Emma gets a Hollywood-tinged, feminist update in this funny and fierce retelling of Austen’s classic about a well-intentioned but tragically misguided matchmaker.
The summer after her first year of college, teen starlet Emma Crawford returns home to Manhattan to prepare for the role of a lifetime—and play career matchmaker to her friends. When Emma’s search for an assistant leads her to the wide-eyed Brittany Smith, Emma sees the big screen in the girl’s future. And because Emma knows best, she’s sure that steering Brittany onto the right path is all she needs to do to make her a star—even if Brittany doesn’t know it yet.
Emma’s plans start to unravel, however, when professional soccer player Liam Price re-enters her life. Not only is Liam her former best friend’s older brother, but he’s gorgeous, smart, and has no problem pointing out the (totally exaggerated) flaws in Emma’s plans. But as Emma comes in close contact with the darker side of Hollywood, she starts to question the glamorous world she’s always known and realizes her role in it needs to change—if she can find the courage to go off script.
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Usually the best thing (to me) about modern adaptations of classic novels is the quiet hum of familiarity as you find the corresponding associations and recognize old friends in new characters. Off Script took the story in a different (and very current) direction, and did it so well I didn't mind a bit.
This re-imagining of Jane Austen's classic story Emma introduces us to the titular character as a young movie star poised to take on a new role. Over the course of martial arts training and working to bulk up for the warrior character she is to play, Emma begins to mentor a young woman whose aspirations are limited to becoming a meteorologist for a local television station. At the same time her brother's preparation for a biopic brings Emma closer to Liam, a soccer star with a habit of dropping truthbombs. Whether or not Emma can make things work personally and professionally will depend on how she and those around her are able to address the skeletons in their closets and how they will allow their experiences to shape their futures. Off Script, while still telling a light-hearted story of romance among unusually good-looking and well-off characters, also takes a hard look at the dark side of the world of entertainment, particularly the sexual exploitation of women and the abuse of minors. These are causes Emma begins the book reluctant to discuss, even with her brother, despite having been a victim of both, but eventually she comes to see the importance of using her position as a platform to illuminate the shady side of her profession and empower others who lack her resources and privileges. It is not easy to like all of the characters at first, especially Emma, but the more time the reader spends with them, the more they see of the personalities the characters possess behind their public personae, which are generally more interesting, if not actually better. The characters' analogues in Austen's work are mostly easy to pick out, and the adaptations necessary to fit them into the modern era are well done. The author's decision to make Emma's brother the villain of a previous book and continually refer to events in that book was a trifle off-putting, and he certainly failed to redeem himself in this book, instead adding further instances of being a less-than-stellar human being to his record, but for people coming to the series after having read the first book, the continuous references to what came before might be nice. Generally I found them obnoxious. That said, this book is hard to put down, and the pace of the action means that it's easily devoured in one or two sittings, and readers will want to do so. Even though the happy ending is basically a given from the first twenty pages. Even though some of the characters are terrible people. It's still a pleasure to read.
Such a clever read. So fun and heartwarming, this book was incredible well written and the perfect summer read. Can’t wait for more from this author
First, I love any book that is a retelling of a Jane Austin romance. I love all of Ms Austin’s books. So, I was very excited to read Off Script and Kate Watson is a new author for me. Although I enjoyed the book, I don’t remember Emma being so confusing and requiring to pay so much attention to all of the characters and who they were and who ended up with who. Maybe because I have read all of Jane Austin’s books at least 20 times. I did love Emma in the book and adored Liam and as always, when they end of together my heart was warmed.
