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My Unscripted Life
Cover of My Unscripted Life
My Unscripted Life
Perfect for fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Huntley Fitzpatrick, you'll love this funny and sweet contemporary romance about a Southern girl ready for a ho-hum summer until she meets the boy of her dreams who happens to be an international pop star.
Sometimes love stories go off script.

Another sultry Georgia summer is about to get a lot hotter. Dee Wilkie is still licking her wounds after getting rejected by the precollege fine arts program of her dreams. But if she'd gone away, she wouldn't have been around to say yes to an unbelievable opportunity: working on the set of a movie filming in her small Southern town that just happens to be starring Milo Ritter, the famous pop star Dee (along with the rest of the world) has had a crush since eighth grade.

It's not like Dee will be sharing any screen time with Milo—she's just a lowly PA. And Milo is so disappointingly rude that Dee is eager to stay far away from him. Except after a few chance meetings, she begins to wonder if just maybe there's a reason for his offensive attitude, and if there's more to Milo than his good looks and above-it-all Hollywood pedigree. Can a relationship with a guy like Milo ever work out for a girl like Dee? Never say never. . . .
From the Hardcover edition.
Perfect for fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Huntley Fitzpatrick, you'll love this funny and sweet contemporary romance about a Southern girl ready for a ho-hum summer until she meets the boy of her dreams who happens to be an international pop star.
Sometimes love stories go off script.

Another sultry Georgia summer is about to get a lot hotter. Dee Wilkie is still licking her wounds after getting rejected by the precollege fine arts program of her dreams. But if she'd gone away, she wouldn't have been around to say yes to an unbelievable opportunity: working on the set of a movie filming in her small Southern town that just happens to be starring Milo Ritter, the famous pop star Dee (along with the rest of the world) has had a crush since eighth grade.

It's not like Dee will be sharing any screen time with Milo—she's just a lowly PA. And Milo is so disappointingly rude that Dee is eager to stay far away from him. Except after a few chance meetings, she begins to wonder if just maybe there's a reason for his offensive attitude, and if there's more to Milo than his good looks and above-it-all Hollywood pedigree. Can a relationship with a guy like Milo ever work out for a girl like Dee? Never say never. . . .
From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    FADE IN:

    EXT. QUAINT DOWNTOWN

    The sun is high and hot in the cloudless sky. The air is thick, and the pavement seems to sizzle.

    PAN DOWN TO:

    EXT. COFFEE SHOP—DAY

    DEE WILKIE is sitting at a table with her best friend, NAZANEEN PARAD, and she is sweating.

    A lot.

    One

    "And thus begins the worst summer of my life." I lean back, kick off my flip-flops underneath the table, and cross my ankles in the empty chair across from me. My thick curls are stuck to the back of my neck. It's only the first day of summer break, still May, but it's already impossibly steamy outside. A south Georgia summer feels sort of like living in an old man's armpit for three months (four in a bad year).

    "Don't be overdramatic," Nazaneen says, never taking her eyes off the baseball game streaming on her phone. The game is the reason we're sitting outside on a day like today. Service is spotty from inside the old brick-and-plaster walls of the Coffee Cup, Wilder's one and only coffeehouse (unless you count the Starbucks inside the Target, which I don't).

    Parking at a table at (or in front of, depending on the Mets' schedule) the Coffee Cup has been part of our summer routine since freshman year, when our parents finally started letting us bike downtown by ourselves. I would sketch while Naz watched Mets games or read recaps or compiled stats, and we'd munch stale pastries and suck down oversugared coffee drinks. But today my sketchbook is lying unopened on the table, a pencil tucked into the elastic band holding the covers shut. I'm carrying it around now mostly out of habit. I haven't felt much like drawing lately, not since I got my rejection letter. But I don't really know what to do with myself without a pencil in my hand. My fingers feel twitchy, and I can't stop fidgeting in my chair. I sketch like some people bite their nails or crack their knuckles. It's a physical impulse, and though I feel miles away from any real desire to do it, my body hasn't quite caught up.

    When Nazaneen's game goes to commercial, she curses the Mets for being down four runs, then glances up at me. "Your summer is going to be fine," she says. She reaches for her iced double-shot mocha and takes a long sip.

    "How is that humanly possible? I have no plans and no best friend, and I'm faced with the prospect of no future," I say. I grimace at the whine that's creeping into my voice, but I can't help it. I wad up my straw wrapper and flick it at her, then give her the most sarcastic double-thumbs-up I can muster. "Yay! Hooray! Best summer ever!"

    Nazaneen rolls her eyes. "You should have applied to the drama department."

