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Off the Record

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The behind-the-scenes access of Almost Famous meets the searing revelations of #metoo in this story of a teen journalist who uncovers the scandal of the decade. Ever since seventeen-year-old Josie Wright can remember, writing has been her identity, the thing that grounds her when everything else is a garbage fire. So when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for The behind-the-scenes access of Almost Famous meets the searing revelations of #metoo in this story of a teen journalist who uncovers the scandal of the decade. Ever since seventeen-year-old Josie Wright can remember, writing has been her identity, the thing that grounds her when everything else is a garbage fire. So when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for Deep Focus magazine, she’s equal parts excited and scared, but also ready. She’s got this. Soon Josie is jetting off on a multi-city tour, rubbing elbows with sparkly celebrities, frenetic handlers, stone-faced producers, and eccentric stylists. She even finds herself catching feelings for the subject of her profile, dazzling young newcomer Marius Canet. Josie’s world is expanding so rapidly, she doesn’t know whether she’s flying or falling. But when a young actress lets her in on a terrible secret, the answer is clear: she’s in over her head. One woman’s account leads to another and another. Josie wants to expose the man responsible, but she’s reluctant to speak up, unsure if this is her story to tell. What if she lets down the women who have entrusted her with their stories? What if this ends her writing career before it even begins? There are so many reasons not to go ahead, but if Josie doesn’t step up, who will? From the author of Full Disclosure, this is a moving testament to the #MeToo movement, and all the ways women stand up for each other.


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The behind-the-scenes access of Almost Famous meets the searing revelations of #metoo in this story of a teen journalist who uncovers the scandal of the decade. Ever since seventeen-year-old Josie Wright can remember, writing has been her identity, the thing that grounds her when everything else is a garbage fire. So when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for The behind-the-scenes access of Almost Famous meets the searing revelations of #metoo in this story of a teen journalist who uncovers the scandal of the decade. Ever since seventeen-year-old Josie Wright can remember, writing has been her identity, the thing that grounds her when everything else is a garbage fire. So when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for Deep Focus magazine, she’s equal parts excited and scared, but also ready. She’s got this. Soon Josie is jetting off on a multi-city tour, rubbing elbows with sparkly celebrities, frenetic handlers, stone-faced producers, and eccentric stylists. She even finds herself catching feelings for the subject of her profile, dazzling young newcomer Marius Canet. Josie’s world is expanding so rapidly, she doesn’t know whether she’s flying or falling. But when a young actress lets her in on a terrible secret, the answer is clear: she’s in over her head. One woman’s account leads to another and another. Josie wants to expose the man responsible, but she’s reluctant to speak up, unsure if this is her story to tell. What if she lets down the women who have entrusted her with their stories? What if this ends her writing career before it even begins? There are so many reasons not to go ahead, but if Josie doesn’t step up, who will? From the author of Full Disclosure, this is a moving testament to the #MeToo movement, and all the ways women stand up for each other.

30 review for Off the Record

  1. 5 out of 5

    Camryn

    This is probably the most personal book I've written so far. There's so much of myself in Josie, and I hope you all love her the way I do. Trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. This is probably the most personal book I've written so far. There's so much of myself in Josie, and I hope you all love her the way I do. Trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elle (ellexamines)

    wait no how did i miss the cover drop i am so deeply stupid. excited as hell for this<3

  3. 5 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    Oof, I feel pulled in a lot of directions right now, and hope I manage to do an okay job at explaining my thoughts with this one. But I think, not unlike another contemporary I've read this year (likely more than one, actually..) the main issues I had with OFF THE RECORD is that I think it's just trying to do too many things. While reading this book I had actually forgotten what the main plot point was going to be because I felt like it just took too long to get there. Which naturally made the ca Oof, I feel pulled in a lot of directions right now, and hope I manage to do an okay job at explaining my thoughts with this one. But I think, not unlike another contemporary I've read this year (likely more than one, actually..) the main issues I had with OFF THE RECORD is that I think it's just trying to do too many things. While reading this book I had actually forgotten what the main plot point was going to be because I felt like it just took too long to get there. Which naturally made the catch-up, the acceleration of it all, that much more.. frantic. Balancing this whirlwind adventure after having won a write-in contest to interview an upcoming actor, catching feels, making friends, battling anxiety, body issues, slowly realizing said friends had experienced something terrible, being convinced to write about it in addition to the profile on the actor, have a romance, bond with a sister.. there are a lot of spinning plates. In addition to all that, there's also some good discourse over separating art from artists, which is something I know we all struggle with; more and more each day. I don't necessarily think anything beyond the romance really suffered for being rushed (Marius was such a soft lovely human but to be honest I wasn't really convinced by the connection) but there's also the suspension of disbelief over how quickly all the pieces fell into place for the big climax. Sadly I also don't think I liked any of the characters. No one was awful beyond the villain of the piece (though the main sister dynamic was tough for the majority of the story) but I was reading for the story, even oddly paced as it was, more than the characters. I'm not sure why I didn't like anyone; not even Marcus, despite his soft loveliness -- but I definitely felt for them. Josie's anxiety overwhelming her, the mixed feelings about her weight and acceptance of her body, I could connect so well to both. But there was just.. something. I can't put my finger on it. The subject matter of this story is very relevant and important -- and, of course, trigger warnings surround the whole issue so please be conscious of that -- and despite my mixed overall feelings I definitely recommend people still pick this up. Also, as always, you should take my review and my rating with a grain of salt. Though none of my criticisms touch on anything non-plot specific, please prioritize #ownvoice reviews over my own. ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Althea