Thank you netgalley and the publishers for this Gem of a book! This is my first book by the author Kate Watson and I completely loved it. I love recreation of Jane Austen's novels and Emma is one of my favourites of all time. And moreover I am a big fan of the movie 'Clueless' too. I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw it and it did not disappoint! I simply loved the characters! Such a teen drama with hollywood elements and classic Jane Austen plot made this a very cute and entertaining rom-com/teen-drama book. A perfect read that it was and I highly recommend it for all Jane Austen fans and I am looking forward to more of Kate Watson's books in the future! Happy reading and thanks for this ARC❤
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to review this book! I have to say I quite enjoyed this one. Emma is a force, and her growth throughout the novel was inspiring. I felt like she changed in the best ways, She took moments that could have broken her and grew from them. She stopped allowing people to use her, and I related to that greatly. The book is cute, and sassy, but at the same time, it also holds to strength and positivity. It touches on some tough subjects, but does so with aplomb and tact.
This book is Jane Austen's EMMA meets the me too movement, and it was absolutely WONDERFUL! To reimagine a classic in a way that is so powerful and socially relevant to the challenges women face in modern society is nothing short of brilliant. I'm a huge fan of Kate Watson's books, but I think this may very well be her best yet. The characters were wonderful, the story engrossing, and the romance swoon worthy. This was such an enjoyable read, which also tackled some heavy issues head-on. Being the huge Austen nerd that I am, I also loved all the wonderful nods to the original. This is an easy five-star rating for me, and I can't wait to see what Kate has in store for us next.
In the third installment of the Seeking Mansfield series, Watson gave us her spirit on Emma by Jane Austen. This Emma was still a matchmaker, but instead of love matches, she was making career matches. One of the things I always do, when I read a retelling, is to get a refresher on the source material. I am always curious to compare the old and the new, and I was really surprised by how much of the original Emma existed in this very NOW, very timely take on the original story. She also did a fantastic job capturing the spirt of Emma. That to me is sign of brilliance, and I must acknowledge how well the author accomplished this task. This Emma was a successful actress, preparing for an upcoming blockbuster film, and therefore, a bulk of the book focuses on being a women in entertainment industry. Here, we saw the dark side of the entertainment industry - exploitation, lack of privacy, gossip, backstabbing, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. The MeToo movement rocked Hollywood, and therefore, definitely earned its part in this story. It's a timely topic, which deserves attention, and I liked all the different ways Watson tackled it. I also adored all the people, who were part of Emma's life. The importance of friendship and found-family was strong throughout this book, and Watson gifted Emma with an amazing bunch of people to help her navigate this unpredictable world. I especially adored Weston. That man oozed love and support through his pores, and I could totally imagine him as the next Ellen. Another character, who deserves a big mention, is Liam. Liam was a fantastic love interest for Emma. He was so sweet, kind, and swoony, but he also challenged her, a LOT. They had great chemistry, and their shared love of Finely was just another thing to strengthen their connection. I liked that he was often a voice of reason, but also there to remind Emma of who she was, when she sometimes lost sight of that. I was beyond delighted that Watson reunited all three Seeking Mansfield couples for the final chapter of this book. She not only brought them physically together, but she also reminded us of how much each of these young women had overcome and accomplished. If this is her final retelling set in this world, it was a find send off, which, by the way, left me shedding a few tears.
It’s another 3.5 starts deserved to be rounded up to 4 because the idea of retelling of Emma in glamorous, phony, sensational, provoking, gossipy, notorious, harsh Hollywood planet is a great plot idea. The realistic approach of Hollywood planet in this book and stories are gripping, capturing, smartly told and described. The chemistry between Emma and Liam was incredible, heart-warming , puts a big smile on your face, makes you sigh several times. I also enjoyed the modern characterization and 21th century Emma who is brave enough to fight with unfairness and raise her voice for the assaults. This is witty, cute, swoony, sassy reading even it has some unresolved issues, I mostly tried to have fun and focus on pacing and entertaining moments. Special thanks to NetGalley and Flux for sharing this great ARC COPY in exchange my honest review. 1
Jane Austen meets Hollywood #metoo movement in this brilliant and timely retelling of EMMA. Emma Crawford (who you might remember from SEEKING MANSFIELD) and her brother Harlan are preparing for their new film roles. Emma has a new assistant Brittany whom she wants to turn into a star. But she has to first avoid her old rival Vic and her aunt Kelly. But the path to stardom is never easy and both girls experience the darker side of entertainment industry. Like her literary predecessor, this Emma has plenty of flaws and but her heart is in the right place. She definitely makes mistakes but learns from them. Liam is a great Mr. Knightly but is saved from the original’s sanctimonious-know-it-all-ness (totally a word) by his tragic past and his own mistakes. You don’t have to be a Jane Austen fan or have read SEEKING MANSFIELD to adore this female empowering, kick-butt book!
