‘NOT IN THE SCRIPT,’ BY AMY FINNIGAN. Review of the third If Only novel from Bloomsbury. All text © Rissi JC

Each time I read a young adult novel, I question it as I sit down to begin the first page. Perhaps that’s my skepticism talking because I’ve been disappointed one too many times by the genre or maybe it’s my practical side wonderful why I like to read a genre where more often the not the characters are immature and often leave me wanting to shake them.


STORY: This debut novel tells the story of Hollywood “it” girl Emma Taylor. A good girl, who keeps good grades along with plenty of college credits already to her name not to mention has starred in an award-winning film at a young age, Emma’s kryptonite arrives in the form of dating bad boys. She has had a string of exes, all of whom have wound up cheating on her and breaking her heart. Now Emma has a rule: she will no longer be dating her co-stars. That is where the trouble ends. Trouble finds her again when the new show she is cast on features the boy of her girlhood crushes, and the new guy-on-the-scene, Jake Elliott, soon appeals to Emma.

Not in the Script, by Amy Finnegan | Book Review

Secular genres are hard for me to get behind, partly because of the age group they target and the issues they deal with (depending on how the author writes it) can overshadow what’s good. This novel seems to stick with its “cute” genes and that worked really well for it. The result was absolutely darling. I enjoyed everything about it. It’s the kind of happy-go-lucky read I needed before a stack of “tougher” reads were coming next in line. If you’re not a fan of the romantic-comedy that is all about being cute and follows many of the same patterns as those that came before, then Not in the Script isn’t for you. It’s a cute work of fiction that has great things going for it.

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Aside from the characters, what I enjoy most about Not in the Script is its setting. I don’t recall reading a novel set in the TV/film industry, so this was an obviously unique setting that definitely upped the curiosity as we are invited to a behind-the-scenes look at what might go on off-camera – this is especially cool to a television addict, which I have self-professed to be.

Another thing that might surprise potential readers is the characters having more depth than you might assume. Emma’s character is a fantastic heroine; I enjoy her passion for doing more than just being a popular face of a world obsessed with “perfect” and also the way she was able to reconnect with her family. Both MC’s are wonderful, even in spite of the dash to pick up the pieces nearer the end when it looks like the couple might not make up. Another thing to mention is the slightly older age of its protagonists. That element never ceases to earn brownie points in my reading-must “book of rules.”

A companion novel in the “If Only” series by three different authors, if the other books are anything like Not in the Script, I’ll definitely be reading them as well. I dare you to read this and not find many “aw…” moments among its pages. This debut author knew how to direct a charming, sparkling romantic-comedy.

About the Book:

Author: Amy Finnegan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Source: Publisher Provided ARC
Publication Date: 2014
Find the Review elsewhere: GoodreadsWordPress
Find the Book Elsewhere: Goodreads
Series: If Only, 3
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Sincere thanks to the publisher (Lizzy) for providing a complimentary ARC copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I'd like to read this…I think. =) I am not the biggest fan of most YA novels. Maybe because the characters seem so young and immature. That is slightly frightening since I'm not THAT old. =)

    1. I know what you mean, Maria. I find that a lot in YA novels, however sometimes I just *need* a happy-go-lucky read despite the characters, and for me, this novel really "worked" when I read it. It was just… cute and sweet and so much more wholesome than most YA novels, which I loved.

  2. I've wanted to try out one of these books, but have yet to pick one up. I kind of love the idea of a series by several different authors, too. I love older characters, too, since they tend to act in, at least, slightly smarter ways! Sweet, fun reads are some of my favorites, so I'll have to get to this soon. :) Great review, Rissi!

    1. Hope you enjoy it, Rachel! It was just darling, and those are just the kind of books my reader mood needs sometimes. Happy reading, Rachel if/when you pick it up – and if this book is any indication, the prior two in the series are going to be fun. :)

  3. I've never heard of this one, but you've definitely piqued my interest. I always love a good YA to gush over… :) This sounds like something my sister and I would really enjoy. Thanks for sharing this one, Rissi! I will definitely be checking it out. :)

  4. *realizes that I read this review via Feedly and never got around to commenting* It just sounds like so much fun! I am definitely going to check this one out whether or not I win it. Great review, Rissi! :)

    1. Thanks for commenting, Kara! Glad you did. :) I hope you enjoy the book – it's just one of those easy reads that puts a smile on your face and I loved that about it. :)

    1. Go, Tressa! I'm in the same boat; must get in some serious reading this coming week too – and I hope you enjoy. This one is just darling! :)

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