i am really excited to bring you this post, as i adore both of jen wilde’s previous (oh so fun and queer) books and am so grateful to have gotten the chance to help promote her latest release – going off-script. it was released yesterday, may 21st, but i was provided with an earc from netgalley. thank you so much, xpresso book tours, for letting me be part of this tour.
my contribution is a review of going off-script, and make sure to check out everyone else in the tour as well! you can find the tour there is also an international giveaway going, and the rafflecopter is linked at the bottom of this post.
title: going off-script
author: jen wilde
genre: contemporary, romance
publisher: swoon reads
content warnings: sexism, racism, homophobia (all challenged on page), anxiety
my rating: highly recommended
a tv writer’s room intern must join forces with her crush to keep her boss from ruining a lesbian character in this diverse contemporary ya romance from the author of queens of geek.
seventeen-year-old bex is thrilled when she gets an internship on her favorite tv show, silver falls. unfortunately, the internship isn’t quite what she expected… instead of sitting in a crowded writer’s room volleying ideas back and forth, production interns are stuck picking up the coffee.
determined to prove her worth as a writer, bex drafts her own script and shares it with the head writer―who promptly reworks it and passes it off as his own! bex is understandably furious, yet…maybe this is just how the industry works? but when they rewrite her proudly lesbian character as straight, that’s the last straw! it’s time for bex and her crush to fight back.
jen wilde’s newest novel is both a fun, diverse love story and a very relevant, modern take on the portrayal of lgbt characters in media.
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 it easily could’ve gotten away with 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. i’d highly recommend you pick it up.
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.
check out the other stops on this tour, linked below, and enter the giveaway for a print copy of going off-script here!
until next time!