I love Jane Austen's original text and every single adaptation highlights a fresh element of the novel that I just loved! This reinterpretation was so much fun and wonderfully refreshing
You may be asking yourself: why should I bother to read this book? What makes it worth it for my limited time? And if that's the case, you are reading the right review. I hope. In this book, we follow Emma, who is our main character. She is an actress and has been since she was a child. Emma has had a very traumatic childhood because of all the recurrent abuse that is present in Hollywood and the disinterest shown by her parents. Going into this book, I thought I was in for a fluffy romance between teens, but the rug was swept off my feet in this one! It's way more profound than what I'd expected. Be warned, abuse is a topic handled in this book and, although (in my view) it was notably well-handled, it can be unpleasant to people who have been through those awful situations. My favorite character has to be Liam. He is the more mature and sincere and lovable character I've read in a while (and the love interest, of course). He also has had his fair share of trauma: his abusive mother and the death of his father, a Brazilian actor. OH! He is also a soccer (or football) player. I'd say he is an accurate representation of how people behave in real life (or should, at least). Let's look at the main character for a moment: she is insufferable and impossibly shallow (at the beginning of the story), but she grew so much throughout it that her unlikeability became a reason why I enjoyed this book as much as I did. Of course, it also had its flaws: the brother's character isn't developed all that much (or well), some of it was extraordinarily predictable and one of the tropes I hate the most (misunderstandings) was represented, but I'd say the relationships and the way the drama was handled made up for its flaws and its almost abrupt ending. Overall, I would recommend this book to who is looking for a (light) take on rape in Hollywood and how it is for a 19-year-old girl to navigate drama and fame and relationships. Hope you enjoy it!
Jane Austen meets Hollywood in this new retelling of Emma. Off Script is about Emma Crawford, who is a successful actress preparing for her latest role. She gets a new assistant and wants to give her a makeover and turn her into a star. This book focuses a lot on being a woman in the entertainment industry and talks a lot about the #metoo movement which I thought was very important. Overall, this is a cute Emma retelling that it is sure to be a popular new YA book.
I fell in love with Kate Watson's writing with Lovestruck, which came out this year. So when I found Off Script on Netgalley, I snapped it up immediately. And I'm SO glad I did! This book was so much fun! Quick Thoughts -Full disclaimer, I think I've seen the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma once...a very long time ago—and I shamefully haven't read the book yet. So I'll probably reread this book once I've done that :D until then, I can't say anything about the actual adaption side of this book. -There must have been a ton of research that went into this book to portray what the lifestyle of a celebrity is like. I was really impressed by the details, no matter how small, that were fit into this book to show Emma's glam life. -The DRAMA in this book is absolutely delightful! The plot was fun and fast-paced, with plenty of tension to keep me turning the next page. -I love Kate Watson's writing! It's descriptive without feeling purple prose-y, direct and straight to the point, with hilarious dialogue and fun banter. I can't get enough of it! Lasting Impressions I want to talk about so many things! I just don't know where to start! Probably with Emma herself. I was worried I would dislike her in the beginning, but her charm and earnestness, her selflessness, really wiped those worries away for me. She seems like this sassy, successful, perfect person on the outside, but on the inside she just wants to be needed and loved, the way she loves and needs those around her. Her development in this book from hard shell with overconfidence—while hiding her worries and vulnerabilities—to a person who feels she can take control of her life and dreams...is just perfect and beautiful. The way Emma responds and interacts with the other characters around her too feels so realistic. Brittany Smith is a gem of a person, and Emma immediately taking to her makes so much sense. When Emma takes care of her brother Harlan (goll, he's such a dirt bag, isn't he?) her love for him really shows, but so does the complexity and toxicity of their relationship. Ditto with the relationship she has with her father. There are several secondary characters in this book, so I'm not going to hit upon all of them, but I never felt lost in a sea of names and connections. The author does a good job of helping the reader keep everyone straight. But gasp I haven't mentioned the romance yet! Shame on me. The romance is SO sweet and cute and heartwarming. Liam is such a wonderful guy who can call Emma out on her BS. I loved their interactions—and that ending... swoon it was to die for. Along with all of this, Kate Watson takes on the themes of sexual harassment in the film industry. I wasn't expecting this, but I really liked how it was handled—with sensitivity and a strong sense of righteous injustice. The way she wove this into the story works so well with Emma's character, and the characters that surround her. I loved it. Overall Feelings I was seriously spending every spare second reading this wonderful book. It's romantic, hilarious, and thought-provoking, and I highly recommend it to fans of contemporary romance, especially those who enjoyed Emma. You won't be disappointed.
