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Why in 5: Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan (twitter | website)
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Pages: 272
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: best friends growing apart, life of an actress, filming a TV series
Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!)

Summary: Emma loves acting and knows there’s nothing else she’d rather do, but she wishes that people could look beyond her celebrity status to see the real her. Even her best friend, Rachel, seems wrapped up in her fame. When Emma begins filming Coyote Hills, she has an instant connection with Jake, her co-star, but she tries to maintain a friends-only relationship with him.

  1. Maturity. The characters are college-aged and Emma, the main character, is particularly thoughtful and mindful of how her actions will affect other people. I loved that she tried to think things through before acting on impulse, but there were times she still found herself in uncomfortable situations.
  2. Friendships. Two points here — Emma’s best friend, Rachel, revels in Emma’s success; she’s jealous and very passive aggressive. It’s clear, even to Emma, that their friendship isn’t working anymore. It’s never easy to make the decision to move on, but I think that was handled really well here. Rachel is also “in love” with Jake based on the modeling photographs she’s seen of him; Emma feels like he’s off-limits to her (though their connection is so strong) because she wants Rachel to have something since her own acting career isn’t working out. What this leads to is Emma and Jake forming this awesome friendship; yes, there’s amazing tension and yes, we see Rachel is terrible so we root for Emma just to GO FOR IT, but as I mentioned in bullet point #1, they’re mature.
  3. A not-so-cheesy look into an actress’s life. I admit that I’ve read a few books about celebrities and actors. And many of them have felt a little too inauthentic. They skimmed the surface, but didn’t dive into the details. Not in the Script shows how Emma battles with her mom-turned-manager, how misleading the gossip magazines can be, and how everyone is looking out for themselves. Emma seems like the most NORMAL girl who happens to be a celebrity. She’s good at what she does, but it doesn’t define who she is. (Except that this is how most people see her, as a celebrity, and she wants people to look beyond that.)
  4. Great secondary cast. Kimmi, Brett, and Jake are Emma’s other co-stars in the television show they’re filming, Coyote Hills. McGregor is their director who reads people extremely well, doesn’t handle drama well, and keeps them all in check. Kimmi appears to be the biggest drama queen, seems to maybe be the cause for paparazzi showing up in unexpected places, but often gives Emma solid advice. Brett chases Emma, but doesn’t pick up on the clues that she’s not reciprocating the love-fest. Perhaps best of all is Jake’s mom, who suffered from a stroke, and connects well with Emma. She doesn’t see Emma as a Big Celebrity.
  5. Perfect balance. Not in the Script isn’t a light and fluffy read, but it’s not crazy heavy and overwhelming either. One thing is guaranteed, you’ll be drawn to keep reading to see if Emma and Jake finally give into the feelings they both so strongly have for each other. You’ll want to know what happens with Rachel, and you’ll want to smack Brett because the poor guy just can’t take a hint. (PS — don’t judge this book by the cover, which I interpreted to be a lot fluffier than the book actually was.)

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October 8, 2014 - 11:21 pm

Alexa S. - I’m really looking forward to reading Not in the Script! It sounds like it’s going to be such a treat, especially since Emma sounds like an amazing main character. I love that she comes across as a genuinely GOOD character, one who’s mature and smart and talented. Can’t wait to read it!

October 6, 2014 - 7:57 am

Nicole @ The Quiet Concert - I really like the sound of this from your review. I haven’t read any books in the If Only series (although I know they are not a series in the traditional sense) and I think I’ll start with this one. I want to read more books with college-aged MCs and I like the acting plotline (among other things) Great review 🙂

October 2, 2014 - 9:23 am

Kim - I couldn’t I agree with you more! I loved this book so much!

October 1, 2014 - 4:23 pm

Valerie Pennington - I absolutely adored this novel and I think that you captured all the reasons that I loved it. Great review.

October 1, 2014 - 12:19 pm

Amy Finnegan - So . . . I’m just gonna pull up a chair and spend my day reading this review over and over again. You good with that? Excellent 🙂

THANK YOU!!! xoxo

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