Book Review: Not in the Script

Not in the Script
By: Amy Finnegan
Published By: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Page Count: 392
Source: ARC Kindly Provided By Publisher
Audience/Genre: YA Romance
 Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

Not in the Script is a fun, smartly written YA romance with perfect pacing, a romance that isn't too clean but also not too adult, and Amy Finnegan has crafted authentic, likeable characters with a contemporary, but believable, premise. This is a book you find yourself reading with a goofy grin on your face, and if it tells you anything, immediately upon finishing the book I edited my Best of/Goodbye to 2014 list/giveaway to include it. I liked it that much.

I hope this comes across as the compliment it is intended as, but I'm not sure how Amy Finnegan manages to turn a premise that sounds like a cheesy Saved By the Bell episode into a book I devoured in two days, but she totally does. Told in alternating chapters from dual perspectives, Not in the Script is the story of Emma Taylor, a young, award-winning actress and Jake Elliot, a noble and reluctant model-turned-actor. Emma has a history of habitually, and rather publicly, cheating boyfriends and, though it's deserved and been years in the making, still can't make heads or tails of her celebrity and success. Jake, a model who would rather attend business school than strut a catwalk in Milan, is poised to enter the world of Hollywood megastars, whether he likes it or not.

Jake and Emma are thrown together on a new WB/CW/ABC Family-esque show, and they steadily try to ignore the attraction and connection they share for a variety of real and manufactured reasons. Add in a few supporting characters with issue all their own -- a BFF who wants everything Emma has (including Jake), Emma's over-involved mother/manager, an absolute on-set diva, a misguided player-type for a co-star, a no nonsense director with a heart of gold -- and their new show, Coyote Hills, has more drama behind the scene than it does on screen.
Every single character in Not in the Script has a depth I sometimes find lacking in the "contemporary YA" genre, and even though the storyline is somewhat predictable (but there are some twists at the end that I won't spoil for you), I absolutely loved the playfulness of the developing romance between Jake and Emma. I really did find myself grinning and sighing and laughing and smiling throughout the short 2-3 days it took me to devour this book. And, if I'm honest, YA romance isn't usually my thing -- but I found Not in the Script to be refreshing, and not at all fluffy. This is her first novel, but I'm looking forward to reading many more titles by Amy Finnegan. 

Amy Finnegan's book was exactly what the summary promised and more, a fun well-crafted YA romance. I'd suggest starting it on a weekend, it's likely you'll finish it before Monday morning. ;)

Summary via Goodreads

Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.

Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.

When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.

This novel in the deliciously fun If Only romance line proves that the best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script.


  1. LOVE how there's a story about teen celebs that has true depth! It seems as if it's character driven which is exactly how I love my romances!

    LOVE how said you rooted for the romance :)

    Lovely review :)

    1. Thank you so much! It really was a great read!


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