Off The Record by Camryn Garrett

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.

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