Utah Book Month Readalong: Part 1

Utah Book Month Readalong: Part 1

Hello. Hello. For those of you reading along with us, how have you been enjoying Not in the Script? I was enjoying my reread so much, that I ended up staying up late over the weekend to finish it. But for these discussion questions, I’ll stick to the first half.

1. What’s your overall impression of this story so far? Are you liking it? If so, what do you like? Are you not liking it? If so, what do you not like?
Well, seeing how this is a reread, I’m not reporting on my first impressions. In any case though, this time and the first time I quite liked the story. In the first half, I just love the slow build up between Emma and Jake. It’s so great. More on that below.

2. Do you like the cover? What does it suggest about the book?
I, sadly, do not like the cover at all. I don’t like the colors, and I don’t think the two people pictured help evoke really anything about the story. I also feel like the school setting makes it seem like a younger story than it is. Luckily, I don’t tend to pay much attention to the cover at all.

3. What do you think about the dynamics of Rachel and Emma’s relationship? How would you feel if you were Emma? If you were Rachel?
My reaction on this one is more than definitely colored by the fact that I’ve now read the entire book twice. I dislike Rachel. I get annoyed at Emma for allowing Rachel to manipulate her, but I also understand where she is coming from and why she does it. The description Emma gives of Rachel at the very beginning is very telling:

Rachel is the only friend I have who’s been with me all along–the only friend who keeps my feet planted firmly in the dark, rich soil of Arkansas. Even when I’m dressed from head to toe in Prada, with red carpet beneath me and cameras flashing from every other direction, Rachel is a constant reminder of where I came from. Who I really am.

While I have less sympathy for Rachel, I also get her jealousy and how it got out of hand. It would be really really hard to have your best friend be a star.

4. Let’s talk about the slow build up between Jake and Emma. Which part was your favorite?
As I said above, I love love love it. My favorite part is both of their reactions when Jake comes to pick Emma up for the first drive to Phoenix:

From Emma’s perspective:
One look at him tells me I should slam the door and bolt it.
I’ve just discovered Jake’s best look yet–freshly showered. His hair is shiny black because it’s still a little set, and it curls up in all the right places. And he’s wearing a tight jade-green tee that’s partially tucked in.
Couldn’t he look bad just one? Just tonight? (111)

From Jake’s perspective:
If Emma had any mercy at all, she would have worn a frumpy dress and put her hair up in a librarian bun. Instead, she looks good enough to be on a movie screen and is just as untouchable. (118)

5. Brett has a playboy persona with a tidbit of actual humanity hiding underneath. What do you think he’s really like? What are his motivations?
Brett, I think, is a more complex character than he seems at first blush. Like most 18-year-olds, he’s trying to figure out who he is. Yes, he’s an ass and a bit of a misogynist. But he protects Emma from Troy. He is an excellent actor. He is seeking to find balance in a life that has been unbalanced since he was four. While I’m glad that there is no real love triangle here, Brett adds an interesting flavor to the story.

6. What real celebrities would you cast for these pretend celebrity characters?
Oh, this is hard. But her’s what I came up with for the four members of the principal cast of Coyote Hills:

Emma: Emma Watson

Jake: Theo James

Brett: Josh Hutcherson

Kimmi: Hayden Panettiere

7. What do you think about the behind the scene particulars of filming a TV show? Does it sound fun? Hard? Exciting? Boring?
I loved this aspect of the book. I particular enjoy books that allow me to experience something I’m not likely to encounter in real life. This book certainly does that with the filming of a TV show. I don’t think I would like doing it, though.

8. What do you think about Emma’s vow to never date a guy she works with? Do you think real life celebrities have this same policy?
I think it’s extremely smart that Emma recognized her dating problems in the past and made attempts to prevent herself from making the same mistakes again. I also like, though, that she is able to question the rule. I have no idea what policies real life celebrities attempt to follow in their own lives, but I’m guessing that some do have this policy.

9. If you were Emma, would you have told Rachel what’s going down with Jake WAY before now? Or do you think Emma is justified in keeping things secret?
I don’t know. Emma and Rachel’s relationship is extremely complicated. As I was reading, I wished she would just tell Rachel, but I also understand why she didn’t. I think that’s some excellent writing.

10. What’s your evaluation of Jake’s character so far?
I like him. I like that he has things in his life that are not easy but are not horrific either. He’s nice, cute, and relatable. What’s not to like?

This is a quick read, so it’s not too late to join in on the readalong. Also, the Not in the Script ebook is $1.99 on Amazon for the whole month of August*, so go grab it! Also, Amy Finnegan is super cool, so make sure to check her out too.

* Link to the ebook on Amazon is an affiliate link.