    Off the Record by Camryn Garrett follows Josie Wright who is jetted off on a press tour to interview up-and-coming actor, Marius Canet, after winning a prestigious journalism award. However, on the press tour, a young actress confides in Josie that she was sexually assaulted by a well-known and well-loved director. Josie wants to help take down this director but she quickly feels like she’s in over her head, and will it end her journalism career before she’s even got to start it? This is an extre Off the Record by Camryn Garrett follows Josie Wright who is jetted off on a press tour to interview up-and-coming actor, Marius Canet, after winning a prestigious journalism award. However, on the press tour, a young actress confides in Josie that she was sexually assaulted by a well-known and well-loved director. Josie wants to help take down this director but she quickly feels like she’s in over her head, and will it end her journalism career before she’s even got to start it? This is an extremely important book for a myriad of reasons. The main character, Josie, is a fat, Black bisexual teen and all of these facets of her as a person are all equally celebrated in the book. We see Josie struggle with the – often well-meaning – fatphobic microaggressions from her friends and family, but we also see her celebrate and love her fatness, which is wonderful to see. She talks about how all of the fad-diets are exactly that – fads – and how easy it is to celebrate being fat online and on social media in general, but when it comes to real life and your faced with other people’s overt fatphobia, it’s a lot more difficult. I think for all the ways that Camryn Garrett discussed the experience of being fat in this book was so needed and it truly resonated with me – it’s definitely up there with some of the best fat representation I’ve ever read! Furthermore, both Josie and the love interest in the book are bisexual, and it’s mentioned on page. We see Josie talk about how cute she finds male, female and nonbinary people, and the love interest gushes about his ex-boyfriend, too. This type of explicit bi representation is so heartening to see, when so many YA contemporaries brush over it by instead saying that the character ‘likes boys/girls’, is gay or queer, or just implies it otherwise. Aside from these parts of her, we really get to see Josie’s passion and drive for what she does. She is clearly a talented journalist and is proud about that. We also see her ambition of getting into her dream historically Black college that so many members of her family also went to. Speaking of family, there are definitely some complex, and often times complicated, family dynamics in this book, but there is also so much love for family and the role it plays in Josie’s life. We also see her dealing with failings and things not quite going her way but realising that some things don’t work out but it’ everything turns out well at the end, which I know will be truly heartening for so many teens to read. The relationship at the heart of this book was so, so sweet and healthy and it was truly a joy to read among the tougher topics tackled in the book. As you start reading the book, you get a hint of who Josie is interested in and seeing that flourish and grow was lovely! Josie’s new friendships throughout the book also added to the calmer, sweeter aspects of the book and I still adore seeing strong female friendships in YA contemporary after years of seeing so much girl hate. As for the main topic tackled in the book, sexual assault and the #metoo movement were handled so well and so sensitively. It’s a topic that has been really prevalent recently and I think that talking about it in a YA contemporary is so important. Two particular discussion points brought up in the book really resonated with me, the first is related to Josie’s own experiences. When she is in middle school she is sexually assaulted by a classmate, but she and other adults write it off as just ‘boys being boys’ and not so serious because of her age. Seeing her come to realise that, actually, that was a big deal and it was sexual assault was really cathartic for me to read, as someone who went through something similar. Another aspect that I found really important to read was the discussion of male sexual assault victims. A lot of the time when this subject is touched upon, it is brought up almost as a ‘gotcha’ when women and nonbinary people are talking about their experiences, but it was the complete opposite in this book. The male character in question is very respectful of these women coming forward and his experience is not treated in a way that feels insensitive, and I really appreciated that. Overall, this was a really great book that I cannot recommend enough. It does tackle some sensitive topics, so I recommend being aware of the trigger warnings for sexual assault, sexual harassment and rape, as well as being in the right mindset before picking this one up, if you do think that it is for you. It’s such a powerful read that still has its sweet and heart-warming moments, and it’s a real shining star among recent contemporary YA releases. Thanks to Netgalley, Random House, and TBR and Beyond Tours for an eARC in return for an honest review! Want more sapphic books? You can find me here: Book Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  5. 5 out of 5

    ivy ♡

    off the record is out in the world now !! thank you so much to tbr and beyond tours, as well as the author and publisher for giving me a copy of off the record in exchange for an honest review ! content warnings: sexual assault, sexual harassment. representation: fat, anxious & bisexual black protagonist, bisexual black love interest, side black characters, side latina character, side minor korean-american character. to read the full review, click here to be directed to my blog post ! off the record is out in the world now !! thank you so much to tbr and beyond tours, as well as the author and publisher for giving me a copy of off the record in exchange for an honest review ! content warnings: sexual assault, sexual harassment. representation: fat, anxious & bisexual black protagonist, bisexual black love interest, side black characters, side latina character, side minor korean-american character. to read the full review, click here to be directed to my blog post !

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    Powerful, painful and utterly addictive. This was superb. TW: mentions of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault and fatphobia.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cody Roecker

    I read an early draft of this! Camryn Garrett is a force to be reckon with y'all and absolutely everything she writes is spectacular. This one specifically is SO special. Just wait until you meet these characters and fall in love like I did - I know you will. It's impossible not to. I read an early draft of this! Camryn Garrett is a force to be reckon with y'all and absolutely everything she writes is spectacular. This one specifically is SO special. Just wait until you meet these characters and fall in love like I did - I know you will. It's impossible not to.

  8. 5 out of 5

    bella

    content and trigger warnings: mentions of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault, fatphobia, dieting, biphobia (mentioned) I have some mixed feelings about Off the Record, but overall it is a fast, engrossing, and important read. The things Camryn Garrett did well were excellent, and I truly appreciate her pouring so much of herself into this book. Thank you to Netgalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for granting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. The representation in content and trigger warnings: mentions of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault, fatphobia, dieting, biphobia (mentioned) I have some mixed feelings about Off the Record, but overall it is a fast, engrossing, and important read. The things Camryn Garrett did well were excellent, and I truly appreciate her pouring so much of herself into this book. Thank you to Netgalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for granting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. The representation in this book is wonderfully done. The main character, Josie is a fat, Black bisexual teen who has anxiety and loves to write. It's easy to so see her passion for writing throughout the book, and to understand how much she truly loves and cares about what she does. Garrett makes it to feel how much she struggles with self-doubt about writing despite also knowing that it is a strength of hers, and her general experience with anxiety. Throughout the novel, Josie often has to deal with fatphobic comments from people around her (including friends and family members), but it also shows beautiful, joyous moments of her embracing and loving her body. I also love that both Josie and the love interest in the story are openly and explicitly stated on the page to be bisexual, because that is something I haven't seen often when reading YA (or most genres, really). I also think that Garrett handled the topic of sexual assault with great sensitivity and care, which I appreciate. Additionally, the book touched on the topics of complicated relationships with family, race, silent complicity, power dynamics in Hollywood, and more. While there were aspects of the book that I loved, I do think that there was too much going on. I love that Garrett wanted to address multiple important topics in the book and I don't want to detract from the importance of any of them, but the layers to the plot became overwhelming at times. With so much going on at once (the romance, Josie's impending graduation and college applications, the writing project, family issues, etc.), it sometimes felt like the overall plot got lost. There was too much crammed into the relatively short book, which make it feel rushed or lacking depth at times. Some of the plot points didn't get as much page time or development as they should have. This left me unsatisfied by the resolution of some of the plot lines, and I was jarred by the seemingly abrupt ending of the novel.

