In Review: Not in the Script (If Only… #3) by Amy Finnegan

Posted November 11, 2014 by Kim in 4 Stars, In Review / 0 Comments

In Review: Not in the Script (If Only… #3) by Amy FinneganNot in the Script by Amy Finnegan
Series: If Only... #3
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Format: eARC, 272 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My rating:

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.


in review my thoughts

I’ve only read two books in the If Only… standalone series, but I’ve been totally taken with both of them. They’re light-hearted young adult contemporaries with a ton of heart and little angsty drama. I can always count on them to give me smiles and swoons.

Not in the Script is Amy Finnegan’s debut novel and I have to admit, I’m a fan. She definitely hit my radar with this novel. I’m a total sucker for Hollywood stories, but some of the ones I’ve read recently have fallen fairly flat. There’s always a certain amount of predictability to a story like this, but it doesn’t matter to me as long as I enjoy the characters and how they find their happy ending. Not only was this story fun, but it was sweet and swoony and the characters – or most of them, anyhow – were easy to like.

Emma was a great, song heroine. She was pretty level-headed and far from the diva you might expect a teen star to be. Her walls were up tight because she’d been burned in the past and she definitely believed all relationships with co-stars were off limits. Jake could be the one to break through, however. They had a ton of chemistry and he was far from the guy she thought he was originally. He was every bit as down-to-earth as she was. I adored them together. Their banter was great. The attraction was evident. They just made me smile when they were together.

The side characters in this story were interesting, too. They weren’t as likable as I might have wanted, but they were well-written and a little more complex than I would have expected at the beginning of the story. Kimmi and Brett both grew on me in time. Emma’s best friend Rachel, however, was a different story. I didn’t like her one bit. She was far too self-centered for me. Bad friend alert.

While it might seem strange to call a Hollywood love story “realistic,” I feel that’s exactly what Not in the Script Was. Emma and Jake, despite their Hollywood star status, came off as normal teens who were trying to find their way in the world and falling for each other in the process. Each of them struggled with their fame and the situations they were put in. This book could have taken place just as easily in middle America, without the Hollywood connection, and I would have loved it just as much. It wasn’t the setting that made me love this book, but the characters and their story.

I’ll continue to look to the If Only… series and Amy Finnegan’s upcoming work when I’m in the mood for a sweet, light young adult romance with well-developed characters. Any story that leaves me hugging my iPad with a giant, goofy grin on my face is a winner book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.


About Amy Finnegan

Amy Finnegan writes her own stories because she enjoys falling in love over and over again, and thinks everyone deserves a happy ending. She likes to travel the world—usually to locations where her favorite books take place—and owes her unquenchable thirst for reading to Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. Her debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT (Bloomsbury, Oct 2014), came about after hearing several years of behind-the-scenes stories from her industry veteran brother. She’s also been lucky enough to visit dozens of film sets and sit in on major productions such as Parks and Recreation, and Parenthood.


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