wreck an Abuser in 10 Days.” 

This is some really heavy subject matter, but I, for one, appreciate that it’s being covered for a slightly younger audience, if for no other reason than that teenagers often don’t know what sexual harassment and assault even looks like; adults tend to avoid such discussions in an effort to shield their children from some of the more vile things in this world, and it’s an understandable instinct. But people can experience such terrible violations starting at any age, and it’s important to empower them to recognize and confront the issue.

At one point in the story, Josie says, “Right now, I feel like the human equivalent of at least five question marks. Maybe an exclamation point is tossed in there, too.” Through the story she’s telling, Garrett helps ensure that some teenagers won’t have to feel so lost if they find themselves on the wrong end of sexual assault, and I commend her for it.
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First off, I absolutely adore the cover. I think it is so strong and so beautiful. 

 I do think that at times the pacing was a bit off as it felt like it was very slow in the beginning of the book, and the last chunk of the book felt a little rushed as a result. I also feel like there was a. lot going on.. albeit it separately it was all amazing, but at times it felt a bit much, and there were times when I wished there was more attention given. I feel like because of this the character development and storyline didn't reach its full potential.

With that being said, I loved the whole idea of separating art from the artist as I think that this is a reminder a lot of people can use. I also think that there was an incorporation of such important and relevant topics that honestly need more representation in books. While I did say that there was so much going on, I also think that this is a sign that the author was very aware that real life a lot of times doesn't always "read well" and its messy, chaotic, and not always perfect. 

Overall I thought this was a great read, and I would recommend.
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- felt really disconnected from the characters
- everyone just felt so flat, really all i know about our MC is that she likes to write and has anxiety
- just a little too much going on; about 30% of the way through the book i actually had to go back & reread the synopsis because i was like i didn’t think this is what the book was about but at that point we just hadn’t got to what i guess is meant to be the main plot point?
- talks about anxiety, sister relationships, body image, sexual assault, there’s a romance that i didn’t really care for or about, a little bit about college
- wasn't terrible, wasn't my favorite
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When 17-year-old Josie Wright wins a journalist competition, she is given the chance to write a celebrity profile for up-and-coming star Marius Canet. As she spends more time with Marius, she begins to fall for his charm. Then, a young actress tells her a terrible secret about a famous director. As more women come forward with their own accounts, Josie needs to decide whether to expose the man responsible or keep it to herself in order to not jeopardize her career before it even started.

This was a great story about a very important topic, but it can definitely be triggering for things such as sexual assault and fatphobia. I enjoyed the story, but at times I felt the pacing was a little off. It took so long to get to the #metoo movement plot point, that I had forgotten that that was the main point of the book. But aside from that, I loved these characters. Josie was extremely relatable, and I liked watching her begin to understand her anxiety more and more as she continued on the 2-week interview cycle. Both Josie and Mauris are bisexual, and I loved seeing their relationship blossom as the story progressed. I also liked the messy sister relationship as well. It was nice to see them grow closer throughout their time together.

Overall, an important read with great bisexual, fat and anxiety rep!
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Five stars!! I loved this book even more than Garrett’s debut, to which I also gave five stars. This tackles so many important themes and I adored how the women helped each other. I couldn’t believe it was over when I hit the acknowledgements page. Well done.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. 

Off The Record was a book that was so personal to me, which I wasn’t prepared for going in. It broke my heart, made me laugh and made me happy all within a short span of time—so short because I just couldn’t put it down. 

Every single character in their own ways I could see myself in. The best traits, the worst traits, the small and the large. They all read in the best way, as if they were real and there before me. Josie’s love for writing as well as her determination was such an inspiration and, even though we were alike in many ways, I found myself learning a lot about myself from her and her story. 