  9. 4 out of 5

    eli

    Content and trigger warnings: graphic depiction of sexual assault, dieting, biophobia, anxiety/panic attacks, mentions of gaslighting and racism. *.·:·.☽✧ 2.7 stars ✧☾.·:·.* "Off The Record" tried to accomplish too many things, and lost not only its main focus in the process, but my interest in it as well. For 17-year-old Josie Wright, writing articles and pieces is her identity, and is the one thing that grounds her when her whole life is a mess. I was very interested in her home life because the Content and trigger warnings: graphic depiction of sexual assault, dieting, biophobia, anxiety/panic attacks, mentions of gaslighting and racism. *.·:·.☽✧ 2.7 stars ✧☾.·:·.* "Off The Record" tried to accomplish too many things, and lost not only its main focus in the process, but my interest in it as well. For 17-year-old Josie Wright, writing articles and pieces is her identity, and is the one thing that grounds her when her whole life is a mess. I was very interested in her home life because there are mentions of how her life at home is, and it seemed like there was such an intricate dynamic between Josie and her family. Because of her anxiety disorder, I feel as if Josie's view and judgement of her family was clouded, and I really wish that they could've talked about it. But sadly, this is one of the plot points that's forgotten. So when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for Deep Focus magazine, she's immediately jetted off onto a multi-city tour with her sister Alice and becomes very fond of her celebrity profile subject, Marius Canet. Now while this seems like a dazzling world, she soon realizes a dark side of fame that she just can't ignore. But when she makes a commitment to shed light on this issue in an article and has to simultaneously write a celebrity profile for Deep Focus magazine, she begins to recognize that she's in over her head. I mean, that would be an obvious realization to anyone who plans the logistics of this whole "plan". When Josie does complete the celebrity profile in one day, I found that completely unrealistic. I understand that this is a novel, and that she had the materials to do so before-hand, but that just didn't make sense to me. My main issue with this novel was the inconsistent plot points and focuses. I know that from the way I described the novel, it would seem clear what the main idea of this novel was, but it wasn't for me. Like, is this novel about ageism, image insecurity, and finding love through the mist of it all? Or is this about sister rivalry, the "Me Too" movement, and white feminism? Now, I'm not making this claim to discredit the importance of these topics. I just feel as if when these various topics were juggled around, they took away from Josie's character. And because of this, I couldn't absorb what she was thinking or try to find out who she was since I was trying to comprehend all the other things happening in the novel. While the plot was the main reason I disliked this noel, I still appreciated the various forms of representation throughout the novel. There was a fairly diverse cast of characters through the book that made me cheerful and somewhat content with the story. To be honest, the representation was the main reason that I even finished the novel. But to be frank, I'm just disappointed. I had fairly high expectations for this novel before reading it because I thoroughly enjoyed Garrett's debut YA novel "Full Disclosure", so I expected "Off The Record" to be better executed than it was. I didn't think the romance was necessary, and I wish that I could've learned more about Josie's character by herself than with Marius. Because of the issues I had with this novel, I sincerely doubt that I will read this again. Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this title! Blog Review | Review: "Off The Record" by Camryn Garrett - The Literary Log

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ritz

    Huge thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours, as well as the author and publisher for sending me an eARC of “Off the Record” in exchange for an honest review! This book was a roller coaster. I loved, loved, loved it. And I also have too many thoughts, but let’s try to write a review anyways. The book’s main character is 17 year old Josie Wright, an aspiring journalist. Josie was so interesting. I loved her. I loved everything. I loved reading about her journey of self-confidence. I loved Penny. I think some Huge thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours, as well as the author and publisher for sending me an eARC of “Off the Record” in exchange for an honest review! This book was a roller coaster. I loved, loved, loved it. And I also have too many thoughts, but let’s try to write a review anyways. The book’s main character is 17 year old Josie Wright, an aspiring journalist. Josie was so interesting. I loved her. I loved everything. I loved reading about her journey of self-confidence. I loved Penny. I think some people were annoyed with her, but I wasn’t. I think I understood what she was trying to say, and what she had to do. Marius was so sweet. I think at the beginning something about him rubbed me wrong that was stopped really quick. I learned to love him. I loved the writing style. Formal and crisp, yet I could believe that it was a teenager's perspective. I haven't read the author's other book, Full Disclosure yet, but I really want to, especially if the writing is this good. The anxiety representation was very well done. Josie says at the beginning of the story that she sees a therapist because of her anxiety. Josie tries to keep it under control by herself but that’s not how you get better, which she slowly learns. She realizes over the course of the novel that you can be emotional even if you have anxiety, you shouldn’t be ashamed because it’s something that a lot of people deal with too. Josie learns that she’s not alone in her mental illness. There were beautiful messages of self-love throughout the book. Josie mentions at the beginning of the book that she knows that she is fat. She is insecure about her body, like many people, but at the same time, she doesn’t want people to look at her a different way, which is understandable. But, something that stood out to me was that she told herself that she was beautiful and the realism of it was so amazing. She talks about her not being what people thought of when they thought of “beautiful“. She comes to terms with this throughout the book and I loved reading about her journey. Overall, this was amazing. _____________________________ So sweet and inspiring! Full review to come.

  11. 5 out of 5

    caro(lee)na

    tw: sexual assault and sexual harassment this book follows Josie, a seventeen year old journalist who just won a prize to write an article about a movie coming out for a really famous magazine. along the way, she meets famous people and discovers everything is not what it seems, and ends up writing an article about it that could end her whole career. there was also a bit of romance that i enjoyed because even though it was a male/female relationship, both people were queer and poc. thank you to N tw: sexual assault and sexual harassment this book follows Josie, a seventeen year old journalist who just won a prize to write an article about a movie coming out for a really famous magazine. along the way, she meets famous people and discovers everything is not what it seems, and ends up writing an article about it that could end her whole career. there was also a bit of romance that i enjoyed because even though it was a male/female relationship, both people were queer and poc. thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    This book has a lot things going for it but also not enough is flash out. Best part for me is Josie as character and her development but ending was rushed.

