June 20, 2015

Not in the Script - Amy Finnegan

Not in the Script book cover
Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan
Series: If Only... #3
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

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.

Not in the Script is just so dang enjoyable. Finnegan writes two of the most likeable, as well as flawed, YA leads I’ve read lately in Emma and Jake. Their budding romance is also developed well by Finnegan’s deft hand, with a great foundational friendship and rapport, the sparks that fly and the obstacles they face both as a potential couple and as individuals. Just thinking about Not in the Script makes me smile, and I certainly think that readers who appreciate a good romantic comedy or even a fluffy romance will like this one.

Any good romantic comedy follows the same formula: There’s a girl, and a guy. They have a meet cute, and strike up some sort of relationship. Then, disaster strikes forcing them apart! But, in the end, there’s a grand gesture (usually following or accompanying an explanation from one of them) before they get a happy ending. Not in the Script definitely takes on the romantic comedy formula. The best part? Finnegan does it extremely well.

A girl Emma Taylor is definitely among my favorite Hollywood gals in YA. She’s incredibly smart (and I love that she does put an effort in academically), loves her family and friends, and driven and dedicated to her career (which she happens to enjoy). But, like any teenage girl, she has her fair share of insecurities and tumultuous emotions. Plus, she’s always fallen for the wrong sort of guys (which is something she admits to). She’s seriously so easy to like, the type of gal that readers will feel like they could be friends with if she existed in real life.

A guyJake Elliot, based on physical description, sounds incredibly good-looking. While that definitely leaves readers with a first impression, Finnegan proves there is definitely more to Jake than meets the eye. He’s a good guy, with a great group of friends and a lovely relationship with his mom, and readers will love how down-to-earth and funny he is. But, like Emma, Finnegan manages to make Jake real by giving him flaws as well – a quick temper, and some intense emotions of his own. Still, he’s totally crush-worthy!

RelationshipI’m skipping a few elements (the meet cute, the “disaster”, the grand gesture) to prevent myself from spoiling things, but I did want to touch on Emma and Jake’s relationship a little. They start out as coworkers who quickly become friends, bantering back and forth and learning about each other. It’ll become obvious, over time, that they definitely like each other, but the obstacles that stand in their way keep them from acting on it. The tension of the will they-won’t they-should they dynamic is definitely something that’ll keep readers turning the pages. I laughed, I swooned, I empathized – and it was so much fun.

Not in the Script also gets bonus points for the setting (Arizona, which is awesome, and the set of Coyote Hills!), a variety of friendships (some good, some bad, some unexpected, some changing) and the presence of family for both Emma and Jake. These things definitely were additional things to love, making it even more unique when compared to the other Hollywood-centric books out there.

In case all the gushing above wasn’t enough, let me spell it out for you: I really liked Not in the Script. It’s a fun contemporary YA to read, though there are certainly parts that made me want to shake certain characters hard. This novel is definitely for readers looking for a fun story, a sweet romance, and, perhaps for some, a new book boyfriend to love.


  1. I LOVED this one too. I was actually surprised by how much I loved this. I'm so glad you liked this. Emma is totally awesome, and Jake is wonderful, and I just want to read this book over and over again. I cannot wait for more Finnegan's books.

  2. I should try this one. I looks promising. Nice review, Alexa

  3. Amen to this review! I haven't been able to share my thoughts on the blog about this one but I read it last year and enjoyed it so so much!! And yes "will they-won’t they-should they" describes Jake and Emma perfectly! I loved how their relationship developed and the romance was the sweetest!

  4. Alexxxxxxa!!! <3<3 I thought this book was so much fun!!! I'm so glad you've read it now!! Emma reminds me of Emma Watson, and she's so down to earth and I adore her <3 I need a sequel because I'm just not ready to say good bye to Emma and Jake...even though there doesn't need to be one, either! LOL

  5. Danielle @ Love at First PageJune 23, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    I love the way you set up this review - just as cute as the book itself! :P
    completely agree though - I found Not in the Script SO enjoyable and
    swoony and just sigh-worthy. The characters were great - especially

  6. It was totally adorable, wasn't it? And thank you! <3

  7. Oh goodness, yes! That's such a great comparison! I really enjoyed this one, and think it was just so much fun to read.

  8. RIGHT? It was totally cute, and totally fun, and I just get all smiley thinking about this story and these two lovebirds ;)

  9. I hope you give it a shot! Thank you <3

  10. I definitely felt the same way! I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did, but I'm so happy by that turn of events. Emma and Jake were lovely characters to read about.


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