Opening line: "Emma Crawford was a genius." Emma is a lose, but fun, retelling of EMMA by Jane Austen. The difference with the two heroine's, is that Emma Crawford makes career matches instead of love matches. Emma left her life to support her brother, Harlan, through his mental breakdown after a nasty break up with one of their mutual friends. They both were on track for big movie premieres, both seemed happy and ready for the next script of their lives. Until they meet the soccer star Harlan is supposed to shadow--Liam Price--the brother of the sister who broke Harlan's heart. Emma hires a new assistant, who wants to be a weather person. Brittany has a degree in meterology and is offered a job in the state where she wants to live. But predicting the weather isn't good enough for Brittany, according to Emma. She must aspire to bigger and greater things, like being a star on a soap opera! LOL Liam is a great Mr. Knightly. He has just the right amount of wisdom and talking Emma into being a better person, without coming off better-than-thou. The love interest arc is drawn out and just right. Much of Emma's journey, and those of other females in the business, showed the ugly side of the acting industry: gossip, backstabbing, sexual harassment, etc and the way different women dealt with it. Some of the backstabbing are people close to her, and Emma has to decide if she will take a stand and set her boundaries. Thanks to netgalley for the early read and to @fluxbooks for the arc!
Emma and Harlan Crawford are sibling actors, the children of famous but now divorced parents who view them as a meal ticket. Emma and Harlan protect one another above all else, sometimes blindly. Emma has returned to NYC to prepare for an upcoming role. Harlan is in training to portray a young soccer star & is paired with a professional soccer player Liam. Problem is, Liam and Harlan already know each other - Harlan dated (and subsequently broke up with) Liam’s sister Finley. And Emma allowed her own friendship with Finley to peter out in deference to Harlan but misses her so. Things become tricky when Emma begins to enjoy the company of Liam, a little too much. There’s also a third wheel in Alecki, who is Emma’s mentor’s nephew. And Harlan isn’t happy about either. Parallel storylines revolve around Emma’s friendships, new and old and her role as matchmaker (and this the re-telling of Austen’s Emma). Emma believes everyone has skeletons in their closet and that generally truth is not worth the risk. So she tends to avoid conflict and tries to manage friendships whilst not always being true to them or herself. This is a contemporary YA fiction novel with all the complexities that go with success, fame and infamy at a young age. Emma tends to be a little self-absorbed but her heart is in the right place. As a reader you might raise an eyebrow in relation to her woe-is-me attitude but in my opinion the growth of Emma’s character is what makes this book appealing. Thank you to Kate Watson, netgalley and fluxbooks for an eARC if this book. This book is the third instalment in the Seeking Mansfield series - something I was not aware of at all, proving the book can be read as a stand-alone. One iffy area for me was Harlan’s character (he was quite shallow) and I wondered about his being the next instalment which would explain not too much being given away. A solid ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5 for me (it will round up on @goodreads). Out in January 2020.