Author: Camryn Garrett
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publishing Date: May 18, 2021
Content Warnings: Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment
The behind-the-scenes access of Almost Famous meets the searing revelations of #metoo in this story of a teen journalist who uncovers the scandal of the decade.
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.
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I instantly knew I wanted to read it even though I wasn’t sure what to expect going in. I’d been in a bit of a reading slump at the time and decided to start Off the Record, I finished it in around 2 days and it would’ve been even lesser if I didn’t have exams going on.
The protagonist is Jose Wright, a seventeen year old whose entire life revolves around writing. When she wins a contest that enables her to write a celebrity profile for a major magazine, she’s nervous of course but also over the moon. Soon her life instantly changes with her going on tours, meeting celebrities, producers, etc. There’s romance entangled in there too and in between her life suddenly changing, an actress she meets lets her in on a terrible secret that changes her view point of things. As she digs deeper, more than one woman gives her account on things and Josie wants to stand up for them but there’s too many doubts. This was supposed to be a huge boost for her writing career but what if this case ends it before it ever began? What if she isn’t able to put the case forward appropriately and lets down the women who trusted her with their stories? (See how I’m trying to be very vague here but kind of failing?)
I loved this book so much mainly due to the fact that I think it dealt with some really important issues. Issues such as Abuse, Fat Acceptance, Sexual Assault, Body Images, Insecurities, etc. I love that Josie’s appearance and personality wasn’t that off every protagonist in every book. There was so much representation in this book, Josie’s fat, black and queer too. I fell in love with Josie almost instantly.
I’m sure we all think about some or the other sensitive topics once in a while, and yet it takes great skill and talent to take those topics and put them in writing for people to read all the while ensuring you’re not insensitive to anyone and I think Camryn Garrett wrote this beautifully, I loved the writing. I was hooked to the book from the very first chapter and that’s pretty big for me because I usually take a couple of chapters to REALLY get into a book.
This was Camryn Garrett’s sophomore book, her debut being “Full Disclosure”. I hadn’t heard about her until I read the synopsis of this book and wanted to read it. However, I’m so glad because although I haven’t read Full Disclosure, after reading Off the Record, I have no doubt that it’ll be amazing as well and I truly look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
Top 5 Reasons to Read Off the Record
- The topics it discusses.
I feel like the topics this book discussed are so important to have out there. Whether it’s something terrible that happens often but people don’t find out about like Sexual assault or abuse or whether it’s something more common that people don’t take seriously like Fat Acceptance, Insecurities, etc. The book discussed them so well it’s definitely an incentive to read the book.
- The inside look into the Hollywood Industry
Since Josie goes on a tour in the book after winning the contest and meets so many people in the industry, we get to have a closer look into what the Hollywood industry must really be like from an insider’s point of view. Whether the inside look is the good and fun things or the bad and despicable.
- Its representation.
The book shows great representation. There’s an anxiety rep as well as an LGBTQIA+ rep in the book along with a Black characters and a fat protagonist.
- The protagonist.
Josie was a great protagonist for this book and I can’t imagine anyone better for it. She’s fat and struggles with insecurities like I’m sure a lot of us do but she doesn’t let that fact determine who she truly is.
- This book just genuinely makes you think about a lot of things but especially about being happy with yourself and proud of who you are no matter what. I myself, have been in a position of wanting to change myself to get people to like me in the past and the book really makes you think and realize that you shouldn’t have to (If someone is meant to like you, it should be for YOU) and I felt like Josie was also very inspiring in general.
About the Author
Camryn Garrett was born and raised in New York. In 2019, she was named one of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 and a Glamour College Woman of the Year. Her first novel, Full Disclosure, received rave reviews from outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, the Today Show, and The Guardian, which called a “warm, funny and thoughtfully sex-positive, an impressive debut from a writer still in her teens.” Her second novel, Off the Record, will be released May 18, 2021. Camryn is also interested in film and is a student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
The whole tour schedule can be found here! (This tour is hosted by TBRandBeyond Tours)