The main plot of this story doesn’t come in until about halfway, but when it does it’s worth it. Even before it comes into play the buildup to it is also worth it because of the characters. I walked away with this book satisfied with the story and how it was told, but also with a new group of characters that I’ll hold closely to my heart.
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Thank you to penguin random house for a eARC of this book.
This is the first five star I’ve given this year! 😮
It was phenomenal, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It follows Josie, a teen in her senior year who wants to be a journalist. She wins a contest to do an exclusive on a character in a new movie and she goes on a PR tour with the other actors and actresses as they do a few PR events.
One of the young actresses in the movie let out a big secret. One woman’s accounts leads to another and leads to another. Will Josie expose the sercrets of Hollywood?

Content warning for rape and sexual abuse

I think the story handled this topic very well. It’s a sensitive topic and some thing that is still a serious problem in celebrity worlds today. Each chapter started off the story with a Twitter post from Josie that related to the chapter in someway and I absolutely love that addition. It was really enjoyable and made the story more real.

I also love the way the story handles anxiety as well as being plus size and what that means in society today. It’s probably the first book that discusses plus size in a way that I felt like I could relate.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a more serious contemporary read. A must read!
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While the subject matter and topics are very important and timely, the actual plot of the book suffered behind the topics. 
I was not able to connect as much with the plot and almost.forgot.what.was.going on.
A good read and many important topics though!
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Camryn Garrett handles difficult topics very deftly, without feeling like she's preaching morality which is sometimes hard to manage in YA books. Both Off the Record and Full Disclosure do a fantastic job of being grounded and giving the readers hope - for both the characters and themselves. Garrett's style is very engaging and extremely easy to get lost in.

I also adore Josie, she's such a wonderful character, and her relationship with her family was so lovely to read. Also, this review on The Storygraph by tachyondecay (https://app.thestorygraph.com/reviews/606916b7-007d-4b23-bb3c-cf9ddda9b7c4) does this book more justice than I ever could.
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I could relate sooooo much to Josie.  Whenever my life was crap, I wrote.  Whenever I was happy, I wrote.  Whenever I was sad, I wrote.  I'm freaking 45 and I still write when I feel crazy (which is all the time).

What I loved about Josie is that she worked really hard not to listen to people. She has to struggle with friends and family, who mean well and whose intentions are good, deal with comments about her weight.  Josie celebrates her weightness and her sexualaity as well. 

As for the rest of the story,  This reminded me of a modern day Almost Famous but darker than that.  There is a lot more "Me too" movement and a lot more of the dark side of fame and Josie learns a lot. 

The interpersonal relationships are fantastic in this book which really makes it fantastic. 

Thank you so much to #NetGalley and the publisher for the Arc.
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This was really great. I think it did a great job of balancing joy with the more serious themes of this book. Camryn Garrett is immensely talented, and I can't wait to see what she writes next.
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Josie, a high school senior, film aficionado, and journalist, has had her heart set on Spelman College since middle school. She has a great resume and is just waiting for her official early decision acceptance notice. She’s also waiting to hear if she won Deep Focus‘s (her favorite major magazine) talent contest. Josie knows winning will help launch her journalism career. In the meantime, she owes Monique, her freelance gig editor from Essence magazine, an op-ed, but Josie’s anxiety is distracting her. Josie’s parents casually mention that they worry she’s putting all of her eggs in one basket. Josie thinks they just don’t get her, especially since her mom always is pushing her to try a new diet. They try to talk about the “hard time” Josie had in middle school after which Josie switched schools, but Josie insists she’s fine. Josie proves just how fine she is when she is selected as the winner of the Deep Focus talent search. The grand prize will send her on a five city tour for a new film with interview access to the cast and crew. Her parents aren’t so sure about this and only agree if Josie’s older sister Alice – home for winter break from Spelman – can be her chaperone. Alice reluctantly agrees, and Josie leaves for an experience unlike any other. Nothing, however, could prepare Josie for the story a young actress asks her to tell or the feelings Josie develops for the film’s teen star. Is Josie the right person to tell this story, and will it do more harm than good?