  13. 5 out of 5

    tessie

    this was quite a slow read for me (not that it took me a long time to actually read it, but that it was stretched out over a long period of time) and i’m trying to figure out why? i didn’t find it especially difficult to read it and there was some intrigue there, just maybe it didn’t catch my attention as much as i had hoped?? this was still pretty good though!! there’s a Black bisexual mc and a Black bisexual li which !! we simply love to see !! the bi representation is very explicit on page, a this was quite a slow read for me (not that it took me a long time to actually read it, but that it was stretched out over a long period of time) and i’m trying to figure out why? i didn’t find it especially difficult to read it and there was some intrigue there, just maybe it didn’t catch my attention as much as i had hoped?? this was still pretty good though!! there’s a Black bisexual mc and a Black bisexual li which !! we simply love to see !! the bi representation is very explicit on page, and the mc Josie speaks a lot about her attraction to different genders (often books describe bi people as like ‘they like boys and girls!’ and don’t include non binary people in that definition so i’m very glad this book didn’t do that). there’s also a lot of discussions about being fat and fatphobia which is absolutely not a thing in enough books, especially ya books. i think the main thing that didn’t make me 100% love this book was,,i don’t know i expected it to be a little more atmospheric?? the beginning was but as the plot really began, i didn’t find myself getting as drawn into the story as i could have because there wasn’t much of a strong atmosphere there ?? and i couldn’t help but compare it in my brain to similar ish books i’ve read with much stronger atmosphere i definitely enjoyed the writing and can see why everyone’s so into camryn garrett’s writing now. it was very easy to read and very ya in a good way ?? i went into it mostly not knowing what was it about, then read the synopsis a few pages in and i think i expected it to go quite a different way to how it did ?? no spoilers but i was waiting for something to happen with a particular character for a bit and it didn’t and that confused my brain a little but !! that is 100% on me (however i would say, and again this will be vague so i don’t give spoilers, a certain major character felt very unlikeable to me?? and maybe that took away a lot of any potential connection to the story??) one of my favourite things about this book was Josie realising an experience she had at school that she thought of as ‘just a boy being a boy’ was sexual assault. this was very good and almost comforting to read if that isn’t too weird ?? i think it’s a very universal experience to think something was just a minor experience that doesn’t mean much, it’s just boys being boys but not realising that it was actually assault and quite traumatising i do highly recommend this book. this is a heavy book with strong friendships and sweet relationships at the centre, along with amazing rep and a lot of important discussions! (though be aware that there are heavy mentions of sexual assault and rape the whole way through, i don’t think this is a very easy read if you’re in the wrong mindset)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    4.5 Stars Thank you to Netgalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for an arc of this book. Content Warnings at end of review. Josie has always had anxiety, but she doesn't let that stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming a journalist. When she wins a competition for Deep Focus magazine, she is sent on a 2 week long publicity tour with the cast and crew of a new movie to write a profile on the lead actor. What she doesn't expect is a more important story comes to light while talking to the ca 4.5 Stars Thank you to Netgalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for an arc of this book. Content Warnings at end of review. Josie has always had anxiety, but she doesn't let that stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming a journalist. When she wins a competition for Deep Focus magazine, she is sent on a 2 week long publicity tour with the cast and crew of a new movie to write a profile on the lead actor. What she doesn't expect is a more important story comes to light while talking to the cast of the movie, and she knows that she will have to do everything in her power to make sure it gets told. I loved this book! I feel like this is such an important story to tell, and it is absolutely relevant to our society. I definitely got really angry at what was going on at times and frustrated because it is so similar to things that have happened in real life. I also really loved Josie. I majorly identified with her right from the beginning, and got caught up in her journey and character growth! I loved that she didn't have it all together, but she was working on it and determined to succeed. I also really liked the supporting cast, her sister, her new friends and her mentor. They all were very interesting characters that did a lot for the story. Pub Date: May 18, 2021 Content Warnings Graphic: Sexual assault and Fatphobia Moderate: Sexual content, Racism, and Mental illness Minor: Bullying, Body shaming, and Self harm

  15. 4 out of 5

    Phoenix (Books with Wings)

    I just got the weirdest craving for this book....honestly, I don't know where this came from except I knew I wanted to read realistic fiction and I'd recently read the author's other book, Full Disclosure, and loved it and I think I'm just looking for that same writing style right now. Ugh, I knew it was coming out soon but I didn't realize I'd have to wait until May eighteenth. I just got the weirdest craving for this book....honestly, I don't know where this came from except I knew I wanted to read realistic fiction and I'd recently read the author's other book, Full Disclosure, and loved it and I think I'm just looking for that same writing style right now. Ugh, I knew it was coming out soon but I didn't realize I'd have to wait until May eighteenth.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mya

    "do you ever look back on things that happen to you and realize they weren't okay and then, like, have an existential crisis" [4.5 stars!] I read this one in two days-- Garrett is a force to be reckoned with, much like her young writer protagonist in Off the Record . Some of the lines in here made me feel so *seen*, especially my high school self. This book sparks great discussion around problematic faves, abusers, fat acceptance, and more. Though I loved Garrett's first novel, Full Disclosur "do you ever look back on things that happen to you and realize they weren't okay and then, like, have an existential crisis" [4.5 stars!] I read this one in two days-- Garrett is a force to be reckoned with, much like her young writer protagonist in Off the Record . Some of the lines in here made me feel so *seen*, especially my high school self. This book sparks great discussion around problematic faves, abusers, fat acceptance, and more. Though I loved Garrett's first novel, Full Disclosure , even more, this is a solid sophomore effort and I can say that Garrett has sold me as a fan for life. Looking forward to whatever she writes next. Favorite line from the book (on problematic idols): "I can accept whatever happened with MLK and Frederick Douglass because they were freedom fighters. They did so much good that I can deal with the bad. But I don't know if I can do the same with someone like Woody Allen. And why should I? MLK was MLK. Woody Allen only makes movies with white people in them." LMAOOO content warnings for: talk of sexual assault, abuse