    "No, I shouldn't have applied at all and saved myself the rejection," I say. In one week, Naz is leaving for Savannah to spend her summer in the Georgia Governor's Honors School program for STEM. And in one week, I will not be going with her to the Governor's Honors Fine Arts program. Hence, no best friend and no summer plans. I let myself imagine what my summer would be like if I hadn't been rejected. If I were still living in ignorant bliss that I could cut it as an artist instead of sitting here feeling like a big fish stuck swimming in my teeny, tiny pond. But that future has been so thoroughly obliterated that I can barely conjure it anymore. All I see is eight weeks of sitting at this table, alone, sweating and sucking down iced caffeine so I don't die from boredom or heat stroke.

    There's also the chance that I'll be spending the summer filing transcripts at the Wilder...

About the Author-
  • Lauren Morrill is the author of MEANT TO BE, BEING SLOANE JACOBS, THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY, and MY UNSCRIPTED LIFE. She grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, where she was a short-term Girl Scout, a (not-so) proud member of the marching band, and a troublemaking editor for the school newspaper. She lives in Macon, Georgia, with her family, and when she's not writing, she spends a lot of hours on the track getting knocked around playing roller derby.

    laurenmorrill.com
    Follow @LaurenEMorrill on Twitter and @laurenmorrill on Instagram.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2016
    Dee falls for Milo, a pop singer-turned-movie star, during a summer job working on a movie crew.Her artistic confidence shaken by a rejection from an honors arts program, Dee's summer before her senior year looks miserable. But it improves when an Oscar-winning director arrives in her small town to film a movie. Working with on-set props soon reveals another side of Dee's artistic talent, and her descriptions of movie production from a behind-the-scenes perspective are some of the novel's most interesting moments. Less successful is the romance, which feels more like a storm of confusion between privileged white teens than a passionate whirlwind. The novel spans just a few weeks, and the teens' chemistry never really develops, perhaps because working on the film and avoiding the press mean few dating opportunities. Many readers will expect phone and text messages to fill the gap, but both are conspicuously absent, though each character has a cellphone. The spotty communication eventually makes Dee's quick claim, after a single make-out session, that Milo is her boyfriend surprising; even more surprisingly, he seems to agree. And the storyline involving Dee's jealousy over Milo's gorgeous ex-girlfriend co-star nearly ends before it begins. Messages about the pitfalls of social media harassment also feel underdeveloped. Best for readers hoping that someday Justin Bieber might appear to sweep them off their feet. (Romance. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2016

    Gr 7 Up-Reminiscent of the author's earlier works, this contemporary romance has likable characters and lively dialogue that will appeal to fans of the genre. In the small town of Wilder, GA, 17-year-old Dee Wilkie is devastated when she is rejected by a prestigious summer arts program and is left wondering what her future holds. Luckily for her, she finds a job as a production assistant on the set of a feature film starring world-famous teen singer Milo Ritter. Unluckily for her, Milo comes with his own personal baggage. Breezy, light humor, largely conveyed via Dee's internal monologue and exchanges with secondary characters like her friend Naz, makes this a fast-paced read. Even though we meet Milo's former girlfriend, Morrill does not resort to the awful ex-girlfriend trope but rather allows misunderstandings and slowly revealed truths to guide the budding relationship between the protagonist and her love interest. In a nice touch, some of the chapters are framed by small snippets of Dee's "unscripted life," including stage directions and the movie analogy throughout. And while the romance is at the forefront, Dee's process of self-discovery adds a layer of depth to the plot and will ring true with teens trying to figure out who they are postrejection and where they are going after high school. VERDICT An additional purchase for larger collections where romance and a "behind-the scenes" look at movie-making are of interest. Similar in style and plot to Jennifer E. Smith's This Is What Happy Looks Like.-Eva Thaler-Sroussi, Glencoe Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Journal
    "Reminiscent of the author's earlier works, this contemporary romance has likable characters and lively dialogue that will appeal to fans of the genre. . . . In a nice touch, some of the chapters are framed by small snippets of Dee's "unscripted life," including stage directions and the movie analogy throughout. And while the romance is at the forefront, Dee's process of self-discovery adds a layer of depth to the plot and will ring true with teens trying to figure out who they are postrejection and where they are going after high school. VERDICT An additional purchase for larger collections where romance and a "behind-the scenes" look at movie-making are of interest. Similar in style and plot to Jennifer E. Smith's This Is What Happy Looks Like."
  • Robin Benway, author of Emmy & Oliver, on Meant to Be "Star-crossed characters, hilarious dialogue, and a perfect London setting. I loved Meant to Be!"
  • Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door, on Being Sloane Jacobs "Full of twists and romance."
  • Morgan Matson, author of Since You've Been Gone, on The Trouble with Destiny "I absolutely loved this book. I never wanted this journey to end!"
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    Random House Children's Books
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