THOUGHTS: Readers will empathize with Josie as she struggles to overcome her anxiety and focus on the story she was hired to write. A must purchase for high school libraries.
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Seventeen-year-old Josie Wright loves to write and dreams of being a journalist.  When she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for Deep Focus magazine, she is excited and scared.  While on tour she is told a young actress's terrible secret, which leads to more and more women's accounts.  Josie wants to expose the man responsible, this is a story that may be too big for a young journalist. 

I found this book both entertaining and a powerful reminder of what can happen when women stand up for and help each other.  Josie was a very authentic character, fat black, bi-sexual serious, hard-working, and full of anxiety.  She dealt with a lot of issues that helped to fill her out as a character.  She struggles to deal with fatphobic microaggressions from her friends and family, but we also see how she comes to love her fatness.  She and Marius Canet are also both bi-sexual.  At different times they both talk about past relationships with members of the same sex.  In addition to these parts of her personality, we learn that she had her own trauma that fuels her desire to help these women and that it doesn’t come from a place to further her own career.  She was a very developed character which I think adds to the overall telling of the story, even if it did take a bit longer to get to the main point of the book.      

The main topic tackled in the book was in line with the #Metoo movement and discussed how people use power to abuse others.  One of my favorite parts is that she discussed male sexual assault.  In most teen books when this subject is discussed it is women who are abused.  I love that this book included both male and female victims and showed us another issue in the topic of sexual assault and harassment.
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3.5 I like the concept of this book a lot but wasn’t really into the romance at all which took up a lot of this book. Definitely more interested in the take down of the famous director.
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Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect when you mix a MeToo story with a romance and some drama. Off the Record takes a journalistic view on the MeToo movement and how working together will get rid of the bad seed.
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Content warnings: rape, sexual harassment, sexual abuse

Once upon a time, I had an ambition to become a journalist. That was way back in high school and I realized I wasn’t cut out for it when I faked a few interview quotes to avoid talking to people. I could count on my hands how many people read the school paper, so no one noticed or cared. Still, that’s a sign someone isn’t cut out for the industry. I wasn’t going to be the next Stephen Glass or Jayson Blair thank you very MUCH.

That’s not Josie Wright, though. Off the Record is her story of confronting one of Hollywood’s most powerful predators when she uncovers what’s going on while writing a celebrity profile of rising star Marius Canet.

The name “Roy Lennox” is just a footnote to start with, a famous figure Josie asks about when she hears Marius will be working on the storied man’s next film. She knows Lennox’s movies, she knows he’s about to be the center of a documentary biopic. Until Marius’s co-star Penny tells her what Lennox did to her, Josie thinks she knows the man.

Oh, how little she knows.

Even when Josie puts her foot in her mouth during a pre-revelation interview with Penny, she goes about her job as a journalist with remarkable grace and sensitivity once she’s in pursuit of the story. Some of Lennox’s survivors refuse to talk to her altogether, some are ready to speak out, and others are willing but terrified of saying something. Some real-life journalists could learn a thing or two from Josie Wright.

But it’s not all about the dark heart of one man who raped, assaulted, and abused his way through Hollywood’s young talent. Off the Record is also about Josie falling for her subject Marius, who falls just as hard for her in return. These two babies are bi as can be and utterly adorable together. I couldn’t stop grinning when Marius took Josie to meet his parents and they saw right through both the kids. Plus Josie’s big apology at the end of the book? UGH, I LOVE IT.

Lord, I wish this book had been around when I was twelve and was being subjected to the same sexual harassment Josie faced from a classmate, facing similar sexual abuse as the women who survived Roy Lennox.When Josie tries to downplay how one classmate harassed her, another character shuts it down and says exactly the words I needed back then.

I just can’t, y’all. Camryn Garrett being this good this young? Her career as a writer is going to be a long one and a momentous one. If you can handle the subject material, you should pick up Off the Record. It’s so good it tapped into the alternate universe where I became an honest journalist and made that other me tear up at Josie’s important, hard-won story.
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I expected a lot more from this one. I went in having high expectations but only coming out as thinking of it as okay. I believe the sexual harassment and assault was done well but could’ve been better
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