  17. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    “Sometimes thé things I don’t understand are more beautiful that the things I do.” The whole book is beautiful like this quote. I fell in love with Josie head over heels. This book is the story of 17 year old Josie who wins a writing contest and gets the chance to interview and up and coming movie star. However, when she gets there, she discovers a whole other story. This was a definite 5 ⭐️ for me. I loved the author’s debut novel Full Disclosure and this one does not disappoint. Josie is a beau “Sometimes thé things I don’t understand are more beautiful that the things I do.” The whole book is beautiful like this quote. I fell in love with Josie head over heels. This book is the story of 17 year old Josie who wins a writing contest and gets the chance to interview and up and coming movie star. However, when she gets there, she discovers a whole other story. This was a definite 5 ⭐️ for me. I loved the author’s debut novel Full Disclosure and this one does not disappoint. Josie is a beautifully lovable character who struggles with normal teen things. The author touches on her anxiety and insecurities without it feeling trite. One of my FAVORITE PARTS was near the end that I didn’t see aiming regarding the Me Too movement. I loved the dynamic she has with her sister. I felt like I was living in this story and traveling with Josie. Another all star book by @camryngwrites #weneeddiversebooks #weneeddiverseauthors #metoomovement Thank you @netgalley and @penguinrandomhouse for providing me with this eArc. I can’t wait to buy it on May 18th.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Oh, how I fell in love with Josie and her story in Off the Record! I think a list will do it more justice, frankly, so I shall tell you every single thing that I loved about this story, and why it should be in your life! ►Josie! I loved her. Loved. Her. She was so incredibly relatable and likable and I just clicked with her from the start. I think she's just written so well, that she You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Oh, how I fell in love with Josie and her story in Off the Record! I think a list will do it more justice, frankly, so I shall tell you every single thing that I loved about this story, and why it should be in your life! ►Josie! I loved her. Loved. Her. She was so incredibly relatable and likable and I just clicked with her from the start. I think she's just written so well, that she felt like I was reading about an actual friend, you know? A character so fully fleshed out that you could truly understand what made them tick. I related to a lot of Josie's internal dialogue, too, which made me connect to her even more. Josie struggles with anxiety, which is likely another reason I identified with a lot of her thought processes. I thought the author did an incredible job putting Josie's anxiety into words, which is no easy feat! ►The story is very writing-centered which is fun. Josie is an incredible writer, and she wins an opportunity to write a profile on the star of an upcoming movie. It's so cool because talk about an awesome opportunity! And she's so great that you are thrilled that she is chosen, of course. And obviously, she feels a little out of her element at times because so many of the people she encounters are straight up famous, but I love how she held her own even when she was super nervous on the inside! ►Family stuff is complex and real. Wow did I feel Josie's relationship with her mom! Mine with my dad was so freaking similar, the comments about food and weight and clothes, ugh. So I felt that so hard. Josie also has some complex feelings about her sisters. She's much closer to her eldest sister, but finds her only way to go on this multi-city trip to be with her other sister. They don't always see eye to eye, but you can feel the love there. This whole family is just so awesome, frankly. They're absolutely flawed, but they love each other fiercely, and most importantly, they begin to communicate and grow. It's awesome, and exactly what I love from a family plot! ►The romance is *chef's kiss*. Marius himself is just kind of the best. Like, it's super easy to see why Josie fell for him, he's just a great guy. Thoughtful, kind, funny, charming, smart, and yes, quite handsome. He's the whole package. But I loved that their relationship had tests along the way. Josie had her own internal struggles with insecurity, and Marius has a lot of his own demons to face. They also have to figure out how to communicate and grow, both together and on their own. I swooned. ►The sexual assault piece was very timely and handled well. So, as you can imagine, it's a big part of the story. Imagine a Harvey Weinstein-type, who Josie uncovers has been assaulting and harassing one of the stars of the movie- among many, many others. Lots of people try to discourage Josie from going public with the story- and even Josie understands why they're saying it. Hollywood has turned a blind eye for a century plus, what's going to change? But Josie refuses to accept that, which is all the more reason to love her. A lot of people have a lot of awful stories to share along the way, but it's very worth it. Bottom Line: I legit wished I owned a physical copy of this book so I could hug it when I was done. Is that weird? Maybe, but I'm okay with it. It made me happy, and hopeful, and today I can buy it and make my mom read it. **TW for sexual abuse, assault and harassment

  19. 5 out of 5

    Book Reviews by Tara aka Queen of Memoirs

    I would like to wish Off The Record by Camryn Garrett a happy belated book birthday! This book was released on Tuesday. My intention was to have it completed by its publication date, but with my busy workweek, that didn’t happen. I completed the book this morning. ⠀ Off The Record is unexpectedly light for a book that tackles some very heavy topics such as criminal sexual assault, oppressive silence, tolerance of misogyny, sexism, objectification of women and men, and sexual harassment. I think G I would like to wish Off The Record by Camryn Garrett a happy belated book birthday! This book was released on Tuesday. My intention was to have it completed by its publication date, but with my busy workweek, that didn’t happen. I completed the book this morning. ⠀ Off The Record is unexpectedly light for a book that tackles some very heavy topics such as criminal sexual assault, oppressive silence, tolerance of misogyny, sexism, objectification of women and men, and sexual harassment. I think Garrett does a phenomenal job of discussing rape culture in way that is easy to digest. It’s deep, but not dark. ⠀ OTR reads like it was taken straight from the Harvey Weinstein scandal. I love how the author uses an array of purposeful characters to show how it is possible to speak out against sexual assault. It’s a powerful message. ⠀ I’m not a big YA reader but I found this book satisfying. The protagonist, 17 year old, Josie Wright was very likable. I loved her ability to do what was right in the face of extreme anxiety and great fear. Josie was badass and she didn’t even know it. It was because of her that I looked forward to grabbing this ebook each night. I was cheering for her chapter-after-chapter. I also love that she is a writer. ⠀ The beginning of the book moves at a pleasingly, fast pace. However, the middle and the end moves much slower. I would have liked for the entire book to move at the same pace as the beginning. But even with the change in tempo, I still enjoyed it. ⠀ I also found the ending pretty predictable. ⠀ Thank you Knopf Books for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review. ⠀ I give it 4/5⭐️s

