Hello fellow bookworms 🎬 I was fortunate enough to receive a digital copy of Going Off Scropt through participating in the xpresso book tour! I cannot even express how excited I was to read this book, because Queens of Geek and the Brightsiders by the same author are among my favorite books. Just as I had hoped I ADORED Going Off Script and now I’m coming to you with a few information about the book (what it’s about and more importantly where you can get it, because you totally should) and my Review expressing why this is a book everyone should read! If you click on the image down below you are redirected to the blog tour schedule, so you can check out all the other amazing posts!
CW’s: Violence, Emotional Abuse, Homophobia
Representation 🌷 Gay MC, Queer Indian Love Interest, Poverty & Mental Health Rep
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.
Get the Book Here!
About the Author
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, comes out May 2018, and GOING OFF-SCRIPT releases Summer 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.
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.”
Thank you Swoon Reads, Netgalley and Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a digital Arc in exchange for an honest Review! All quotes are taken from the Arc and therefore subject to chanfges!
🎬 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.
Are you going to read Going Off Script? What is your favorite book about the media industry? 🎬