Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Not in the Script
Series: If Only #3
Author: Amy Finnegan
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 7 Oct 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from 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.


I’ve read quite a few books that deal with the emotional price of fame and the lack of privacy that goes alongside it. Not in the Script really allows the reader to experience both the ups and downs of like in the public eye while weaving in one of the dreamiest romances 🙂 I’ve been concentrating on how books promote empathy in my library lessons, Not in the Script does this brilliantly. The dual narrative allows an additional connection to understanding the characters emotions, actions and interactions.

Emma has been acting since she was 12. Growing up fast, leaving home to live with her Aunt during filming, she is very independent. At the same time, Emma has retained her compassion (I love Emma she is quiet, reserved, intelligent and kind). Her feet are firmly planted on the ground, she studies while simultaneously maintaining her passion for acting. She is insatiably curious about the world around her and shies away from celebrity gossip. While she is eternally grateful for her success, Emma also feels guilty that her best friend, Rachel, hasn’t had the same luck as she has. Emma continually strives to compensate for her success with Rachel, opening doors for her and buying her things.  Emma also has to navigate the rocky path of having her mother as her manager, examining where the line is between both roles.

Rachel is the opposite of Emma in every way; for me she appeared very self-absorbed and shallow. Something that only became more prevalent as the story progressed. Both Rachel and Emma have celebrity crushes (yes even the famous can have a celebrity crush), in an ironic twist of fate, Emma finds herself in the position of working with both of their crushes. However, the reality is completely different from the daydream, yet misunderstandings still occur based on previous fantasies. Personalities in real life alter the fantasy.

I loved all the characters in this story, the peripheral characters balance the plot beautifully and show the different ways in which fame or even the pursuit of fame can affect you. The behind the scenes look at TV/Media and the way in which they can manipulate situations and spin people was eye-opening. It takes a lot of trust and faith in the other person in order to make a relationship work while living in the public eye.

Jake is perfect for Emma. He also has his feet firmly planted on the ground, having fallen into modelling and then acting by sheer luck. His natural talent has been rewarded but it isn’t what makes him happy. He is grateful of the money he makes as it helps him take care of his mother *swoon* He is really down-to-earth and very accepting of people. His traits and Emma’s combine beautifully. Although, Jake is still a relative newbie to the fame game as modelling does provide a degree of anonymity acting doesn’t. Both Jake and Emma are genuinely lovely people who keep getting caught in the web of other peoples drama. I loved every second of their progress together and desperately want an epilogue. I’d also like to see the other characters get their own stories *crosses fingers*

Not in the Script cleverly combines the highs and lows of life in the public eye while still maintaining a personal life and relationships. The strain the media puts on you both professionally and personally. Ultimately what price does fame cost.