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks)

    CW: internalized fatphobia, body shaming, fatphobia, body dysmorphia, sexual assault and harassment, self-harm (hair pulling), anxiety, panic attack, mention of dieting, and weight loss, mention of conversion therapy, homophobia. Camryn does it again with a spectacular sophomore novel following Josie, a 17-year old Black girl who loves writing and journalism. She wins a writing contest and spends 2 weeks traveling with the cast of a movie featuring a Black boy who is sent to conversion therapy. CW: internalized fatphobia, body shaming, fatphobia, body dysmorphia, sexual assault and harassment, self-harm (hair pulling), anxiety, panic attack, mention of dieting, and weight loss, mention of conversion therapy, homophobia. Camryn does it again with a spectacular sophomore novel following Josie, a 17-year old Black girl who loves writing and journalism. She wins a writing contest and spends 2 weeks traveling with the cast of a movie featuring a Black boy who is sent to conversion therapy. As a part of the contest, Josie has to write a profile piece of the main actor, Marice Canet. Josie spends a lot of time with him and we get to know both characters pretty well. Both Josie and Marice are bisexual and I loved seeing a blossoming romance between two bisexual leads. This is such an important story about sexual assault and harassment and also starts the conversation of any gender being harassed or assaulted. Off the Record talks about the power imbalance male directors have over their talent and the disgusting behavior that goes on behind the scenes and how they easily get away with it. I also really enjoyed and could relate to Josie's anxiety. The anxiety rep was done very well and I loved the line of Josie saying her anxiety never leaves, even if it feels at ease. Anxiety levels vary day to day and we really go to see that through Josie. Garrett also writes a complicated and messy sister relationship and I loved how it developed toward the end and that she and her sister, Alice still bicker and it isn't fully resolved. Highly recommend this! However, do see the trigger warnings because of the subject matter. "Maybe I find it disappointing because I put faith in people I don't know"

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    4.5 stars I freaking loved this! It was adorable and fun and so easy to read. Josie is relatable, her anxiety can be so hard for her to work through yet she tries and does her best. The romance was sweet and I rooted for Josie and Marius from the start. The story about a man abusing his power to sexually assault people was unfortunately realistic, but well handled with a hopeful conclusion. It was cool seeing behind the scenes of a movie press tour and how reporting goes. Josie was smart and had 4.5 stars I freaking loved this! It was adorable and fun and so easy to read. Josie is relatable, her anxiety can be so hard for her to work through yet she tries and does her best. The romance was sweet and I rooted for Josie and Marius from the start. The story about a man abusing his power to sexually assault people was unfortunately realistic, but well handled with a hopeful conclusion. It was cool seeing behind the scenes of a movie press tour and how reporting goes. Josie was smart and had amazing questions, I enjoyed seeing people realize that she's a great journalist and someone to be taken seriously. I also loved the self love theme and that Josie isn't ashamed of her body. Other people may have comments but she reclaims the word 'fat' and is proud of how she looks. This flew by and was well paced. The characters were realistic and easy to connect with. I can't wait to see this in the world! I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the copy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christi Flaker

    Josie is a rising senior with some serious writing talent. She wins a writing competition sponsored by Deep Focus and as such gets to go on a press tour to write a piece on up-and-coming new star, Marius. She is chaperoned by her older sister and struggles to overcome her anxiety to find her voice in interviews and in the process. Josie finds herself connecting with Marius and finding new friends in Penny (another cast member). She is soon lured into a second story line relating to a powerful Hol Josie is a rising senior with some serious writing talent. She wins a writing competition sponsored by Deep Focus and as such gets to go on a press tour to write a piece on up-and-coming new star, Marius. She is chaperoned by her older sister and struggles to overcome her anxiety to find her voice in interviews and in the process. Josie finds herself connecting with Marius and finding new friends in Penny (another cast member). She is soon lured into a second story line relating to a powerful Hollywood producer and his abusive behavior. Josie finds her voice in a big way as she is asked to write an expose as a second, off-the-books piece. This book brings up so many relevant issues in society today and my only complaint is that everything seemed a little thin as so many issues were addressed. This works in a YA work however and I do recommend checking this one out.

  23. 5 out of 5

    thebookbitch

    4.5 stars Off the Record was such an incredible, empowering and well handled novel. It’s clear Camryn Garrett did extensive research and wrote the stories of these characters so well. However, it’s hard for me to review this book as it hits too close to home. But please just know that sexual assault and harassment needs to be taken seriously, whether you’re male, female or non-binary. Our experiences are real.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joi

    This book was good but unrealistic. Josie has a passion for writing so she enters into a contest, which she wins. Although she is excited, she realizes that she bit off more than she can chew and has some important decisions to make. Josie constantly doubts herself and learns that she is highly capable of doing anything she sets her mind to. This book has some excellent representation and I was proud of it. Although it was highly unrealistic, I found myself rooting for Josie.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    Camryn Garrett is one of the best YA writers out there today.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anya

    Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers (via NetGalley) for the ARC! Content warnings: (view spoiler)[sexual assault (multiple instances mentioned, one described on page in memory), body image (hide spoiler)] Some vague spoilery things below? Kinda? Proceed at your own risk. I didn't want to block out the whole review but I couldn't find a good place to block out spoilers I am still very wound up from the last 25% of this book, but I am going to try to write a cohesive review! Josie Wright is in Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers (via NetGalley) for the ARC! Content warnings: (view spoiler)[sexual assault (multiple instances mentioned, one described on page in memory), body image (hide spoiler)] Some vague spoilery things below? Kinda? Proceed at your own risk. I didn't want to block out the whole review but I couldn't find a good place to block out spoilers I am still very wound up from the last 25% of this book, but I am going to try to write a cohesive review! Josie Wright is in her last year of high school, and the one thing she’s sure about in her life is her writing. She has anxiety, she’s fat (which she has made her peace with), and she doesn’t have any close friends. But damn, she knows she’s a good writer. She’s only 17, but she’s already had articles published, and this contest to write a profile for an up-and-coming actor for a major magazine is just the next step in what promises to be a prolific journalistic career. Josie is invited on a press tour to write a profile for Marius Canet, a young actor who is about to make it big, hopefully with the help of Josie’s in-depth reporting. However, while on the tour, Josie is approached by one of Marius’ costars, Penny, about Roy Lennox, a renowned and beloved Hollywood director. Marius has just signed on to be in Lennox’s next movie and Penny reveals to Josie that Lennox sexually harassed her on the set of an earlier film at the beginning of Penny’s career. Josie is floored by this news, and now she has to decide whether she can take on Penny’s story, and the stories of the countless other women Lennox has abused, and if she can even do that while doing justice to her original assignment. There is a lot going on in this book! There was a point when I was about 70% of the way through that I wasn’t sure how all the different plot threads were going to be wrapped up, but I thought it ended strongly. I really liked the anxiety rep in this book. Josie has anxiety, and it manifests itself in many ways throughout the book. She is aware of it, and she tries to handle it, but sometimes she lets it get in the way of things. There was an especially poignant scene with her sister Alice that I liked: she reminded Josie that just because she has anxiety doesn’t mean she isn’t allowed to be emotional. Josie spent a lot of the time trying to hide her anxiety or to not let it get in the way or bother those around her, but Alice reminded her that so many people have it, and that Josie shouldn’t think of it as being a burden. It shouldn't be something you have to carry on your own or something to be ashamed of, which I thought was a powerful message. Josie’s fatness is also an important part of her character and of her development. She says at the beginning of the book she knows she is fat, and she doesn’t want people to dance around that fact, or be afraid to use the word. But she still suffers from some insecurities around it. She looks at her sisters and is envious of how beautiful and thin they are. She makes sure to vocalize to herself that she is beautiful as well, but with so much of society telling us fat people are not and cannot be beautiful, it’s hard! So being 17 and already being that self-aware is an achievement. It’s impossible not to fall back into the trap of idolizing the thin (and let’s be real, mostly white) bodies that we are told are the epitome of beauty. Josie finds herself beautiful, but still worries about what other people think of her. As a fat Black girl, she knows she’s not put forth as the standard of beauty, no matter what she thinks of herself, so a little insecurity about other people’s opinions is natural! I think this is handled gracefully and realistically throughout the book, and I couldn’t help but empathize with Josie on this particular subject. I want to talk a little bit about the plot here before I wrap things up. It took me longer to read this book than my usual rate (10 days as opposed to my usual 2 or 3 for YA contemporary). The beginning was a tad slow for me, but things started picking up around the halfway point. The last quarter of the book was so fast and furious, and it felt like I was living the action right alongside Josie! I don’t want to spoil anything, but Garrett really brings you right in the middle of all the action of the last act of the book, and it is super engaging, and honestly a big part of why I gave this book 5 stars. Overall, a really great sophomore effort from Camryn Garrett, and a super timely addition to the YA contemporary genre! I really hope it resonates with teen readers because it has an important message while not being preachy at all. And a cute romance thrown in for a bonus!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Off The Record Author: Camryn Garrett Book Series: Standalone Diversity: main character is black, bi, and fat and has anxiety. Love interest is bisexual. Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: contemporary readers, ya readers, me too, journalism Genre: YA Contemporary Publication Date: May 18, 2021 Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers Pages: 320 Recommended Age: (Racism, Anxiety rep, Fat rep, Sexual abuse TW, Rape TW, Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Off The Record Author: Camryn Garrett Book Series: Standalone Diversity: main character is black, bi, and fat and has anxiety. Love interest is bisexual. Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: contemporary readers, ya readers, me too, journalism Genre: YA Contemporary Publication Date: May 18, 2021 Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers Pages: 320 Recommended Age: (Racism, Anxiety rep, Fat rep, Sexual abuse TW, Rape TW, Sexual harassment TW, romance, language) Synopsis: Ever since seventeen-year-old Josie Wright can remember, writing has been her identity, the thing that grounds her when everything else is a garbage fire. So when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for Deep Focus magazine, she’s equal parts excited and scared, but also ready. She’s got this. Soon Josie is jetting off on a multi-city tour, rubbing elbows with sparkly celebrities, frenetic handlers, stone-faced producers, and eccentric stylists. She even finds herself catching feelings for the subject of her profile, dazzling young newcomer Marius Canet. Josie’s world is expanding so rapidly, she doesn’t know whether she’s flying or falling. But when a young actress lets her in on a terrible secret, the answer is clear: she’s in over her head. One woman’s account leads to another and another. Josie wants to expose the man responsible, but she’s reluctant to speak up, unsure if this is her story to tell. What if she lets down the women who have entrusted her with their stories? What if this ends her writing career before it even begins? There are so many reasons not to go ahead, but if Josie doesn’t step up, who will? From the author of Full Disclosure, this is a moving testament to the #MeToo movement, and all the ways women stand up for each other. Review: I absolutely loved this book! I loved the focus of MeToo and the message of standing up for what was right even against powerful people. I also loved how well written the book was. The subject is a really difficult one and I thought the author handled the book very well. The book also discussed sexual abuse and harassment on male and non binary people and I thought it did well to include that side. Not a lot of male people will state abuse that's happened to them, so I hope the book opens a discussion about that in the future. The book also had a well developed world and the character development was amazingly well done. The main character (Josie) was amazingly well written. I loved how she had anxiety and how it reflected my same struggles. I also related to her fatness, as I'm fat and the same conversations she has with herself about that are the ones I have about myself. The romance in this book is also queer (both are bisexual) and I loved how adorable the romance was written. The book was also evenly paced and the plot kept you hooked from beginning to end. The only issues I had with the book is that it just kind of ends and I don't feel like the love interest got a good resolution in the book. I wanted to see him get some closure, like all of them did with the publication of the article. I also thought that NDAs were null and void if a crime had been committed, which is why the Olympics didn't sue when the female gymnasts didn't break their NDA with the sleaze ball who assaulted them. I would have to see the research on that because I'm pretty sure NDAs don't extend to crimes, but I'm also new to law so maybe it's true, but it bugged me that a crime was being protected because of an NDA in the book. Verdict: A well done book! Highly recommend.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars Trigger warnings: anxiety/panic attacks, racism, graphic depiction of sexual assault, mentions of gaslighting Content warning: sexual assault/rape, fatphobia That was... a lot. Good, but a lot. You definitely need to go in knowing the main plot point is about sexual assault. It punches you in the gut with truths about objectifying women, the difference between being problematic and active I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars Trigger warnings: anxiety/panic attacks, racism, graphic depiction of sexual assault, mentions of gaslighting Content warning: sexual assault/rape, fatphobia That was... a lot. Good, but a lot. You definitely need to go in knowing the main plot point is about sexual assault. It punches you in the gut with truths about objectifying women, the difference between being problematic and actively harming others, and the experience of women of color compared to white women. From the very beginning, Josie's anxiety takes the main stage. If you suffer from anxiety, this book might be triggering. It surely was for me, and my anxiety level is way below hers. A lot of the book revolves around whether or not she believes in herself enough to get through with the story, and that's something many anxious readers will identify with. Her weight is another big factor, and I love how Garrett worked around it. Josie doesn't shy from the word and is confident enough that she knows diets are a sham. It's just that being confident doesn't always work and she has relapses. It felt very real, and I appreciate it. It's not just body positivity, it's body confidence. The only time it's challenged is by other characters, and Josie shuts it down quick enough that there's no misunderstanding where she stands. (view spoiler)[I really liked the scene in Marius' apartment when he takes the time to reassure her and they talk about body image and consent (hide spoiler)] The shift to the sexual assault plot was a bit disjointed, and I admit I kinda forgot about the summary once I started reading, so I wondered where it was going. The shift could have gone more smoothly, but once the story focused on that it went all in. Many books have been released in the past 2 years about the #MeToo movements, but very few focus on women of color. And while most victims in this book are also white, it's interesting to see Josie (and the author's) reflection on why that is and how that can be changed. Same for male victims. So many deniers of rape culture bring up the "men are victims too" argument for no reason but to derail the conversation. The way Garrett tackles it here is both smooth and eye-opening. (view spoiler)[ Josie doesn't for a moment think Marius could be a victim, because he's a man. (hide spoiler)] When faced with the facts, Josie has to come to terms with her own bias, and she grows from it. The bisexual rep is great (and #OwnVoice!), but I didn't love the way non-binary people were thrown in almost like an afterthought. It looked too much like the inclusion served the only purpose of saying "see? Being bisexual doesn't mean being attracted only to men and women!" The addition of an actual non-binary character could have helped with that. Much like Full Disclosure, this book raises important issues and is a great read, but you have to come prepared. As it stands, I'm officially sold to Garrett's writing and am willing to buy everything she releases in the future.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maxi

