My Unscripted Life by Lauren Morrill, Delacorte Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780553498011. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS.
Dee Wilkie is bummed. She had her sights set on attending the Georgia Governor’s Honor School on the art track, but got denied admission. Now she’s faced with the possibility of grunt work, filing transcripts in the admissions officeat the university where her dad teaches, while her best friend does get away and attend the STEM track at the summer honors school.
They’re sitting outside the coffee shop in their small town when a fancy car pulls up and a man asks them for directions. Dee’s life is about to do a 180. The man is Robert Lewin and has come to their town to direct an indie film. When he mentions the possibility of a job as a personal assistant on the set, Dee and her bestie are skeptical, wondering who would film in their town? When they hear that Milo Ritter, a teen singer they both used to idolize when they were younger, will be the male lead, Dee’s interest spikes. Maybe her summer won’t be so dreary after all.
At first it seems that Milo is the stereotypical famous jerk, but as Dee sees him in unguarded moments and starts getting more into her job, most of which involves making certain the right props are on set and returned to the correct location after use, the more she starts to think there’s a real human hiding under his facade. When they begin talking after a day of filming, that suspicion is reinforced.
What follows is a light and feel-good teen romance. Unlike others with this theme, I was pleasantly surprised at how the author brought Dee’s art skills into the mix as a real strength and ran with it. Teens liking a fast, fun, sorta magical romantic read will enjoy the story a lot.