    Before I start with my (rave) review, very important content warnings: mentions of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and sexual assault This book took me completely by surprise. I didn't find out about it until it's release day and immediately started reading after reading the blurb. And trust me when I tell you it was near impossible to put it down, dang obligations getting in the way of things. But seriously, this book had so much content in such a little amount of pages. I couldn't stop read Before I start with my (rave) review, very important content warnings: mentions of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and sexual assault This book took me completely by surprise. I didn't find out about it until it's release day and immediately started reading after reading the blurb. And trust me when I tell you it was near impossible to put it down, dang obligations getting in the way of things. But seriously, this book had so much content in such a little amount of pages. I couldn't stop reading, I loved every second. My favorite thing about this novel is how natural it feels. Sometimes when you're reading books you can think like "wow well this is convenient to the plot" or I've found that often with topics that are gaining more attention like feminism and social injustice etc. for me personally sometimes I feel like it feels stilted and used just to show that what you're consuming is woke about current issues but they don't actually talk about it or ever mention it again but not in this book. This book feels so natural that Josie wins the contest because she's incredibly talented and has experience and while she's working on the profile she stumbles onto another story that she totally gets engrossed in and it feels like such a natural story progression. Another thing is how this book really makes you think. Josie also experienced trauma in her childhood but for so long she believed that it was nothing and she was making a big deal out of nothing and it really shows how much society has implanted the narrative of "boys will be boys" into our brains that they can get away with things like this and make women feel bad about it. But the scariest thing about this book is how this is real life. Open secrets, people with loads of power getting away with truly despicable things. The book did a great job of really capturing the injustice. The fear, the tension, my heart was pounding the entire time for the second half of the book it was really intense. I loved the characters, the big family and the support. Camryn Garrett did a great job creating the characters and really describing them and scenes, I always felt like I was right there with them, feeling the exact same emotions that they were feeling. This book is entertaining, witty but also important. I cannot describe how badly I want as many people as possible to read this book and wish it has way more hype and attention because that is what it deserves.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    This book was good, but had so much potential at being great. I think I'd still recommend it to those who really enjoy realistic fiction (y'all might enjoy it), but for everyone else, I'd say lower your expectations. Let me start with some things I liked about this book. I liked how well the sensitive topics in this book were covered. It mainly talks about sexual harassment and mental health (anxiety specifically), but there are a few other topics mentioned. Garrett did a good job of making sure This book was good, but had so much potential at being great. I think I'd still recommend it to those who really enjoy realistic fiction (y'all might enjoy it), but for everyone else, I'd say lower your expectations. Let me start with some things I liked about this book. I liked how well the sensitive topics in this book were covered. It mainly talks about sexual harassment and mental health (anxiety specifically), but there are a few other topics mentioned. Garrett did a good job of making sure these topics were discussed and discussed well. She did a good job of speaking up about these important topics and adding in her own experiences where relevant. As well, Marius was such a lovely character. He's a sweet and compassionate guy who does so much to support our main character, Josie. He was like a soft little teddy bear that I just wanted to hug and keep safe. And he was a great contrast to the heavy topics discussed throughout the book. I really liked him. Now, onto what I wasn't a big fan of. It was really only one thing (sorta), but it made a huge difference to the story. There was a lot going on. Like a lot of plot points. There was the romance, and Josie's writing, and mental health, and family, and just too much happening at once. Sometimes I felt like we weren't truly exploring these different things because there wasn't time. And there was no way to focus on just one or two things because there were 6 different plots trying to happen. I just didn't get the depth of brilliance that this story could have been because it wasn't all completely explored. Overall, this book had lot of good points and topics of discussion, there was just too much happening. If the focus could have been narrowed down, I think I would have enjoyed this book much more. Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog • Instagram • Twitter

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